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Blog posts by anna

Four Years of Sainthood

I remember freshmen year like it was yesterday. I remember moving into my dorm, meeting my roommate Sarah and my suitemates. I remember freshmen orientation and showing up late for classes because I lacked responsibility. I remember a time when the Art and Music Center (aka the AMC) was new and unfamiliar to me.

I remember meeting new people and making new friends. People here at AQ are so welcoming and friendly that it wasn’t long until I felt at home and considered the Aquinas community my family.

Since I started at Aquinas, I have exceeded my own expectations for myself. I have been through many tough times and many great times. I have worked hard and gotten even higher grades than I did in high school. I have coordinated events, started new traditions, worked in the AMC main office, gotten to know and love faculty and students, and became music club president.

Senior year has flew by. But I guess time flies when you are having fun. I have had so much fun over my four years at AQ. If I were to relive my college years, knowing what I know now, I would do it all again. I am so glad that I picked Aquinas. I didn’t know choosing to be a saint would have changed my life in so many different ways. I am very blessed to have friends that I met freshmen year today. I will miss Aquinas very much after my graduation in May.

This year I had a communications class with the wonderful, Dave Weinandy and on one of his tests he had a quote that I really liked (corny but it described my experience here quite well), “Becoming a saint, it’s like heaven on earth!”

Anna Rose Egres in Concert

As a music major here at Aquinas you learn a great deal and you have a lot of opportunities. Over my years of study as a music major, I have worked hard to build my vocal repertoire list. I have sang all different types of music: arias, English art songs, foreign language pieces, musical theatre pieces, and popular music. I am now seeing the countless hours I have spent practicing over the years here, starting to really pay off.

Last year in the spring, I had a junior vocal recital titled, “A Rose Is But A Rose.” My recital program was made up of mostly classical music, including one Mozart aria called, Voi che sapete from The Marriage of Figaro. However, towards the end of my program I did sing four more contemporary songs. One of those songs just happened to be Don’t Forget Me from the hit show SMASH!

This year on March 21st in Kretschmer Recital Hall, I will be having a senior vocal concert. I am thrilled that after years of study and practice, I can showcase my talent for my family, friends, professors and fellow AQ saints! My program on March 21st will be made up of strictly contemporary music. I will be singing songs by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Little Big Town, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Sara Evans, Patsy Cline, LeAnn Rimes and many more! I have been working really hard to make this dream become a reality and will continue to do so! Other Aquinas music students will be in my recital as back-up vocalists and instrumentalists!

Junior and senior recitals here are just some of the many wonderful opportunities given to you as a music major at Aquinas College. The professors here really help you showcase your own talents and they let you pick music that you want to learn and perform.

Ante Up! Runner Up!

After years of being a student in the music building, two of my friends (Britta Patterson and Nicholas Tarsa) and I have decided to start a fitness challenge among those of who were willing to participate within the music department.

Starting on January 19th, the four week long fitness challenge will be taking place and I can already feel the competitiveness. The teams have formed each with a casino name and one team leader. Each team has one faculty or staff member and two Aquinas students.

This challenge includes walking or running miles and keeping track of those miles. These miles include working out in a gym and/or outside and walking to and from school. For every seven miles a team goes, the team will receive one card! The team has to collectively go a total of 35 miles a week to be able to play a hand of 5 card poker at the end of each week! If they do not get all five cards then their cards roll over to the next week. Whichever team wins the most rounds of poker wins the challenge. So, this is not only a fitness challenge but a game of luck as well!

Since this is the first fitness challenge I have coordinated, I am excited to see how it turns out! And I hope to win! I am going to be a regular at the gym for at least a month or so!

It is so nice to go to a school like Aquinas where the opportunities are endless for students like me.

Jazz with Poetry

One of the main reasons why I wanted to attend Aquinas College was because it is a small school. My graduating class in high school had over 660 people in it. I would like to think I am a very outgoing and friendly person; however, when I graduated I didn’t even know half of the people I graduated with.

Going to a smaller school, I knew I would be guaranteed a lot of one on one time with my professors.  I knew that I would have opportunities at Aquinas that I didn’t have in high school. And this is very true. Over my years at Aquinas I have coordinated numerous events and become president of the Music Club.

Among the many events that I have coordinated is Jazz with Poetry. Jazz with Poetry is an event that I started last year after a presentation from one of my classmates. His presentation on a popular poet sparked an idea in my head. I rounded up some members of our Aquinas College Jazz Band and some of student writers to collaborate and bring to life a kind of poetry that was not familiar to our college. I have coordinated the event twice now, once last spring semester and once during the current fall semester. The Moose Café has served as the event’s location both times. Jazz with Poetry is a wonderful opportunity for students to read their poetry while jazz music that correlates with their poems plays in the background.

I hope that Jazz with Poetry can be an event that lives on even after I leave this college because I am a senior this year and will be graduating in May.


Voices of the City

This fall, I was thrilled to actually be a member of ArtPrize. I sang with the choirs as a member of the time based event called “Voices of the City.”

Before the Aquinas College’s College Chorus got done singing “I Will Rise” people were already starting to stand up and applaud. We got a standing ovation in the middle of the program. I was trying to hold back the tears. I could see some members of the audience crying as well. It was a beautiful moment in my life that I honestly can say I will never forget. Not only did we get a standing ovation during the middle of the program but we got one at  the end too. The repertoire that we sang was really powerful and I think it spoke to many people.  It just goes to show that music is a universal language that touches everyone.

Having a chance to sing in the Cathedral of St. Andrew in downtown Grand Rapids is a magical thing within itself, let alone as a timed event competing in ArtPrize and with several hundred other people. There were so many people in the audience that day there was not enough room of for everyone in the Cathedral! It was an amazing and riveting experience I will never forget. I am truly blessed to have been a part of it.

Since “Voices of the City” Aquinas’ Choirs have been getting a lot of notice and more people are filling the seats at our concerts. I also feel a certain sense of fulfillment for a job well done by Aquinas students.

To watch a video of the Art Prize “Voices of the City” performance, click here: http://www.artprize.org/dennis-rybicki/2014/voices-of-the-city.


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