Friday, December 13, 2013


Too small for U. S. Cents,
Too rare to be in historical museum,
Too heavy to make sense,
Too abstract to dwell in the hands of the child.
A shooting star soars cross the sky,
A spark flashes through the squeezing rocks,
A lightening flies by,
A basket of wool to make warm socks.
All promises freeze like ice,
All greetings ring like bells.
All gamblers focus on the dice,
All smiles ripple under the spells.
Hides behind the time that flies,
Dances in the hands that knit ties.
Hope is like the invisible air,
It makes stirs everywhere…

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Orchestra of Dr. Mark Laycock


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Audition for WSU Symphony Orchestra
2013-14 Season
August 16 (winds/brass/percussion)
August 19 (strings)
Experienced string, woodwind, brass, and percussion players are invited to audition for the 2013-14 WSU Symphony Orchestra.  The upcoming season includes opera, oratorio, and popular performances.  Repertoire highlights include Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 ("Pastoral"), Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 2, Saint-Saens' Symphony No. 3 ("Organ"), and Kodaly's Hary Janos Suite. Soloists will include international opera star Samuel Ramey, as well as faculty artists David Hunsicker, trumpet, Julie Bees, piano, and Lynne Davis, organ.  While the majority of orchestra members are music majors, students from all academic disciplines are welcome to audition.  (Private lessons are also available to all instrumentalists regardless of major.)
Audition Information
WSU Symphony Orchestra auditions for string students will be held Monday, August 19.  Students interested in auditioning for the WSU Symphony Orchestra need to sign up for an audition time on the orchestra audition schedule, located on the bulletin board outside of DFAC Room C104.  The orchestra audition will consist of a major scale (two or three octaves) and requested passages from Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 (available for download below).  Violinists may choose to audition on either first or second part; some rotation of seating will occur from concert to concert.  For further information, contact Dr. Mark Laycock, Director of Orchestras, at 316-978-6202 or
Winds and Percussion
WSU Symphony Orchestra auditions for woodwind, brass, and percussion students will be held Friday, August 16.  Students interested in auditioning for the WSU Symphony Orchestra need to sign up for an audition time on the orchestra audition schedule, located on the bulletin board outside of DFAC Room C104.  The orchestra audition will consist of a major scale (two or three octaves), a prepared solo or orchestral excerpt(s) approximately five minutes in length, and a short passage of sight-reading.  For further information, contact Dr. Mark Laycock, Director of Orchestras, at 316-978-6202 or
Parts (PDF):
Violin I
Violin II


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Wichita State University Symphony Orchestra

Eighty members strong, the Wichita State University Symphony Orchestra is an auditioned ensemble comprised of undergraduate and graduate students. The orchestra performed in Carnegie Hall in May 2011 and completed a concert tour of the Aragon region of Spain as invited participants in the 2008 International Youth Orchestra Festival; other notable performances include the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago and numerous appearances at the state conference of the Kansas Music Educators Association.  Recent collaborations include performances with the classic rock band Kansas and the arena multimedia concert Video Games Live.  The orchestra presents a minimum of three major concerts each semester, together with opera productions, oratorios, and an annual concerto-aria competition.  Recent repertoire spans nearly 300 years of standard orchestral literature, including Puccini's opera Suor Angelica, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (“Choral”), Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique, Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony, Stravinsky's Petrushka Ballet Suite, and Dean Roush's Ars Poetica.
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WSU College of Fine Arts and School of Music

Boasting the only comprehensive College of Fine Arts in Kansas. Wichita State University also supports one of the most respected schools of music in the nation, featuring an exceptional faculty whose work is recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts and national and regional symphonies, theatres and opera companies across the country.  The size and international reputation of the School of Music create an exceptional range of opportunities with faculty who, while internationally reputed in their own right, are intensely focused on the individual student.  Located in the largest city in Kansas, WSU offers students and faculty exposure to and participation in a stimulating variety of professional artistic and cultural endeavors.  WSU students also have extensive opportunities for internships with a myriad of organizations in the metropolitan area.  The longstanding partnership with the professional Wichita Symphony Orchestra, whose membership consists largely of WSU faculty, students, and alumni, is but one example.  The WSU School of Music is a living laboratory for learning, where musicians explore the unknown, learn how to develop their talent into professional skills, and discover first-hand the true meaning of artistry.


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Dr. Mark Laycock, Director of Orchestras

Dr. Mark Laycock is an Associate Professor of Music at Wichita State University, where he holds the Ann Walenta Faculty of Distinction Endowed Professorship.  He was recognized with the WSU Excellence in Creative Activity Award (2012) and the College of Fine Arts Excellence in Teaching Award (2007).  He serves as Director of Orchestras and Coordinator of Strings.  WSU Symphony Orchestra appearances under his direction include the 2008 International Festival of Youth Orchestras in Zaragoza, Spain, a May 2011 concert at Carnegie Hall, and multiple invited performances at Kansas Music Educators Association In-Service Workshops.  Dr. Laycock is a member of the Board of Directors of the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic; he serves as Chair of Orchestra Activities.  His work as guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator spans 24 states, including the leadership of all-state orchestras in Alabama, Arizona, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, and Washington; recent engagements include the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and district and regional ensembles in Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Nevada, as well as the Arkansas All-State Orchestra.  He was an adjudicator for the 2011 National Orchestra Festival and a clinician for the event in 2012.  His appearances with professional ensembles include the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Wichita Grand Opera, and Opera Kansas, as well as orchestras in Slovakia and Canada.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bath Me In Your Tears by Joe Fazio


No greater comfort can be found,
then tears of love and caring.
When the love of another, does rise
from ones heat, and overflow in tears,
know ye well, that greater love,
does not exist.

Bath me in your tears, oh pure and snow white dove,
and you will shower me, with goodness hope and love.

Bath me in your tears, my lifes an angry sea.
Bath me in your tears, bring tranquility to me.
Bath me in you tears, and wash away my fear.

Hold me close my love, that I might know you care.

Bath me in your tears, and mend my lonely heart.
Kiss me, love me...tell me... we shall never part.

Bath me in your tears, a heavens mist of dew,
that I might see the light, with help from only you.

And when my life is over, and I am put to rest,
I'll take your tears of love and joy...
for they're the very best.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong Special to the Gazette June - July, 2009

Effective Teaching

Nine Year Summary of Articles, 2000 to 2009

National Teacher of the Year

On April 26, 2009, President Obama hosted the four 2009 finalists for America’s top national teaching honor, the National Teacher of the Year award.
Alex Kajitani, who teaches mathematics at Mission Middle School in the Escondido Union (Elementary) School District in San Diego County was one of the four finalists.  California state superintendent of public instruction Jack O’Connell says that Alex is best known for his use of rap music to connect with his students, but his real talent lies in his ability to reach those students who have all but given up on school.  Alex employs this unusual medium because of his deep concern about the achievement gap and its impact on his students, as well as on other students struggling in schools nation-wide.
We featured Alex in our December 2007 column.  Click here to read his story and listen to his rap songs. 

Alex Kajitani believes:
As a society, we cannot afford to produce 18-year-olds who have only a sixth grade education.  We cannot allow an achievement gap that preys upon our ethnic minorities, especially our Latino and African American students, to persist.

Teaching is not just what we do, it is what we are.  We are a group of dedicated, passionate professionals who enter our classrooms each morning not only to teach our students about the world as it is, but for the world as it can be.  We live on a planet shaped by war, hunger, disease, and the destruction of our environment.  Yet, we also live in a world in which we, as educators, can invoke in our students the determination and knowledge to create peace, equity, and compassion.  As educators, we are not accomplishing this alone in our classrooms, standing in front of students and desks.  By being teachers and embodying the commitment that is inherent to living and working as teachers, we are inspiring, creating, and invoking in our students the pride and confidence to make this world a better place.  Above all, we are doing it together.

The other finalists for the prestigious 2009 National Teacher of the Year award were Susan Elliott, an English and Social Studies teacher at Highlands Ranch High School in Highland Ranch, Colorado; Anthony Mullen, a high school special education teacher at ARCH School in Greenwich, Connecticut and who was chosen National Teacher of the Year; and Cynthia Cole Rigsbee, a sixth through eighth grade reading teacher at Gravelly Hill Middle School in Efland, North Carolina. 
America’s Top Teachers

Alex is featured in the opening chapter of a book that highlights 18 former National Teacher of the Year Award winners and finalists.  

The book, Conversations with America’s Best Teachers by J. William Towne, is due for release in July 2009 (see:
If you would like to be an amazing educator, pick up this book!  It features teachers who share their innovative methods in the hope that children everywhere will benefit.
This is a book you need to read if you want to be—not just a better teacher—but one of the best teachers.  Here's why:
Ineffective teachers are all alike (which is why they are ineffective), whereas effective teachers are unique.
Effective teachers do not limit themselves to doing the same things, thinking the same ways, or behaving just like everyone else.  

Towne interviews 18 of the best teachers in the United States in this book.  Not a single one is like any of the others, yet each is very successful with their students.  There is Alex Kajitani, whose class is composed of high-risk students, yet he has no discipline issues because of a nifty “classroom procedures” rap that he wrote and performed; a teacher who started a coaching cadre; a teacher who makes his classroom so inviting for students that they rush into class; and a teacher who applies for grants to fund his creative teaching ideas.
Successful teachers “steal” from other successful teachers.  They always have their ears tuned and eyes wide open for good ideas that they can adopt and adapt for the unique needs of their own classrooms.  Read this book, steal some ideas, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a highly effective teacher yourself!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cello, Cellists, OSU, Nu, Lessons Private and Group...Thanks A Ton 4 Your Love, Patience, and Sunshine Power! on Meredith and More...

Dr. Meredith Blecha-Wells leads a dynamic career dedicated to both performing and teaching. Currently, she is the Assistant Professor of Cello at Oklahoma State University, where she was recently awarded the College of Arts and Science Junior Faculty Award for Scholarly Excellence. Dr. Blecha-Wells received a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Cello Performance from Indiana University, studying under Janos Starker and Helga Winold. Additionally, she holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, where she served as the teaching assistant to Distinguished Professor Alan Harris.

An avid performer, Dr. Blecha-Wells has participated in several festivals including the Taos School of Music, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and the Artur Balsam Ensemble Classes. As an orchestral musician, she is currently a member of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and has held principal and assistant principal positions with several orchestras including the Richmond Symphony and Spoleto Festival USA.

A devoted teacher, Dr. Blecha-Wells has taught throughout the United States and has most recently given classes at the University of Kansas, Middle Tennessee State University, the University of Northern Colorado, Florida Gulf Coast University, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Georgia. In addition to her teaching position at Oklahoma State University, she spends her summers on the faculty at Cellos @ Cimarroncita in New Mexico and on the staff of the Colorado Suzuki Institute in Beaver Creek Colorado. Previous teaching posts include Point CounterPoint Chamber Music Camp in Vermont, Indiana University Summer Music Clinic, the Hochstein School of Music and Dance, the Eastman Community Music School, the Indianapolis Academy of Music, and Indiana University’s String Academy.

Check out her link here:


link #2:

link #3:

Notable String Faculty, peers,  or Administrators from OSU, Nu or Oklahoma who encouraged Sheng Wu to continue his efforts in cello playing...
  random order of names... (2006-2010, 2010-2014)

Meredith Blecha Wells,
Laura Talbott,
Scott Jackson,
Brant Adams,
Annie Duggan,
Julie Cohen,
Brad Henry, 
Robert Hasty,
Morton Schapiro,
Burns Hargis,
Trenton Swanson,
Uwe Gordon,
Evan Tonsing,
Jefferey Lastrapes,
Droste Douglas,
John Clinton,
Peter Marks,
Gayla Foster, 
Denise McClurg,

Heather Lanners,
Thomas Lanners,
George Speed,
Pi Ju Chiang,
Gerald Frank,
Natasha Kaurin-Karaca,
Michael Raiber,
Christy Fine,
Emily Clinton,
David Boren,
Molly Boren,
J. D. Henneberry,
David Henneberry,
Kimberly Henry,
Patricia Lee,

Saturday, August 10, 2013

You Will Never Be A Caesar


When an ostrich bows it head
it is a spectacle. What a gift of sight.

If only you understood humility.
But you are stiff-necked needing upbraiding.

If a blossom, you being stiff-necked
would be understandable,
given your gold crown and leafy petals.

But we know,

you will never be a Caesar.

Eventually, the ostrich will lift its head,
for the sheer will of it—nothing more or
nothing less, as do we blossoms
at the summoning of summer sun.

We need not upbraiding, we are
the sun's subjects, for the sheer will of it—
nothing more or nothing less.

If only you understood humility.

What a gift of sight.

© 2013 emmett wheatfall
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sports (Ti Yu) On Saturday, July 20, 2013 by Average Poet


I'm not as resilient as I used to be
though I still know how to bounce
just make your move and then we'll see
if you're even worth an ounce

I've labored so many hours away
without showing much of a gain
my constant futility tends to belay
resistance to unresolved pain

that cripples those corroding joints
reluctant to bear the brunt
of shame a prideful ploy appoints
when jockeying for front.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Mermaid by Clemens Esterel


There are memories
as far as a
A castle of sand near a shore of the ocean
Days of one gone summer
One gone summer
The days of the summer when love began
There was an old hotel
on some lonely
Where we felt as the prince and the mermaid
And only the moon saw our secret kiss
Days of one gone summer
One gone summer
Dreams were born and future was new
The summer when love
was young
And again I felt your smile
on some days no
sun shone
Again I died for a kiss one night I was alone
And I never dare to forget
the tender kiss
of the little