2012: A Year in Review


Happy Holidays, friends! I hope this finds you off celebrating with leftover Christmas cookies, mugs of hot chocolate by the fire, and good conversations with family and friends. For me, New Year's Eve is a time to not only look forward into what the New Year holds but to reflect on all the memories of the current year. Here are a few of my favorite moments: DSCF2491edited Image credit: personal

I applied to two doctoral programs in December of 2011 and at the end of January, we took a trip to Rochester for doctoral interviews (five in all). It was a whirlwind 48-hour trip!

I started teaching a new-to-me class at Fitchburg State in January - Commonwealth of the Arts. I continued teaching two sections of Class Piano, which brought my total number of students to over 45. What an honor!

DSCF2540edited Image credit: personal

Steve and I presented our first-ever Children's Concert in February to children ages 2-5. Originally, we were told to expect 8-10 children. About a week before the program, we found out that 35 were signed up to attend! The morning of the event, however, 56 children plus parents and teachers crowded in to find a seat. It was a great experience and "Saxophone Steve" was a bit hit! Read our recap post here.

lecture recital_cropped Image credit: personal

We presented an informal lecture recital for the community in March called "The Art of the Spiritual." See video excerpts of this program here, here, and here.

triple_4 Image credit: personal

We planned a quick 36-hour getaway to Maine at the end of March - shopping and dining in Portland, cliff walks along the ocean's edge, and visiting Stonewall Kitchen. Also, the President and Snoop Dogg were there. No big deal.

1920_ESM_Panorama Image credit: Eastman School of Music

I got accepted into Eastman's PhD program in March and signed the final papers in April to enroll in the fall. I was over the moon with excitement!

DSCF2615 Dr. Susan Conkling leading the WCMW Community Sing in May 2012. Image credit: personal

Our second year of the Westminster Chamber Music Workshop was a great success! We organized four larger concerts, one each Saturday night in May. See video clips here, here, here, and here.

mwaw_1 Lake Junaluska, NC. Image credit: personal

We spent two weeks on the road in June - apartment hunting in Rochester, a visit with my parents in GA, and a week at Music and Worship Arts Week at Lake Junaluska, NC (read more here). Also, eating as much southern barbeque as possible.

We spent July teaching and packing for our big move - July 29! Thanks to the help of some very able-bodied friends, everything went very smoothly. Naturally, we spent August unpacking and establishing NYS residency. Steve picked back up with work and I began studying for placement exams: counterpoint and Renaissance music history.

IMG_0662 The beach at Lake Ontario. Image credit: personal

We took the opportunity over Labor Day weekend to explore the Finger Lakes - wineries one day, beach the next!

IMG_0958 Image credit: personal

We celebrated our first wedding anniversary in October with a day trip to Letchworth State Park. It was gorgeous!

We spent Thanksgiving in CT with Steve's parents and friends of the family and came back to the first snow dusting of the season. It was magical.

advent_dual Image credit: personal

We prepared for Choral Sunday at church on December 9 - Vivaldi's Gloria and three Advent hymn arrangements by SD and got our first Christmas tree. Then, on December 14 tragedy struck at Sandy Hook Elementary School, devastating the quaint community, Steve's hometown. Our hearts just broke at the magnitude of this loss and for all the families who were affected. We sent heart-shaped messages of love and support as part of Hearts of Hope. Join the project here.

I finished the first semester of my doctoral program on 12/21, just in time to celebrate with SD and pack for our big holiday adventure - five states in two weeks!

So here it is - the last day of 2012. This year gave me new teaching opportunities and professional experiences and time to visit new places. I got accepted into Eastman's PhD program, SD and I made the move back to Rochester, and we celebrated our first of hopefully many sweet anniversaries. God is good and we are blessed. Here's to 2013!

Happy New Year, y’all!

Previously: 2011: A Year in Review