An alternative option for Thirsty Thursday

Growing up in Buffalo as a college student means there are very few options for Thursday night.  Thirsty thursday can take place at the frat houses, “The U”, or other various bars, but it can get old…  How about living a little more of a cultured life style?  Take the money you may or may not ordinarily spend on beer (wine, piña coladas, whatever) and splurge on a Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra ticket.  You won’t regret it.

buffalo philharmonic orchestra, joy of music and wine festival, romeo and juliet buffalo philharmonic orchestra, bpo

Last thursday, BPO enchanted my ears with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s overture Romeo and Juliet.  I also saw a few stars from Deleware in the Park reenact the main scenes of the play.  It took place at Kleinhan’s Music Hall, but really pulled the audience into Verona, Italy, the setting of Romeo and Juliet.  The show was a great excuse to get dressed up and listen/watch something magical that has been around since Shakespeare wrote the play in 1597.  I was so thrilled to be watching Shakespeare that I incorporated it into my essay for a Lit and Law class, contrasting the themes of the play with another one of his work’s, Merchant in Venice.

It was an educational night, but also quite exciting.  I learned that originally the Russian Composer, Sergei Prokoriev intended to allow his music to create a happy ending for Romeo and Juliet.  This was due to added pressure by the Communists of Russia, that felt the ending was not acceptable to Soviet Sensors.  Thankfully, he did not change his mind and ended the play with the dramatic deaths of Romeo and Juliet.. Boy, that would change the story line as we know it!

The music performed by BPO emphasized intense battle scenes and suspenseful moments in the plot.  To call the music melodious, does it no justice.  The harp’s elegance was my personal favorite.  The clarinets added a mysterious and whimsical element.. but really don’t try to have me describe it.  Go witness it first hand at their next show -or their “Joy of Music and Wine Festival” on November 21st.  I know I want to go!

I had the opportunity to speak with one of the men that played the steel drums in the orchestra, Matt.  He was in charge of keeping the beat, a HUGE role if you really think about it.  Due to my limited ability to even read music (back from the days when I was 8 and played piano), I have no right to judge his ability, but I would say he did a phenomenal job.  Matt did not just wake up one day and think “hmmm, I’ll be a timpist”.  He went to school in Cleveland and got his BM and MM.  He tried out multiple times for BPO, and didn’t make the cut.  The standards, even with over 15 years of experience, are very high.  He is thrilled to be apart of the famous group now, along with 60-70 others.

It was great to attend an event in Buffalo that wasn’t just about fashion.  It was quite relaxing, and a very personalized experience.  It also happened to be Buffalo State Music Night, I was amazed at how many professors were members of BPO!  Their music really told a story, and I am so glad that I had the chance to witness it.

“Never was there a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”

buffalo philharmonic orchestra

New School Year Resolutions -A Guest Post

Hey preps!  To start off the new school year, here at Clearing Preppy’s Name we are starting off something totally new: Guest Posts.  Alexis Jane Torre is the author of today’s post on CPN, and she is discussing new school year resolutions!  I personally feel like she has some great ideas so be sure to give her feedback.  And if you are interested in submitting a guest post, remember to e-mail me at

New School Year Resolutions

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            “Ever since my junior year of high school, I’ve started off each new school year with some new school year resolutions! I’m big on list-making and writing down goals so that they’re tangible. It’s become natural for me to make lists for every occasion, and the new school year certainly deserves its own list of goals. Here are my resolutions for my sophomore year of college!

1. First and foremost, be more confident!

I set this goal in regards to my academic pursuits, my sense of style, my writing, basically every aspect of my life. I think it’s important to be modest, but at the same time, be comfortable and secure with your abilities and goals. My biggest confidence problem is in my ultimate educational goal: to obtain a PhD in Mathematics. (I know just how dorky this is, believe me.) I always question whether or not I’m “smart enough” to achieve this goal, but I’m going to try to stop worrying so much. If I’m willing to work hard enough to make it happen, then it’ll happen!

2. Get ridiculously organized!

As I write this blog post, I’m sitting in my unmade bed, surrounded by piles of clothes, books, and a random assortment of knick knacks. I tend to completely destroy my room while getting ready in the morning. Actually, I manage to mess up my room whenever I do anything. My mom sometimes calls me a “human tornado; isn’t that such a lovely and affectionate nickname? Messy dorm rooms are totally acceptable and even expected. But, now that I live in an apartment, it’s time for me to be more responsible and learn an efficient and effective way to organize my things.

3. Learn to appreciate the town that my college is in… Or try my very best to!

I am a sophomore at the University of Arizona, a school that I absolutely adore! (Bear down, Wildcats!) My only problem with the U of A is that it’s in Tucson, Arizona. I live about two hours away, in the Phoenix area, so I thought that it wouldn’t be that hard to adjust. But, Tucson certainly has a personality of its own. Its signature food is a hot dog wrapped in bacon aka the Sonoran Dog. Its roads are bumpy, pothole-ridden, and constantly under construction. And, it is also home to at least one mobile tattoo parlor.  Like I saw a bus that was called “Inked Temptations: Mobile Tattoos.” All of these things make me homesick for my small hometown of Litchfield Park. But, just like you learn to love a person for their flaws and quirks, I’m thinking I could warm up to Tucson, especially since I’ll be living here for three more years. This year, I plan on exploring Tucson, finding its best restaurants and hangouts, and discovering a new found appreciation for a city whose nickname is the “Dirty T.”

4. Give back!

This is a pretty important one. While I definitely loved my freshman year of college much more than my entire high school experience, I did miss how many volunteer opportunities I had in high school. In high school, I did community service on a weekly basis. My high school clubs just had so many easily accessible volunteer positions that it only made sense to participate. In college, it’s a different story; you have to do some seeking out on your own, but that’s no excuse to not give back and help the less fortunate. Right now, I’m hoping to be a volunteer math tutor.

5. Pick up random new hobbies and skills! (Examples include: keeping up with the NBA, doing nail art, and scrapbooking)

This summer, I realized I wanted to gain more independence and more of a sense of self. I’ve always been the girl who spends as much time as she can with her friends so it’s easy for me to pick up their interests. Or, sometimes, I want to take up hobbies for a guy who I’m talking to or possibly maybe dating or getting mixed signals from. (On a side note, relationships– or the lack thereof—drive me up the wall ninety-nine percent of the time.) But, now, I want to do things for me, not for my friends or for that one cute guy in my Calc class. Over the course of this summer, I’ve discovered my love for watching basketball games, rocking out to punk rock music, and learning new beauty tricks. All of these things are what I really enjoy, and I feel great knowing that I am my own person. This all goes back to a truth that we all so often forget or choose not to believe: You don’t necessarily need anyone else to complete you because you are a complete person on your own.

6. Keep up with the news!

Recently, I’ve realized how enjoyable it is to start off my mornings with a cup of coffee and some good ole’ CNN. Since I have no early morning classes next semester, I have no excuse not to take some time to keep up with current affairs.

7. Keep writing, keep blogging, keep working to get published. Keep on pursuing this pipe dream.

During December of my senior year in high school, I got a short piece of non-fiction published in a local magazine. And, it felt great. Amidst all the college and different scholarships, like hospitality school scholarships applications, standardized tests, and homework assignments, I found something to be excited about! And, that was when I truly realized how much I loved to write. How much I loved to share my personal experiences and opinions. How much I wanted to keep writing and getting published anywhere that would take me. Right now, I blog for Huffington Post Teen, and I absolutely love it. I want to keep writing and hopefully be able to contribute to another website. Even though I’m kind of a math nerd (see resolution number 1), I love blogging. And, I want to do it for as long as I can.

Do you make resolutions every school year? (If not, then this is a little awkward …) What do you want to accomplish this year? Let me know!”

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A.J. Torre is a sophomore at the University of Arizona, and current blogger for the Huffington Post.  You can view other pieces of her work here.