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Meant to Be: An Interview with a Music and Business Double Major

by Becky St. Clair

Sophie Jalomo is a senior music and business major from Fresno who didn’t end up quite where she expected. She is our choral librarian, creating and keeping order amongst the shelves and shelves of choir music, and plans to graduate in spring 2022. We are thrilled to have her in our department for another year, and were so glad she shared her experiences and thoughts with us.

Why did you choose PUC? 

Each of my siblings went to the same university for college, and because of this, the school wanted to make us their poster children. I felt like I was being pushed to go there, and decided that was not the reason that I should go to any particular school. So I began searching for peace about which school to attend. Even after meeting with a counselor in financial aid, not knowing how I was going to pay my tuition, I had complete peace about choosing PUC. That’s why I’m here–because God gave me the peace that I was meant to be here.​​

You started out a business major. What drew you to music? 

The first class I took with the music department was group voice class with Dr. Anderson. I have always loved singing, but I felt handicapped when it came to music, so I wanted to learn more. A good friend of mine told me that I should try out for choir, but I was really scared to. Then Dr. A asked me to audition, and after some work, I joined Chorale and Vox Pro Musica (VPM). I was hooked. It quickly became a passion, and I couldn’t stay away! I still wanted to learn more about music, so I began poking around and asking questions. I loved how passionate everyone in the department was, so I asked Dr. A and some students about double majoring and if they thought it was the right choice. I then talked to my advisors about double majoring and how that would affect my getting a job after graduation. Everyone was saying the same thing: That it would be the best choice I could make for myself. Over a year later, I know I made the right decision.

Before PUC, you didn’t have a lot of experience with music performance. What inspired you to join an ensemble? 

I always wanted to join a choir. I sang a little at my church, but it was basically five people trying to sing to a recording track. PUC Chorale was my first real choir. If my friend and Dr. Anderson hadn’t encouraged me to join, I would have been too afraid to join. Actually, my freshman year I auditioned for VPM. I was told that I had a good voice, but I was a soprano and she needed altos. I didn’t like that answer, so I decided to become an alto! Shortly after that I got a cold and lost my head voice, so I could only sing in my chest voice, and I became the next alto in VMP.

As a double major in both business and music, how do you think the two work together? 

In some ways, they are incompatible, but I think when you apply the collaboration it takes to make music in an ensemble or group, the connections become clear. More than anything, these majors are complementary. I have had to learn completely new ways of studying and practicing, new ways of managing my time. Working with others can be challenging, but in music, it’s required that everyone is on the same page and communicating well to be able to function. That is the thing music and business have most in common.

Tell me about a music course that has really impacted you.

Oh my goodness, where do I even start? I think I would choose my basic conducting class or theory. I have learned that there is so much I do not know, and that there’s so much more to learn. With every new chapter that we study, I am blown away at things I did not know. I used to think conductors would just be able to sight-read a piece and it was fine, but now I understand how much practice and preparation go into being able to direct an ensemble. I am constantly learning something new in my music courses!

How has being part of two very different departments benefitted you? 

The best part is that I get to take a break from different types of learning and questioning. I have felt that much of what I learn as a business major is mostly just logical and easily makes sense to me. With music, it is not like that. There aren’t just definitions, rules, ethics, and people; there is art. In music there is technique and variation, there are fewer black-and-white moments and more creation and personality. But for now, I get to learn the foundations of things in both areas. 

Being a double major in two completely different fields has stretched me in every way. I have learned new study techniques, learned how to apply myself more effectively, and learned how to make new connections. I am much happier having both music and business as a major; it’s nice to know I can be successful as a double major and I am able to study what I am passionate about.

Who in the music department has been instrumental in making you feel at home, and how? 

Honestly, everyone. Everyone was so encouraging in my transition into the music department, that they made me feel it was a joy for them to receive me into their family. My professors have worked so hard to accommodate all of us students so that we can get the classes that we need and they’re always there when we have questions or need help!

What is your career goal? 

My primary goal is to have a career in business. This summer, I will be attending the Business Internship program at Kettering Health Network (KHN) in Ohio. After graduation I plan on working with them for a few years, and then branching off, hopefully, to own my own business! 

Since you’re planning to focus on the business side of things, how do you think studying music will play a part in your future? 

I will always have that joy that comes with being able to produce music and learn more. I love music and I want it to be part of my life forever. I want to carry these abilities that I am learning forward, and while I hope that someday I will be able to work for a music program, I love that I can make music and have understanding no matter where I end up.

Creating the Perfect Fit: An Interview with a Double Major

By Becky St. Clair

Natalie Fode is a senior piano and nursing double major who grew up right here in St. Helena. With an Associate’s Degree in music (flute performance) and one in nursing already under her belt, she plans to graduate in June 2021 with her Bachelor’s Degrees in both. Natalie plays flute in the PUC Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and when we’re on-campus in person, she works in the department office managing recordings. She currently lives in Yountville with her husband, Jordan.

Why music?
I’ve always been fascinated with music for as long as I can remember. I have a musical family; my grandfather taught choir at various academies, and my grandmothers were/are both very good pianists. My dad is a great musician too, and plays the bass guitar, and my mom also plays the flute. I think this combination made me interested in music from a young age because music was often in the home in some form or another. I ultimately decided to pursue a music degree because I couldn’t imagine my life without it and I wanted to be better able to share my love of it with others, as well as to grow my composition, piano, and flute performance skills. I hope to someday teach lessons and continue writing music throughout my life.

So it surrounded you for most of your life, but do you recall when you first started really noticing it and exploring it for yourself?
My grandma first taught me the basics of piano when I was about four years old, which first awakened my love and fascination for piano. I don’t know where I got the idea of composing, but I remember playing the lap harp when I was about five or six and creating my own music on it. I also remember going around and making up songs (if you could call them that) about everything that happened in my life when I was little. It turns out each of these early interests developed into something that I now know and love and are all a part of me to this day. 

I ended up becoming extremely interested in composition and songwriting as I got older, writing songs from the time I was about 11 and starting my first choral piece at age 14. I have continued to pursue flute, piano, and composition during my time at PUC. Each of these early musical experiences are still a part of my life today as a college student and they will forever be a part of my musical identity.

How has your experience been pursuing both music and nursing simultaneously?
I would say the biggest challenge for me has been finding the time to stay in a creative headspace while also pursuing nursing, which is a different-type-of-difficult degree. I adore composition and wish that I had the time and creative energy to do it more often. Though it hasn’t always been an easy balancing act, I would say that music has been an oasis for me during the difficult times of the nursing program, which, as much as I love nursing, certainly existed.

Nursing majors have crazy schedules; how did you manage that while also being in a music ensemble?
First of all, I would like to mention that I took the first year and a half of my time at PUC to focus primarily on music and attempting to get into the nursing program. That allowed me to finish a lot of my classes for the AS in music degree, but not all. Once the nursing program began for me, the music department professors worked with my crazy clinical schedules and helped me achieve my goals in both nursing and music; I couldn’t have gotten this far if it wasn’t for their graciousness. 

Nursing is, by necessity, a very structured program and so it speaks volumes that the music department has been willing to work around and with that to help me create the perfect fit during my time at PUC. Now, during my two bachelor degrees in nursing and music, the music professors are working with me more than ever due to “core weeks” (weeks one and six each quarter) which are a part of the BS in nursing when I have classes the majority of the day and can’t typically attend normal class periods. They’ve also worked with me through more crazy clinical schedules and have always been so understanding through it all.

I couldn’t be more blessed and grateful with the music department. It’s taken me five years to finish these two degrees, but the incredible experiences, connections, and future opportunities that I’ve gained along the way has made it all worthwhile.

You and Jordan have recorded a few videos performing together; do you have plans to do something more formal with your combined skills? 
Jordan and I both love music. He’s been playing guitar since he was 12 and saxophone since he was nine, and we’ve both been casually singing in choirs and on our own from a young age. We have just recently started exploring who we are as a musical twosome and it’s been a really fun journey. We hope to make it a “thing” in the near future. 

We have a YouTube channel and want to fill it with covers and original songs, and hope to utilize other social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok to share as well. We also want to do concerts both locally and across the U.S. as a ministry, once things are a little less “germy” of course. Ha! This is important to us because we both want to share God’s love and the message of righteousness by faith with as many people as possible. We’d love to combine that message with speaking and music in the form of concerts and social media.

What do you enjoy about being part of the music department?
One of my favorite things about the music department is sitting in the office, working and listening to all of the students and ensembles practicing. It’s so inspiring, makes me smile, and it’s fun to hear people progress in their pieces. I also love the family feel of the department. It’s not huge, and so everyone gets to know everyone and there’s a real sense of closeness there that is quite unique. It feels like a home away from home.

How do music and nursing intersect—at least for you?
Music is inherently therapeutic, and so I definitely feel that my knowledge of music can help me provide my future patients with better care in the hospital. I’ve heard stories of nurses singing or performing for patients per their request and I can see that being something I’d be open to since I’m interested in treating the whole person in their healing process. I see it as a connecting point, regardless of where I am located or what I’m doing; music is something that I’ll carry with me everywhere. 

Likewise, I think that the nursing mentality and my nursing skills are things that can benefit me in many different situations. Nursing has helped me to attack my instrument practicing more systematically which has been helpful for me. I also know that it will come in handy if anyone hurts themselves or has something go physically wrong during a rehearsal or lesson. Both music and nursing are focused on connecting with the whole person you are serving at that moment, and because of this they are interchangeable disciplines in many respects when they are done well.

What is your ultimate career goal?
Well…that’s rather ambiguous at the moment, if I’m honest. I am currently hoping to find a nursing job so that I can begin serving my community in whatever capacity is most needed. Eventually, I would love to work on a labor and delivery unit as I’ve always had a passion for obstetrics. This passion was likely spawned by being an aunt to eight kiddos and watching three of those births at various points throughout my childhood, as well as having a sister who worked as a labor and delivery and postpartum nurse for most of her career. It is possible that I would want to pursue a certified nurse midwife/nurse practitioner degree in the future, but that would be many years down the road, if ever; there are no concrete plans in place for that at this point. 

As far as music goes, from home jam-sessions with my husband and family, to writing my own compositions and songs, to teaching lessons or even potentially leading ensembles at the elementary or high-school level, I see myself using my music degree all the time. I would say that the knowledge I gained during my time in my AS and BS in music degrees is even more valuable to me than the degrees themselves in many respects. I’ve learned so much that I will carry with me throughout my life, and though the degree titles are inherently valuable, the information I gleaned while earning them is invaluable.

If you could offer one piece of advice to incoming first-years at PUC, what would it be?
Embrace the changes that inherently come along with your first year in college and to go for the thing that seems audaciously out-there if it’s something that you truly want to pursue. It’s not too late to switch your declared major, not too late to change your mind in pursuit of the desires of your heart. By all means, be smart about it, but whether it means adding, switching, or dropping a degree, if that’s what you think is best for you – do it! And go all-in. 

Also, don’t wait any longer than you have to, because the sooner you make the switch, the more time your professors and advisors will have to work with you. Have those conversations early on, and bounce ideas off people you trust. I switched at the end of my first year, but there’s no “right way” to do it. It’s never too late to make a change. Don’t let your life decide itself for you–you get to hold the reins. Ask questions. Don’t let things just “happen to you” academically. Take an active role in your course planning, picking a major, and the timing, difficulty, and pace of your quarters.

And then, I would say something that seems almost contrary to my previous advice, but it isn’t: Prioritize your health, both mental and physical. Don’t push yourself too hard, it’s not worth it. Don’t hesitate to reach out when something feels off, and take advantage of the resources that PUC has to offer because no amount of hustle is worth your well-being. I pushed myself so hard and I got through it, but looking back I would advise my younger self to prioritize my health more. You’re a human, not a machine, and it’s important to realize that–and the earlier on, the better. 

Most of all, I want to say: You’ve got this! It’s a long road ahead, but if you find a major and future career that you love, and prioritize your well-being so that you can enjoy the journey and the destination, it will all be worth it.

Conquer Your First Month ON Campus 

Your first quarter of college was probably VERY different than you imagined, and for the record, we HATED not having everyone on campus and are thrilled to welcome everyone. Your first month on PUC’s physical campus will likely be a bit of a whirlwind. You’ll be meeting new people, learning new things, and having a new schedule. Here are some tips to help you get on the right track.  

Attend Class

You’re in college to go to classes and learn. Please do yourself a solid and attend class. If you’re not a morning person, don’t schedule early morning classes. If you rather have your evenings free, take classes in the afternoon. Make a schedule that you can work with that won’t make you skip class. 

Stay Organized 

By staying organized in college, you will have a better time conquering your assignments, tests, and other things. The first month of school may be overwhelming for you, so get a planner, use your calendar, just find a way that works for you to stay organized. 

Don’t Forget To Eat 

Please don’t forget to eat! Your health is important and if you don’t eat well, you might have a hard time concentrating. Fight the temptation to snack on junk food and instead indulge in healthier options. It’s a good idea to have water with you at all times. You must stay hydrated! 

Meet With Your Academic Advisor 

You’re going to have a lot of questions regarding your classes and major. Having meetings with your academic advisor will be very helpful to you. They are there to guide you in the right direction and help you out in any way they can. 

Put Yourself Out There 

One of the best things about college is that you get the chance to meet people from all over the world. It’s not always easy putting yourself out there, but during the first month, most students will feel the same way as you. Join clubs, study groups, intramurals, etc. Even if you’re scared, put yourself out there. 

Find Your Quiet Place 

From going to class, eating at the cafeteria, and living in the dorms, you’ll be surrounded by people most of the time. If you need your space and some quiet time, find a spot on campus that lets you have time to yourself. 

Get A Good Night’s Sleep 

Lack of sleep is what causes the most stress, so please make sure you’re getting good sleep every night. There will be nights where you and your friends stay up late studying and getting to know each other, but if you don’t get enough hours of sleep you won’t feel so great the next morning. 

Be True To Yourself 

College is a chance to have a fresh start, but don’t lose sight of your values and beliefs. You’ll be figuring out new things about yourself, but don’t feel that you have to act a certain way or be someone different just to fit in. Be true to yourself and let your light shine to others. 

Take in every moment during your first month on campus. Be open to change, new opportunities, and keep an open mind. Enjoy the beautiful Napa Valley and remember that your PUC family is here for you! 

 

Tips For A Great Move-In Day!

Move-in day is exciting! You arrive at your new home-away-from-home, you get to meet your new room and lots of new people, and you get to move into your new room! As exciting as it is, it can also be a little overwhelming so here are some tips to help you prepare for move-in day. We can’t wait to see you! 

Arrive On Time 

Keep note of what time check-in starts. It’s smart to move-in as soon as you can because it is a process. From checking-in with the front desk to fill out papers, to finally moving into your room, it can take longer than you think. Also the earlier you move-in, the more of a chance you will get a good parking spot.

Label Your Boxes and Containers 

If you are using boxes or containers to pack your things, label them. It’ll be helpful to remind yourself which of your items are in each box or container. It also makes unpacked MUCH faster. 

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Wash Sheets & Towels Beforehand 

It’s good to wash your bedsheets and towels before moving-in so it’s fresh and clean in your dorm room. Also, who wants to spend their first few days of college doing laundry?  

Clean Your Room Before Moving-In

Before you move your things in, make sure you do a quick clean. Disinfect your shelves, dressers, and desks. Vacuum or sweep the floor and clean your windows. Having large trash bags will also be helpful to you. After a hot summer, your room might be dusty so it’s smart to do a quick clean of your room before you bring your stuff in and unpack. 

Use A Dolly 

The dorm does provide dollies, but they are limited. If you don’t have a dolly and need one, ask your front desk. If you own a dolly, bring it with you. Having a dolly will make things easier for you to bring your things from your car to your room, especially big appliances like a fridge.  

Bring Tools & Supplies 

Tools and supplies such as scissors and command strips will come in handy when you move into your dorm room. Scissors are a tool you’ll need whether you’re opening up boxes or plastic packages. Command strips will help you decorate your room, like hanging up string lights or picture frames. You can’t put nails in your walls, so command strips are an easy way to hang things on your walls. 

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Have Water & Snacks 

Moving in takes a lot of time and work. It’s important to have cold water and snacks to keep you hydrated and energized during the process. You don’t want to get hangry while moving-in! (Once you’re all moved-in, reward yourself to a delicious meal!) 

Have Bathroom Essentials 

Don’t pack your toiletries at the bottom of the bag or box. Make sure you have easy access to the things you might need right away. Don’t forget to put toilet paper and soap in the bathroom right away!

Keep Receipts & Packaging

Once you move-in, you might realize you won’t actually use some of the things you bought. Keep your receipts and try not to damage the packaging boxes so you can return those items. We can all use some extra cash. 

Make a Shopping List 

You may realize there are things you forgot. You’re not alone, it happens to the best of us. Start a list with your roommate. A trip to Napa Target might be in your future.

Hopefully, these tips will help make your move-in day go a little smoother. Once you get to your designated residence hall, do not hesitate to ask the dean, RA, or dorm staff any questions or concerns you have. We can’t wait to see you around campus! 

Note: Be sure you carefully read your communications from Student Life to understand what COVID-19 safety precautions will be in place for move-in day this year and how that might alter your plans!

Decorate Your Dorm Room Like A Pro 

One of the best things about moving into your dorm is that you get the chance to decorate it! Since this will be your home-away-from-home, it’s important to make it your own. It’s never too early to start planning, here are a few suggestions to help you get started. 

Cozy Bedding 

Your bedding is what will really make your room feel like home. Invest in a bedding set that fits your style and comfort needs. Remember, you can never have too many pillows!

Table Lamp

Table lamps are great additions to every dorm room. Not only will they add extra lighting, but softer lighting as well. Target and Amazon have great selections allowing you to find the right one to fit your style. 

Rugs 

From a neutral rug to a patterned rug, buying one will add character to your room. If you’re not sure what your roommate’s style will be, play it safe and buy a more neutral one. 

Comfy Chair 

Whether you need a great desk chair, or you prefer something cozy and cute in the corner, it can’t hurt to have additional seating. 

String Lights 

Many college students buy string lights to decorate their room adding some much-needed ambiance. They obviously come in tons of shapes and colors and can literally go anywhere. It’s a no-brainer. 

Photos 

You can never go wrong with using photos to decorate your room. Stick them on your wall in a cool grid, frame some, there’s really no limit. Having photos of your friends and family is a great way to make the place feel like home. 

Wall Art 

Add more charm into your room by decorating it with wall art, like posters and picture prints. Just make sure that you use tape or damage free hooks to place them on your wall. 

It can be tough figuring out what style you want your room to be, but the process is fun. Hopefully, these decorating ideas give you some inspiration for what you want in your dorm room. 

Note: Be sure you carefully read your communications from Student Life and regularly check the Fall Campus Plan webpage to stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 safety precautions PUC will be enforcing.

Dorm Room Additions

You may think you will only use your dorm room to sleep but sometimes your college dorm room becomes … everything: your bedroom, kitchen, study area, sometimes even your gym. So you’ll want to come prepared. Here are a few dorm room ‘must-haves’ to add to your packing list! 

Blankets

Blankets are the best and if you ask me, you can never have enough. Not only will they keep you warm but they’ll help make your room cozier and give it a more homey feeling, plus, they look nice! Feeling a little anxious? Give a weighted blanket a try. 

Check out Target and Amazon for comfy and affordable blankets. 

A Fridge & Microwave 

Investing in a fridge and microwave will save your life. It’s better to have your own fridge in your room instead of always having to go to the dorm kitchen to store your food. You won’t have to worry about someone stealing your food or drinks because it will be right in your room. You will also have a place to store water and microwavable meals. Owning your own microwave comes in handy when you have those late-night craves of noodles. 

Check out Target to find good quality fridges and microwaves

A Coffee & Tea Maker 

If you are a huge coffee or tea drinker, you should definitely invest in buying a coffee or tea maker. It will save you time and money. 

Check out Target for coffee or tea makers. 

An Electric Water Kettle 

An electric water kettle is a convenient addition to college life. It quickly heats your water so you can sip on your hot cocoa or enjoy a cup of noodles. 

Check out Target or Amazon for affordable electric water kettles.   

Dinnerware & Flatware  

Having your own dinnerware and flatware in your room is useful for when you cook for yourself or with your friends. Instead of buying plastic plates, bowls and utensils, buy reusable ones so you never run out. Don’t forget dish soap! 

Target has affordable dinnerware and flatware for your dorm room. 

Cleaning Supplies 

Cleaning supplies are always a must. It’s good to keep your room nice and tidy, and having cleaning supplies will help you out with that. Buy disinfecting wipes or sprays to keep your desk, sink, and drawers clean. A dishwashing wand is also very useful when you have to wash your dishes. 

If you can’t stand your floor being dirty, you should invest in a vacuum. Amazon has a great one that’s easy to store and it’s affordable!  

Storage Containers 

Dorm rooms are small so it’s super useful to buy storage containers. Baskets, bins, and utility carts are a great way to keep all your things organized while saving space. You’ll have a place to put your food, personal items, cleaning supplies, and even clothes.

Check out Target, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls to find storage containers that will fit all your things and go with your room aesthetic or just order from Amazon. 

A Laundry Hamper

Getting a laundry hamper shouldn’t even be a question. This is a need (no matter how much you don’t like doing laundry). Where else do you expect to put your dirty clothes? Don’t forget detergent and fabric softener!

Target obviously has these too. 

Power Strip/extension cord

Sometimes the outlets in your room are either too far or in an odd spot for you. Buying an extension cord will help keep all your things charged near you and in places that work for you. 

Reusable Bags

You will thank yourself for getting reusable bags. Especially in California, places charge you for buying a bag so having a reusable bag will save you money and help you carry all your things. Besides shopping, they are useful for moving your things into the dorm. If you forgot to bring some with you the College Market has some for sale! 

A First-Aid Kit 

It’s smart to have a first aid kit packed and ready in your room. Having bandages and alcohol wipes will come in handy in the times you need them. It’s also good to have medicine in your room in case you get sick or have a headache.

Mattress Pad

If you’re a sensitive sleeper or just want extra comfort, get a mattress pad. It’ll help make your bed firmer and less lumpy. 

Target has lots to choose from. 

Shower Essentials 

Besides your hair products and body wash, always have an extra towel in case your other one is in the laundry. Also, don’t forget your shower shoes! 

A Fan 

Whether you like a breeze or some ambient noise, a fan is always a good addition to your room. 

Trash Can 

You’re going to need a trash can in your room. Try to find one that doesn’t take up a lot of space and don’t forget trash bags.

A Piece Of Home

Whether you bring a bunch of photographs, your favorite mug, or a special pillow, it’s always nice to bring a piece of home with you to school to provide a little extra comfort for the days you feel homesick. 

It’s no secret buying things for your dorm room can get expensive, so always check for deals online or in-store and lookout for student discounts. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with all the things that come with moving into the dorms, remember to have some fun!

Note: Be sure you carefully read your communications from Student Life and regularly check the Fall Campus Plan webpage to stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 safety precautions PUC will be enforcing.

Caroling the Nativity: Stories & a Playlist from the Department of Music

By Becky St. Clair

Have you ever watched a movie without a soundtrack? Imagine a silent scene of a forest in the early morning with fog drifting around the trees and an occasional bird or fox or squirrel darting out and then back in. This could be a creepy horror movie, a documentary about ecosystems, a war drama, a Hallmark Christmas film, or something else entirely. Without the soundtrack, it’s hard to know how to feel or what to expect. Music is a powerful and effective way to set the mood of a scene, and no story would be the same without it. 

Christmas has a soundtrack, too, and though it’s different for every person, we all find joy and comfort in the familiar music of the holiday. Yes, some of it is “Santa Baby” or “Linus & Lucy” style, but even some people who aren’t particularly religious will admit that “O, Holy Night” brings tears to their eyes.

In this month’s blog, we’re exploring the story of the Nativity through carols. At the end of the post there is a link to a playlist of all the pieces we review here today, so you can carol your way through the story of Christmas. (Pssst: Feel free to sing along. We won’t judge!)

“Gabriel’s Message” a Basque folk Christmas carol

Originally based on a 13th/14th-century carol called “Angelus ad Virginem,” this carol tells the story of the angel Gabriel visiting Mary to deliver the news that will change her life forever. Though not a well-known or popular carol, it has been recorded by popular artists such as Charlotte Church and Sting. A cheerful and catchy repeating line throughout the song is “Most highly favored lady; gloria!”

“Magnificat” by Johann Sebastian Bach

This lively piece is the only carol that comes straight from the Bible. The text, found in Luke 1:46-55, is titled in scripture as “Mary’s Song.” She has just found out–at 14 years old, mind you–that she’s pregnant, carrying the most important baby the world will ever know, and she has made her way to visit her cousin, who is also expecting an important child. Upon her arrival she bursts into song, proclaiming her adoration of God and her appreciation for what he has done. There are some unexpected political/historical points of significance in Mary’s song, as well. (Read this article for one perspective.) This piece was actually Bach’s first major liturgical composition on a Latin text.

“O Little Town of Bethlehem” by Phillips Brooks & Lewis H. Redner

This carol is, of course, is a poetic commentary on the important place this little town became, all because a specific baby was born there. Brooks spent Christmas 1866 in Bethlehem and was inspired to pen the lyrics known ‘round the Christian world today. The tune was composed by his church organist back home in Boston, though the tune we know in the Adventist Church is not the one they use in England and in many liturgical churches–they use instead an arrangement of an old folk tune put together by Ralph Vaughan Williams called “Forest Green.”

“Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head” an Appalachian folk carol

This is a piece collected by Kentucky native John Jacob Niles, who began collecting folk songs and composing his own as a teenager in the early 20th century. The tune is beautiful, and it paints the scene of Jesus lying in his manger bed, while also pointing out that many terrible people sleep in “feather beds” so one’s station in life doesn’t matter so much as one’s character. 

“Away in a Manger” by an unknown composer

Though the text has been mis-attributed to Martin Luther, the fact remains that its origins are still relatively unknown; though it has been determined that the carol is most likely American. It depicts the Christ child in the stable on the night he was born, surrounded by what one might typically expect in a stable. Though in America we typically use a tune written by organist and songwriter James R. Murray, in the U.K. the more commonly used tune is “Cradle Song,” composed (interestingly) by a carpenter in Philadelphia by the name of William J. Kirkpatrick.

“While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night” by multiple composers/writers

In the late 17th century, Nahum Tate, a British poet known for his metrical psalms, turned his attention to the story of Christ’s birth in the book of Luke. He wrote a metrical version of the story of the shepherds so it could be sung directly from scripture, and he called it “Song of the Angels at the Nativity of our Blessed Saviour.” Interestingly, a specific tune was not created for it; rather, publications of the text indicated it could be sung to any number of tunes “of common measure.” 

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!” by Felix Mendelssohn, William Cummings, & Charles Wesley

Surprise! This wasn’t actually originally a Christmas song at all. Well, okay, that’s kind of a stretch. The tune was originally from one of Mendelssohn’s cantatas and had nothing to do with anything sacred at all–it was actually in honor of the 400th anniversary of the invention of the printing press, and paid homage to Johannes Gutenberg. However, in the mid-19th century, a former choir boy took the tune and put it together with a sacred poem from a collection of Christmas hymns and poems by Charles Wesley, creating the carol we know today. It is now regularly performed in celebration of the visit the angels paid to the shepherds to announce the birth of the Savior.

“The Coventry Carol” a traditional English carol

Dating from the Coventry mystery plays of the 16th century, this carol is one of the most hauntingly beautiful tunes ever written. One interesting thing to note is that it’s in a minor key–a rarity in the collection of familiar carols–but there’s a reason for that. While we all likely recognize the tune, it’s doubtful many have stopped to ponder the meaning of the words. This is likely the only carol honoring the part of the story where Herod loses his mind over being usurped by a baby of lowly birth and orders The Massacre of the Innocents. It is, however, an important part of the story of Jesus’ birth, because his life was spared and God’s plan of salvation marched on.

“The Adoration of the Magi” by Ottorino Respighi

We decided to try something different at this part of the story (other than “We Three Kings”), and opted to introduce our readers to something new. This piece is one of three known as “Trittico Botticelliano,” composed to musically illustrate a triptych of paintings by Sandro Botticelli. There are so many beautiful elements in this piece–the ethereal double-reed instrumentation woven throughout, the incorporation of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” the rich support of the strings, the calculated use of percussion–you can clearly imagine the kings making their way to worship the Christ child as you listen.

“Joy the World” by Isaac Watts & Lowell Mason

We end our caroling journey with one based not on the Nativity, but on the second Advent, and taken not from the New Testament, but from Psalms. Published by Watts in 1719, the poem was originally titled, “The Messiah’s Coming and Kingdom,” celebrating the kingly rule of Christ over all of heaven and earth. In 1836, Mason published the poem with a tune he attributed to Handel, but over the last 180-or-so years, no one has been able to figure out exactly which Handel tune he was referring to, though it’s suspected that some bars and lines of melody were inspired by parts of Handel’s “Messiah.” It is a fitting end to our musical Nativity to sing joyfully that the Lord has come. Let Heaven and nature sing!

Check out our playlist of the above carols on Spotify. (It’s free!)

Organizing Your Dorm Room

We hope you’re super excited to finally have the REAL college experience. That means moving into your new dorm room! It’s important to save as much space as you can, especially if you are living with a roommate. Space will always be limited. What’s great is places like Target and Amazon sell awesome items to help you save space and stay organized. Here are four simple items to help keep your dorm room looking and functioning great. 

Storage Ottomans 

You can never have enough seating in your room for lounging, chatting with friends, or study groups. While storage ottomans give you an extra seat, they also help maximize your space. They are a great spot to store movies or extra supplies that might not fit in your cupboards. 

Under Bed Storage Bins 

You truly cannot have enough of these. With a variety of sizes, storage bins or boxes fit great under your bed and save space in your room. From plastic bins to fabric boxes, you’ll have many options on how to store your shoes, clothes, or items rarely used. If you want to make things easier for yourself, buy clear plastic bins to see which of your items are in each box. 

Foldable Storage Cubes 

Foldable storage cubes can help organize your snacks, toiletries, and school supplies. They’re easy to store and fit perfectly on shelves, inside your closet, or under your bed. 

Command Hooks 

Command hooks are useful for many reasons. They won’t just help hang frames or string lights around your room, but they can also be used as a place to hang your keys, bags, or towels. The best part is that they won’t damage your walls! 

These are just a few of the MANY ways to organize your room so look around,  plan ahead, and get some great items before you arrive on campus. 

Note: Be sure you carefully read your communications from Student Life and regularly check the Fall Campus Plan webpage to stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 safety precautions PUC will be enforcing.

Your 2020-21 PUC Packing List

After a quarter of remote learning it’s time! You’re finally coming to campus, now you need to pack. On top of trying to decide what things from home you want to bring with you, there are a lot of things you’ll need to buy. So to help you out here’s a pretty thorough list of things to make sure you bring along! And remember, if you forget something, you can always take a trip to Napa or run across the street to the College Market!

Room Needs: 

  • Clorox wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hand soap
  • Washable face masks
  • Medications (if needed)
  • First aid kit
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Paper towels
  • Bedding
  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Room fan
  • Earphones
  • Powerstrip
  • Hangers
  • Laundry basket and supplies
  • Food, snacks, and water
  • Fridge
  • Microwave
  • Kitchenware
  • Food storage containers
  • Dish soap and sponge
  • Bath towels
  • Shower mat
  • Flip flops and/or slides
  • Vacuum or Swiffer
  • Trash bin and trash bags

Note: It’s a good idea to coordinate with your roommate so your room doesn’t end up with duplicates of the same items, but there’s still plenty you can get on your own!

Suggested Items:

  • Mattress pad
  • Desk lamp
  • Desk organizer
  • Storage bins
  • Air fresheners
  • Hot pot
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Mug
  • Command strips
  • Umbrella
  • Wall decor
  • Calendar/bulletin board
  • Luggage (for school trips)
  • Phone charger

Clothes (your space will be limited, so only bring what you will wear):

  • Undergarments
  • Sleepwear
  • Cold and warm weather items
  • Rain jacket
  • Boots
  • Sneakers
  • Socks
  • Athletic wear
  • Business attire (for interviews and presentations)

Toiletries: 

  • Shower caddy
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Body soap
  • Hair grooming tools
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss
  • Lotion
  • Deodorant
  • Nail cutters/file
  • Lip balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Skincare products

School Supplies:

  • Backpack/Bag
  • Notebooks
  • Pens & pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Folders
  • Lined paper
  • Planner
  • Sticky notes
  • Index cards
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Whiteout
  • USB flash drive
  • Calculator
  • Clicker (if necessary for class)
  • Computer (not required! Just super helpful!)

If you’re planning to get a campus job, bring the following: 

  • Drivers license
  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Social Security Number (SSN) card

Note: In general, just a passport is sufficient. If you don’t have a passport, then you will need either your driver’s license + your birth certificate or your driver’s license + your SSN card. You must bring original documents, not photocopies or screenshots of them. You will not be able to start working until your ID has been verified. Visit puc.edu/studentemployment for more information; see the Form I-9 PDF.

If you’re planning to have a car on campus, bring the following: 

  • Drivers license
  • Registration card
  • Copy of car insurance

Stores Nearby (in case you forgot to buy something):

  • College Market (Angwin)
  • Ace Hardware (Angwin)
  • Safeway (St. Helena)
  • Target (Napa)
  • Walmart (Napa)
  • Marshalls (Napa)
  • Bed, Bath & Beyond (Santa Rosa)

Banking Needs: 

  • Silverado Credit Union (Angwin)
  • Bank of America (St. Helena)
  • Wells Fargo (St. Helena)
  • Bank of the West (St. Helena)
  • Chase (Napa)

We hope you’re getting excited to arrive on campus because we are!

Note: Be sure you carefully read your communications from Student Life and regularly check the Fall Campus Plan webpage to stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 safety precautions PUC will be enforcing.

Roommate 101

Whether you’re used to sharing your space or this will be your first experience, moving into your college dorm room and meeting your roommate is likely to be a nervewracking experience, even if you’re moving in with a friend! Here are a few tips to help you be the best roommate you can be. 

Be Friendly

First things first, be friendly. Even if you’re shy it’s important for you to make an effort. If you’re rooming with someone you’ve never met, try reaching out to them before you arrive on campus. Become social media friends, plan what things you can each bring for the room, and get acquainted. Not only will it make sharing space more comfortable but it will help to have someone to wander campus with!

Now that you’re friends, here are some things to keep in mind to allow for peaceful cohabitation!

Communicate 

Communication is key. Try to keep each other in the loop about all sorts of things. Share your schedules, check-in with each other before letting other people in your shared space, give fair warning about pulling all-nighters.  As you get more comfortable with each other, try to let them know if you’re having a tough day or aren’t feeling well. Even the tiny details about yourself can make a big difference in your living situation. 

Address Any Issues 

If you are having issues or feeling uncomfortable about something, speak up. Usually simply addressing a concern leads to a quick solution as long as you treat each other respectfully. If you need extra help or advice, talk to your RA or dean. 

Compromise 

In case you have a disagreement, compromise with each other! We can’t always get our own way so be sure to come to a solution that works well for both of you.

Set Boundaries 

Make sure you give yourselves some boundaries. Whether it’s wanting your own space, needing quiet after a certain time, sharing food or clothes, or any number of things, it’s important to set some ground rules so everyone is comfortable. 

Pick Your Battles 

There are bound to be times where you will get annoyed or disagree with your roommate. Before you get mad and get in a fight, think about the situation and ask yourself if it’s worth arguing over. There will definitely be times where you will need to talk the situation out but if you can, take a step back, take the high road, and learn how to let the little things go. 

Be Aware Of Your Bad Habits 

The older we get the more self-awareness we gather. Becoming aware of some of your less positive habits can be a real benefit when sharing living space. If you know you have a tendency to be messy or leave all the lights on you can try and be more mindful of those things. 

Wear Headphones 

One of the best things you can do to keep a positive roommate relationship is to invest in a quality pair of headphones. Be considerate and wear them when you’re listening to music or watching a movie whether it’s late at night or not. We even recommend wearing them while you study so your roommate won’t feel like they’re bothering you.

You Don’t Always Have To Hangout

Just because you’re roommates doesn’t mean you always have to be together. You already live together, so it’s okay to have space from each other. If you love hanging out, that’s great! But if you want to have dinner without each other or have a different group of friends, that’s totally ok. In fact, it can create an even healthier friendship if you have some time apart. 

There are millions of ways to have a positive and healthy roommate relationship, these are just some of our suggestions we hope you find helpful. Keep these tips in mind throughout the year and remember to treat your roommate the way you would want to be treated. Having a roommate is a great experience. Who knows, your roommate could end up being a lifelong friend!

Note: Be sure you carefully read your communications from Student Life and regularly check the Fall Campus Plan webpage to stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 safety precautions PUC will be enforcing.