My 22 hour long first day in LA!

Welcome to another crazy summer experience with your host, Sam Krausz.

On May 28th, I woke up at 5 in the morning to catch a 7:30 flight, had a layover in Phoenix, sat next to an Australian couple with a one-year-old named McGyver while I memorized a Shakespeare monologue for SongFest on my second flight, met up with fellow SongFest studio artists Natalie Sheppard and Ivan Jukic at LAX, took a $50 cab ride to downtown, and checked in at the Colburn School of Music a little after noon!

First off, what an absolutely gorgeous school. Sitting right between the LA Contemporary Art Museum and the Walt Disney Concert Hall and just a block from LA Opera, it is the perfect placement for a music school of this caliber. Students at the school take advantage of its state-of-the-art halls and classrooms, not to mention the huge music library, INCREDIBLE dormitory space, and delicious cafeteria, without having to pay any tuition at all. I know what you're thinking - then why did I never audition there?? Colburn actually has no vocal degree program - it is strictly for orchestral musicians and pianists. But during SongFest, the singing comes from everywhere. The picture to the side is the view from right outside the Colburn Cafe, peering from the middle of the campus.

Once I had checked in, myself and a group of friends had lunch at the Colburn Cafe and then walked 20 minutes to Target at the LA circle to pick up some odds and ends. I then unpacked and got ready for SongFest's opening meeting, where we gathered in Thayer Hall to hear from residential staff and artistic staff about what to expect while at the program. The meeting got all of us very excited! Then a group of 8 of us went to dinner at a great Mexican restaurant called Border Grill to celebrate both my birthday and Sophia Hunt's birthday, which was actually yesterday - Sophia is going to be a sophomore at the Curtis Institute of Music, and we met right before dinner! Things took a bit of a crazy turn after dinner, however. Natalie Sheppard started feeling very lightheaded and fainted briefly after eating, not feeling any better afterward. We tried to get her home, but ended up uber-ing her to the emergency room instead, where her roommate Gabriella, Page Michels (also a CCMer) and I waited on her until about 12:30 AM until Gabriella and I went back to Colburn and Page stayed with Natalie since she wasn't jetlagged. They ended up finally getting back to Colburn at 5:30 this morning. Natalie's totally fine, no worries there. Thank goodness today was a pretty empty day for the program. I also did not expect to start my birthday sitting at the emergency room, but hey, I would have rather been there than not been there.

So that was day 1! I have a very full week ahead of me with lessons, coachings, classes, masterclasses, and a performance! Keep following the blog, and expect new posts every 2-4 days! If the first day was any indication of the rest of the program, we're all in for a ride this month! 

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