Tag Archives: Anna

Anna plays in Percussion Ensemble at KSU

Anna has been really enjoying her studies in Music Education at Kansas State University. Despite focusing her studies on violin and some voice, she is required to participate in a band comprised of students playing instruments that are not their own.

There was a concert a couple weeks ago and we were unable to attend, but a friend sent us a video of Anna playing the marimba. You’ll find her to the front and left as you are watching. The piece is a theme and variations on Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Reflecting on the first child leaving for college

I’ve been sitting and pondering a lot over the past week. I’ve been trying to properly evaluate my feelings regarding the life change of Anna leaving for college this past week. This wasn’t something that came on quickly nor was it unexpected. However, it is certainly requiring adjustment.

I didn’t cry when Anna started Kindergarten. I didn’t get teary-eyed when she started driving or graduated high school. All of these events were expected life moments that every child is expected to complete. I was extremely proud of her (and of us) for getting to to that point in her life. I’ve felt the same in regards to her choosing a college and moving out of the house.

However, when your oldest child moves away from home for the first time, it feels different. Over the past couple years, she has been so busy with school, work, and other activities, there were many days when we just barely saw each other.  Yet, it surprised me when it first hit me that she was really gone. More on that in a bit.

Our schedules were not in-sync at all over the past week. We couldn’t do the traditional “move in” to the dorm. However, we really had the best of all worlds. Linda and Anna moved all of her stuff on Tuesday, but then returned home. (A roommate was already moved in because of band camp, therefore making the room available). I was working, so I wasn’t able to help with this move.


Anna then left for college on her own on Friday because she  had a mandatory 5-minute violin audition for orchestra. It didn’t make sense for her to drive 2 hours for a 5-minute ordeal and drive back; therefore she went by herself (again, because I was working).


The family then drove over to see her on Saturday morning; we were able to take her to lunch and get the traditional pictures of parents with the kid in the dorm room.


Unfortunately, she had to learn a life-lesson on her first few days away from home. Because she only had 5 minutes of business on her first day away, she drove another 90 minutes away to another college to visit one of her best friends. She stayed up way too late and ate way too much ice cream. When we arrived on Saturday, she was sick to her stomach and didn’t feel much like hosting the family. We pushed through her illness to visit all of her classroom buildings on campus, went to lunch, and installed a carpet remnant on the dorm room floor. She was miserable the whole time. Just as we were about to leave to go home (so she could get some much needed rest), she rushed for the dorm bathroom and began vomiting. I always feel so helpless when my child is vomiting – not much you can do until it’s all over. Amazingly, she stepped into the hallway with a big grin and a bounce in her step – she suddenly felt all better. She now asked to go get french fries at Vista Drive Inn. Oh, to be a college student. (lest you think there was alcohol involved with her sickness, I can’t even get her to drink a soda because she doesn’t like the taste).

Linda did her best to not have any crying episodes through all of the past week, but she admittedly did have a couple brief spells of misty eyes. I had a heaviness in my heart knowing that she was leaving, but I wasn’t really all that sad. However, it really hit both of us quite hard on Sunday evening. We went to Mass – a service where Emily plays piano and Anna sings and plays violin. We’re busy all week long, every week – but we almost always attended Mass every weekend as a four-person family. It was very clear that we were a three-person family at Mass now. Stupidly, I pointed this out to Linda just before Mass started and then we both started bawling. Just then, the teen music director (and Anna’s voice teacher) had stopped to check on us – finding us bawling, which just about set her off, too.

Each day has become easier. It helps that we can text and Snapchat with each other with ease. She’s been doing well – and even posted an awesome selfie of her first day of college. We’re proud of her and are looking forward to going back to see her soon (it’s a good thing she’s in the same place where we go to watch football games all season long). Go K-State – EMAW!


Anna and Emily & The Wizard of Oz

Anna has spent the last couple months rehearsing “The Wizard of Oz” with the high school theater program. She has had rehearsal almost every weekday after school since before Christmas. Emily played flute in the pit.


I did musicals in both high school and college; Linda also played flute in the pit for musicals. This was quite a “circle of life” kind of moment. In addition, the musical director was a former classmate from our days as music majors at Kansas State University 25 years ago. Truly, a circle of life.

Anna was selected for several chorus/cast parts – she poured herself into each of the positions she was asked to perform. She was on stage several times, but the best was as a Munchkin. She had the absolutely best “munchkin voice”; one couldn’t help but smile when she spoke/sang her lines.


She also portrayed a resident of Oz; additionally, she portrayed a monkey and a “tornado” dancer (blinking strobe lights dancing around during the tornado scene).


Fortunately, we have one picture of Emily playing flute in the orchestra pit.


Finally, each cast member had a brief “biography” in the program. Here’s Anna’s text from the program:

Anna is very excited for her final show at South. Her previous roles at South are a Dance Hall Girl in Jekyll and Hyde, a chimney sweep and Ms Smythe in Mary Poppins, and Ensemble in Hairspray. She also played violin in the pit for Peter Pan and Pippin Outside of South, Anna has been ensemble in Beauty and the Beast and Suessical, Jr. At school, she is in Symphonic Orchestra, Heritage Choir, and the marching band. Outside school, she is in her church youth group and youth band, Girl Scouts, and piano. Anna would like to thank you mom, Linda, for teaching everything she knows about music, always being there for her, and being her biggest fan. Anna would also like to thank her grandparents for making the hour drive to come see her in every little thing she does, her dad and sister, current and previous music teachers, friends, and youth group leaders for their continuous support and Nina Molleson for teaching her not just dance, but the importance of being the best person you can be in life.




Anna plays violin recital – Romance in F major, Op 50 (Beethoven)

Anna has been working on a fairly big violin piece since January 2015. Her goal was to be selected to be a soloist on the “Masterworks Concert” with the high school orchestra as a Senior. This concert involves one vocalist, one band instrument, and one orchestra instrument performing with the orchestra or band as the accompanying music. It’s a pretty big deal.

She’s worked amazingly hard on this piece, including memorizing this work that is over six minutes long. Her audition reportedly went well, but, unfortunately, she was not chosen for the concert. There were reportedly so many great choices, it was hard for the music faculty at the high school to choose what would work best for the concert.

Despite being a bit saddened by not being chosen for the concert, Anna has kept her chin up and has carried on. She performed the piece for the studio recital for her teacher. Enjoy the hard work that Anna has accomplished:

PS: Linda is accompanying. 

Anna and Emily play Christmas Recital

Linda has had her piano students play a Christmas recital each year at a local nursing home. It’s easily a favorite of the students – they get to play fun Christmas songs and it really pleases the audience. 

Enjoy the pieces played by Anna and Emily:

Anna: What Child is This?

Anna: Away in a Manger

Emily: O Holy Night/Silent Night

Emily: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Can’t Help Loving That Man of Mine

Anna sang for her high school “Evening of Cabaret” the other evening. She was the opening act for a fund-raising concert of solos, duets, and group songs.

She sang the classic song from  Showboat, “Can’t Help Loving That Man of Mine”. The lighting was a bit off due to the very bright spotlight. Nonetheless, enjoy…

First Day of School – 2015-16

After having a packed summer with little time for relaxation, the girls have returned to school. Anna is entering her Senior year and Emily is now a Junior.

They’ve already been busy with band and drill team, meeting just about every morning for 2 weeks before school started.

Here are the required “first day of school” pictures:

IMG_8200 IMG_8201

Additionally, since it’s Ann’a final year in high school, Linda pulled out the picture from first day of Kindergarten:


Spring Piano Recital – May 9, 2015

Linda had the spring piano recital for her studio this past weekend. It’s so entertaining watching and hearing how all of the students have progressed from one year to another. Anna and Emily used to be the little kids that played the simple songs at the beginning of the recital. Now, they are two of the older students that are playing some big pieces.

Enjoy listening to Anna (Chopin Waltz in A Minor) and Emily (Schumann Traumerei) play.

Anna sings at the 2015 NATS Kansas City event


Anna has been taking voice lessons for the past few years from Catherine Boone, a voice teacher that attends our church. Catherine also teaches a lot of the high school singers up at Anna’s high school.  As a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, she is able to enter her students in the regional auditions where the students can sing for judges.

This was the first year that Anna participated in NATS; she’s sung in other events, but never in NATS. The other events just had her singing her piece in front of a couple judges – nothing unusual. However, this time she specifically sang show pieces and lyrical pieces for different judges. Linda, as usual, accompanied. Enjoy the following four pieces that Anna sang.

Till There Was You (Music Man) by Meredith Wilson

I Have Confidence (The Sound of Music) by Richard Rodgers

O Come, O Come, My Dearest by Thomas Arne

Nel cor piú non mi sento by Giovanni Paisiello

Piano Studio Christmas Concert

Each year, Linda has all of her piano students play Christmas songs at a local nursing home. It’s a good opportunity for the kids to do an additional recital and also a chance to do some community service for the residents at the nursing home. We arrived at the nursing home the other evening with many eager folks waiting to hear the kids play. They sang along and genuinely enjoyed themselves.

Enjoy the pieces that Emily and Anna played:

Emily – Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Anna – Go Tell It On the Mountain

Anna – A Celebration of Carols