Saturday, November 17, 2007

First Snow

We had our first snow! We received about 6 inches. This happened to be the first my roommate, Alex, has EVER SEEN SNOW IN HIS LIFE. Coming from Chicago, and going to school in Rochester, this is near impossible for me to fathom. Apparently they don't get very much down in Ethiopia :)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I am falling way behind in posting the amount if things I've been doing and pictures I've been taking. Possibly partially due to the discouragement of unbearably slow internet and many problems uploading pictures. It takes about 5-10 minutes to load a single tiny picture onto this blog. Photobucket, the free online picture storing site, seems to be the answer to all my problems. I will be trying to catch up with many new posts and stories in the next few days... Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Trip to Wachau

The Erasmus (exchange) students from the University for Music were invited last weekend on a day-trip to the 'Wachau,' a valley along the Danube about an hour west of Vienna. The Landscape here was beautiful. We weren't too lucky with the weather, however. It rained non-stop for the WHOLE day. It was still beautiful, despite the rain and fog.

Our first stop was at the 'Stift-Melk' Monastery. This was a massive Benedictine monastery originally founded in 11th century.

It was too big to capture all of it in pictures, but you can see more pictures and history of Stift Melk here. This is an 800 year old book of Benedictine law.

Our next adventure was a boat cruise down the Danube. Along the way, we stopped in Dürnstein, a famous little town along the river. Richard the Lion-heart of England was held captive in Dürnstein by Leopold V. It is also famous for its apricot liqueur.

As I mentioned, the rain really put a damper on the day. I can only imagine what this area would look like in the sunshine. Here is a video clip from the boat

We had a amazing dinner at a wine-house in another small town called Krems. Here are a few of us erasmus students.

From left to right: Maciek from Poland, Laura from Switzerland, Me from America, Anna-Maria from Finland, Judith from Germany, Imer from Ireland, Karin from Sweden, and Joyce from America.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Graham Dechter visits!

I was lucky enough to be able to meet up with one of my good guitarist friends from Eastman, Graham Dechter. Graham and I were freshmen together at Eastman in 04-05. He then left Eastman and is currently studying at Cal Arts in L.A. Presently he is on a European tour with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and happened to come through Vienna.

I was able to meet many of the band members, including Clay Jenkins, an Eastman trumpet professor touring with the band.

Ryan Porter, seen here next to Graham, came out with us this particular night. Ryan is a trombone player in the band. His other gigs include the American Idol band, and several funk bands in the L.A. area.

It was so good to see Graham, and to see an amazing concert. John Clayton, one of the founders of the band, is a world-renown bassist (both jazz and classical), composer, and arranger. I highly recommend seeing a performance of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra if the opportunity presents itself.