A Thank You to ALS

Mallory Marrs is a freshman at Hanover College, located in southern Indiana. She is very involved in activities such as Dance Marathon, cross country, and she is the Editor in Chief for the Odyssey Online. She wrote this article in memory of her uncle, who passed away in 2006 after his battle with ALS, and is happy she could honor him in this way.

I decided to do a quick visit home overnight the other day, and I was packing up last-minute items. I was looking over my dresser to make sure I didn’t miss anything, then something red caught my eye. It took me a minute to realize what it was. It was my ALS Association bracelet, with the phrase “never give up” on it. I had to stop for a minute and hold it. I couldn’t think of the last time I wore it or seen it, but it popped up on my dresser as I was packing up to leave for school for a few weeks.

I am a big believer in signs; how objects are placed into our lives at a certain time for a certain reason. I fully believe this bracelet with my motto was placed on my dresser at this time for a reason. The last few weeks of college have been a challenge. I was faced with unexpected disappointments, stress from keeping up with new schoolwork, and the pressure to live up to expectations. While usually, I thrive under these circumstances, the past few weeks had not lived up to my personal expectations and had me feeling like my usual self. Continue reading A Thank You to ALS

Raising Money and Awareness Through Music

William Gunn is currently the Director of Music at Plymouth Regional High School in New Hampshire where he directs the Concert Band, Jazz Band, Concert Choir, and Chamber Singers. William is a free-lance pianist and also sings regularly with the New Hampshire Master Chorale.

It was almost a year ago that I fell in love with Jane Babin’s poetry.  Her son, a former student of mine, had given me her book Pearls in the Pond a few months after she had passed away after an eleven year battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).  I found myself immersed in her poems, lectures, thoughts on life and mortality, and coping with her disease.

In January, I commissioned another former student, a freshman music composition major at Ithaca College, to write a choral piece set to one of Jane’s poem.  Her son was in chorus and band for his entire high school career, so I couldn’t think of a better way to honor her words by setting it to music. Jane’s sisters would often tell me that she loved watching videos of him in the concerts.  In conjunction with this commission, the entire choir has teamed with The ALS Association of Northern New England to raise money and awareness for ALS throughout the semester. Continue reading Raising Money and Awareness Through Music