Monday, April 5, 2010

I Heart Makin' Music

Photo courtesy of Becky Welch

There are NEW 2010 video updates below...

It is almost time for Makin' Music at FHU...if you know me at all, you probably know just how happy this makes me! Sure, sometimes the happiness stems from the fact that I don't have to do anything but buy tickets and show up...instead of HOURS of practice instead of doing other (more studious) things, numerous bruises and sore muscles, and a hoarse voice (because invariably I - and lots of other people - would get sick about a week before the actual show....they don't call it "Makin' Mucus" for nothin' ;) AnyWAY, I loved it even then. Even though it took everything I had to memorize that choreography. Seriously, people, I'm just not very coordinated, no matter how much I wish I were. But I worked for it and my arms and feet would finally submit and do what they were supposed to do...what our XBX directors told them to do. And the singing - now that came more easily. I love to harmonize and I love singing with a big group of people! And though I was in some winning shows, which was sigh! wonderful, I cherished singing "A Common Love" at the end of each show with the audience and whole cast every bit as much as performing on stage.

The whole experience is something I already look forward to the next year...while I am exiting Loyd Auditorium after Saturday night's final show of that year. It happens every time. Now, I admit, there have been some years where I looked forward to the next year's show because a certain show didn't really come together like I had been hoping. BUT! Not last year. The past few years have gotten better and better and BETTER. I was never more proud of Makin' Music as a whole than I was last year - the 2009 show. That's why I'll be watching this year's Makin' Music three times, hopefully. (Still looking for two good tickets for Saturday night. Anyone?)

Now, here are three fun behind-the-scenes videos (from 2010) I just came across on YouTube. I am not usually one for spoilers for any TV show I watch, but somehow I am O.K. with this kind of spoiler. Actually, it only makes me more excited. =)

Club show previews

Emcee preview

Finale preview

To make this a superlong post...this next Ode to Makin' Music was written after last year's show and I'm reposting it from Facebook...hope you enjoy!

I Heart Makin' Music...especially the 2009 edition

There’s a great sense of pride for me that my granddaddy, then FHU (actually FHC) President – Dr. E. Claude Gardner – had a part in the creation of this student-based show that’s become bigger than anyone ever thought it would. I mean, I guess that’s true. I reeeally don’t think anyone could have predicted that a small student production that started out in Bader Gym would eventually turn into a musical extravaganza with professional-style lighting and sound, a stunning showband, and hundreds of exceedingly talented students entertaining audiences of thousands. Have you ever seen footage of the really old shows?? It’s literally mind-blowing (alright, not literally – but I needed to stress the point) how much has changed since the inception of Makin’ Music 31 years ago.

But on to the good stuff…I remember, with great fondness, going to as many Makin’ Music shows during a weekend as I could possibly get tickets to. The singing college guys were swoon-worthy, and I couldn’t wait to one day have a costume of my own as I choreographed in sync with my castmates. Sigh! Make fun if you will, but there’s just something about it…the time, the energy, the over-the-top sequined costumes, the finally-getting-it-right feeling that washes over you when the show is ready to be shown. It’s truly something you’ll never forget. Especially that drawn-on fake mustache if you’re a girl and blonde wig if you’re a guy…

Not every year of Makin’ Music is exactly great. I have been let down a few times, but there were always redeeming qualities about each year and always the hope of “next year,” so I was never too horribly disappointed that I couldn’t recover my excitement in time for the next edition. But I don’t want to focus on the less-than-stellar years. I don’t even want to focus on the past years that I truly LOVED. I want to talk about THIS year. I cannot convey to you how impressed I was with Makin’ Music this past weekend. From the beginning to the end, I was loving the feel, the look, and the sound of this year’s production. I saw it twice – Friday night and Saturday night. And I would go watch it again if Tony Allen said, “Just kidding! One more time…Tuesday night at 7:30.” Oh, yeah, I’d be there.

The club shows have always had me mesmerized. (I like synchronized swimming and skating, too…) For years, I have daydreamed about writing a Makin’ Music club show…just for fun. If any of my readers are future directors and need an idea, ask me privately. XBX get first dibs, though. ;) Anyway…Bradley Gean, I didn’t even recognize you the first night! What a great idea that Chi Beta had this year…a black and white TV show becoming color. Clever, clever! I’m very proud of you guys and know you all are pleased with your first place in the sweepstakes.

All of the club shows were great this year – there were none that I was like, “Oh, bless their hearts” about. One shock I got was that Sig didn’t win first place in costumes…they were beautiful. And I liked the “Nursery Rhyme” theme you guys did a lot. And GTO, those cafeteria “ladies” had me cracking up. Nice makeover! I liked it even better the second time I saw it. One thing I firmly believe is the judges should see at least TWO shows. You can’t possibly pick up on everything watching it only once. That’s my two cents about judging.

So, on to PKA…lucky for you to have gotten Miss Kimberly as your queen – she was a beautiful soloist. (You know, I was impressed with all of the soloists this year. I am so proud of the talent of the FHU student body.) And there was this twist at the end of your show that was a little unexpected, so kudos. =)

Xi Chi, you have a Jeremy Hicks, too, so I love you just for that. And I want one of those Chinese dresses. I might even wear it in public! When have I ever said that about a Makin’ Music costume?? Pretty sure I haven’t. The flashlight fireworks were a nice touch, too.

The showband was awesome this year! At first I wasn’t sure what I thought about not having an all-student showband, but it didn’t take me long to come around. It was pretty cool to still have the Dean brothers involved and there were some students who apparently played with their group, so that was good enough for me.

As for the emcees, I liked the grouping of three…great job, Phillip and Garrett! And I don’t know Whitney, but she did well with the guys. I enjoyed that the scripts were coordinated with the club shows and other stuff. The whole show seemed cohesive, which was super nice. I also loved, loved, LOVED the video work. The Bachelor at FHU…great stuff. FHU Cribs? Brilliant! Of course, I was pretty proud of my dad showing off his “ride.” I laughed out loud many times during Makin’ Music this year and, well, I really like to laugh. That’s one reason I married Jeremy Hicks (mine – not Xi Chi’s/Leslie Oxendine’s) and that’s one reason I loved Makin’ Music this year. There are multiple reasons for both and I’m getting to another major reason why I loved MM ’09…

The hosts and hostesses…brilliant selection of each one. There have been some great voices that have graced the stage of Loyd Auditorium in the past, but not every one of their owners has had “stage presence.” Each one of the kids this year had it. (I can call you “kids.” I’m over 30.) But where were the solos this year? Wait, did I miss them? Oh…nope, I didn’t. I was much too enthralled with the harmonies of all of them singing together. When I heard “Boondocks” last year, I thought it was the most genius host/hostess song I’d ever heard. And apparently, the Powers That Be thought so, too, because we had many more songs along the same lines this year, which made me incredibly happy. I downloaded “Distraction #74,” “Life in a Northern Town,” “Bleeding Love,” and “Home” after I saw Friday night’s performance. (I already owned “Come Home.”) Seriously, I made my own Makin’ Music soundtrack. I’ve got to dig out my Beatles CDs and add ‘em to it. Now if they’ll just do Mindy Smith’s “Tennessee” sometime…it’d be apropos.

Now to choreography…the smooth (and un-dorky) “moves” of the hosts/hostesses have steadily improved other the years and this year was perfect. The Stellar Six (as opposed to the Fab Four…) rocked it out (have I ever used that phrasing in my life?? Probably not.) and had SO MUCH FUN. I could tell. I loooooved that. And I enjoyed that the guys all played instruments and I want to copy the girls’ wardrobes for myself. Of course, it didn’t hurt that they were all handsome and pretty to look at. I knoooow that looks should not be that important, but one time I watched a stage version of “Romeo and Juliet” and Juliet was short, dumpy, and unattractive - and Romeo was tall, gangly, and unattractive. I was so bored, I couldn’t wait for the play to end! That being said, there’s definitely more to “looks” than actual physical looks – I guess it all goes back to stage presence. Yeah, I just consulted my memory and there have been some “attractive” hosts and hostesses in the past that haven’t had “it.” So, ignore my last point. I’m not going to take it out, though, because compliments are nice…but Emma, Madison, Sarah, Jeremy, Aaron, and Glenn…you’ve got more than looks. And don’t you forget it. Please tell me none of you are graduating in May because I am already looking forward to next year’s production…

Thank you to Tony Allen, Peggy Weaver, Frank Bell, Kim Scott, and Jarred Clayton (and EVERYONE else who did anything at all for MM – I don’t know all of you) for creating such a great experience for the cast and audience of Makin’ Music this year. It really was everything (and more) that I always envisioned it could be. I’ve loved Makin’ Music for as long as I can remember, and I’m completely thrilled that it’s growing into the very best version of itself. Keep up the fabulous work!

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