Project II – Wes Holliday

The performance I observed was not by one group, but three competing a cappella groups competing in UMW’s A Cappella Off competition. Symfonics, One Note Stand, and Bellacapella all had great performances that night. Each group performed a few songs before moving and letting the next group on to perform rather than engaging in any actual face off, but the event was no less intense for it. Each group definitely picked the right songs for that evening; there wasn’t a performance throughout the night that sounded sloppy, and each group was great the whole way through.

Bellacapella started the night off and went up on stage with every member dressed up in a Crayola Crayon costume, and they showed their great harmony throughout their whole performance. The next group up was Symfonics, and -not to detract from the great performance of the rest of the group- but the one thing that really stuck with me was the amazing beatboxer in their group. Not only did he add a unique flair to each song, but his solo performance was something to see and is the only time I’ve ever seen dubstep a cappella.

One Note Stand wrapped up the night, and they jumped on the stage with plenty of energy. They started acting out parts of the songs they were singing, clapping and stomping along with the audience, and even stopped to sing happy birthday to a friend in the audience at one point. They

Each group put on a great performance that night, and it was great to see how much each individual person seemed to be enjoying themselves and encouraging each other along while they were singing. I haven’t ever observed an a cappella performance before, but an interesting point I hadn’t realized before was the use of conductor to keep everyone in sync. Each time I saw a group perform I realized one of the persons on stage was moving their hands in what seemed to be a sort of rhythmic timekeeping pattern, and it was really neat to see everyone on stage would start to sway and move in time seemingly subconsciously.

The environment itself was an interesting experience, one might say. The restaurant the competition took place in was packed, and it was telling of the groups’ popularity to see just how many people came to watch that night. I myself did not get to the event early enough to find seating, but being able to enjoy the performances took away any discomfort of not having a place to sit. The lights were focused on the stage the whole night, and it was interesting to note how the low chatter which comes from having so many people in one place all but vanished once a group took that stage and started to perform.

It was overall a truly enjoyable event, and all the groups did great to make it a fun evening. It was great to get an exposure to this type of music I had not been too familiar with prior to listening to the groups perform, and it was nice to see others in the audience enjoying the evening just as much. The groups seemed to have great chemistry with each other and with the crowd, and it was great to see interactions like one of the groups taking a photo with the crowd. Really my first experience with an a cappella performance probably couldn’t have been better than this.

Poject 1- Jacqueline Morillo-Vigil


By Jacqueline Morillo-Vigil

Album Release date December 13, 2013






Note from the Artist





The world is rapidly changing. New ideas and practices are happening and the traditional thinkers are not open minded as the newer generation. Change is happening all around us and this is just an important statement for all women and time for them to take a stand. Like current issues at hand like the country is currently battling inequality, feminism, and social and political injustice, mental and physical health problems. There are many different opinions about it currently from both men and women. Though one of the biggest is the wage gap between men and women. A woman only makes $.77 to the $1 compared to men. They get paid less than men do for the same position and job in the work place. Even race plays a part in it which is part of the social justice. Though most politicians tend to disagree and that the United States is an equal opportunity country. Look who is in congress and the house. Majority are white male men with only a handful of women and men of color. They clearly do not see the problem but the rest of the country does. Women and men also become a part of the injustice by going along with what society perceives them. If they aren’t up to the standard some people will go to extreme measures to change their bodies. Like surgery or extreme dieting etc. Also by acting and thinking a certain way to fit into society. This doesn’t make the person necessarily bad; it’s society because they perceive it as a norm for people to be that way.

Born on September 4, 1981, in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé Knowles first captured the public’s eye as lead vocalist of the R&B group Destiny’s Child. She later established a pop solo career with her debut album Dangerously In Love, becoming one of music’s top-selling artists with sold-out tours and various awards. Knowles has also starred in several films. She married hip-hop recording artist Jay-Z in 2008. In December 2013, she surprised audiences by releasing her fifth studio album without any prior notice to a release date, self-titled Beyoncé. The type of audience Beyoncé attracts are people from ages 12-40 years of age. Mainly toward a female audience.







–           (“I took some time to live my life

–          But don’t think I’m just his little wife

–          Don’t get it twisted, get it twisted

–          This my shit, bow down bitches”)

–          Beyoncé announced that she would be taking a break from her music career at the end of January 2010. She traveled he world for a amount of time. But don’t get it twisted — she earned that trip by working hard. She didn’t get it cause she married someone wealthy.

–          (“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller”)

–          Females are taught to be “best second roles”. They learn very early that they will be better off without too much ambition. Basically, the motto is: “BEHIND every great man there is a great woman. “In the workplace, women are often expected to take on the ‘smaller’ roles. Even though so many women take degrees in science/technology/marketing/business — these fields are dominated by men. Girls are taught to shrink their opportunities, are forced to accept smaller wages, are passed over for promotion, and are told not to demand more because they be called a bitch or bossy. It is also reference to the increasing need for women to be skinny in society, it teaches that thin is beautiful, and some girls go through extreme measures (starving themselves, forcing themselves to throw up, etc) to become thin and smaller. We literally teach girls to shrink, to take up less physical space. Crossing legs and bringing our arms in.

–          (“We say to girls: “You can have ambition, but not too much

–          You should aim to be successful, but not too successful

–          Otherwise, you will threaten the man””)

–          In today’s society, women are taught to aim to be something in life, but nothing too extraordinary. They’re taught to be successful in what they do, but not too successful because they do not want to emasculate men.

–          (“Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage”)

–          Many women are taught that their only goal in life is to get married to a man that will financially support them. Many are shipped off to college to do just that or get their “Mrs. Degree”. Which most women did when colleges started accepting women in colleges. Most women just went to find a husband and not educate themselves. This reached its peak in the 50s-70s. Though today it is not as a grave problem as it used to but to a significant level it still is. According to the song Chimamanda and Beyoncé both disagree with this, they think women should aspire to more than financial support from a man through marriage.

–          (“I am expected to make my life choices

–          Always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important”)

–          Still today, girls like to keep in mind that they should be married by a certain age.

–          A potential promotion at work, an opportunity abroad etc. — none of it should ever come in the way of marriage. The vicious common idea is that you’ve somehow failed at life if you’ve never walked down the aisle. She isn’t trying to downgrade marriage at all .However it’s about how it is presented to young girls as their only salvation for an accomplished social life and to boys an opinion. There is a clear bias in the way we raise girls to be more polished than boys, make them more centered around taking care of the house, cooking etc. — everything society calls “a good wife”.

–          (“But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage

–          And we don’t teach boys the same?”)

–          Boys are not taught to be good “house-husbands” and marry well; they are expected to aspire to personal success first. If a man chooses to marry and start a family, it’s often seen as just a personal choice he makes for extra fulfillment, but girls learn from a young age that marriage is not just a goal, it’s almost not optional — an unmarried man (a “bachelor”) does not attract the same social stigma as an unmarried woman (an “old maid”).

–           (“We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are”)

–          Society usually demands that girls not have as many sexual partners as boys. If a girl has multiple partners it is viewed as sexual promiscuity, many would call her a slut. However, if a male has many sexual partners, it seen as a good thing.

–          (“I woke up like this, I woke up like this,  We flawless, ladies tell ’em’)

Beyoncé is encouraging women to be confident in their natural physical appearance.

–          —————————————————————————–





–          —————————————————————-

–           (“pageant the pain away”)

–          In the song she’s a part of a pageant, where beauty is important. By doing such events gives her and her mother validation over their insecurities.

–          (‘Pretty hurts, pretty hurts

–          We shine the light on whatever’s worse’)

–          Beyoncé has faith that this time that she will win the beauty pageant, and do so without succumbing to others’ demands and expectations of her, essentially forging her own path. While prettiness is something that is highly looked upon and highly regarded in society, it hurts for the people who are pretty and who are not. The pretty people have to hurt or fix their body to keep up with what people view as the standard, while the people who aren’t at that level are judged and are hurt by the judgment. People have a bad habit on focusing and exaggerating on the negative parts of ourselves rather than looking at our positive sides. This also refers to how people judge all the wrongs in a person and never say anything positive about them.

–          (“Tryna fix something

–          But you can’t fix what you can’t see

–          It’s my soul that needs the surgery”)

–          All the judgment and opinions will eventually make the people cave and they will try to fix their image to a standard that really doesn’t exist. This just ends up hurting them because they not only don’t need to fix themselves and meet the standard, but they are losing themselves in the process. Many people believe they can fix their flaws with aesthetic and superficial plastic surgery (boob jobs, nose lifts, etc), but the real reason they cannot find happiness, is because they need to fix what’s inside (heart and soul).

–          (Plastic smiles and denial can only take you so far

–          Then you break when the fake façade leaves you in the dark

–          You left a shattered mirror

–          And the shards of a beautiful girl”)

–          You can try and change the way you look to avoid the deeper issues, but these physical alterations are nothing but a temporary solution. Beyoncé is saying soul searching is the answer. And when a girl finally accepts her low self-esteem, then she’s only going to see herself in the darkness; she’ll only see the ugly and not the beauty in herself. Also the fact when you take off all your makeup and you analyze your reflection in the middle of the night and you find another flaw, how all the effort you put yourself through to reach your goal, there’s another thing that’s is wrong with yourself. Now that the girl is searching inside herself she realizes appearance doesn’t matter and she’s done but is hurt by it. Looks are no longer important, (“shattered mirror”), and the beautiful girl was left in the shards that were left behind.

–          ————————————————————————————-


When listening to the album there was lots of different moods, genres and meanings throughout the album. It had lots of beats, up-lifting club type music. With some up-beat futuristic style of sounds. Though the artist still remained to use very little backup singers through a part of her album. Then the mood shifted a bit darker and more sensual with some gospel and funk type rhythms. The artist expresses a lot of personal issues throughout the album. In some of her gospel and funk songs the voice was more high-pitched than in her other pop songs. There was also some rapping involved. Instrument wise there was a piano, bass guitar, snapping, snare drum, violins, keyboard, and a dj. The backup singers were involved less in some songs and more in others. In one song there was a choir used as backup singers. Also some Acapella singing in another.

This in-depth listening altered my appreciation mainly toward other women and the artist. She is trying to revolutionize the music industry by trying to influence female empowerment. This is what she mainly sings about in her album. She also sings about appreciation, love and a woman’s sexuality. How people expect all women to be pretty and a certain size but she empowers them to be who they are and ignore the haters. This is a current society issue which must be fixed with our future generations. Also the political aspect of it must also be fixed by having women be equal to men in their salaries for example. Women and men are not equal in that manner. In a worldly manner the album utilizes gospel, and some country music which gives the album more of a variety. And gospel for example comes from religion mainly which every country and culture has a similar type of genre. Also country music can relate to its roots which is folk music. It all comes from an origin which can be traced back hundreds of years.

Some critical comments about the album is that the original single attracted criticism for what some people felt was Beyoncé’s counter-feminist stance in using the term “bitches”. Beyoncé clarifies her intentions on the album version, incorporating a section from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TEDxEuston Talk “We should all be feminists”.

Tourso designed Beyoncé ’​s album cover. He was inspired by the cover of Metallica’s 1991 eponymous fifth album to create a bold statement; specifically to deviate from a “beauty shot” of Beyoncé which he felt would be expected by the artist. Tourso used a font similar to boxing-match placards to represent abrasive masculinity; which was contrasted by the greyish-pink font which he described as “a subversion of femininity”.


Project II- Jacqueline Morillo-Vigil

Son De La Loma

Son de la Loma preformed at UMW, on September 14, 2014. The band is made up of six primarily band members. They play in Fredericksburg but makes trips as far as Richmond and DC. They play salsa music and really get into it. Majority of the musicians are from the Fredericksburg area, and a few from the northern Virginia area. The group was really interactive with the crowd and was very inviting. They wanted people to get up and dance to their music. Which people did end up doing. They seemed like they were enjoying themselves while playing for everyone. They were laughing and singing along to the music.  This made me want to get out and dance because there wasn’t really a care of how you were dancing.

There weren’t any lights except the natural lighting of the sun because it was outside. There was not much of a dance floor but the people who did get up and dance had fun. The music itself was very upbeat and active. I understood the lyrics and what they were singing about since I speak Spanish. They were singing about lovers, drinking and having fun and partying. The musicians were directed towards the crowd though at times would glance at each other to make the other members were ok. The body language of the group as a whole was very confident which encouraged people to dance and sing along.

I personally did not get up and dance, I was working next to the band handing out flyers about an event. Though I did move my hips and sing to songs I knew when they were played. It was a delightful experience and they played lots of catchy music. The band was alright and definitely a nice band to listen to in a small town. Though compared to other live salsa bands I have seen in DC they lacked some more energy and they needed to get lost in the music in order for people to jump in without any hesitation.

Black Keys Concert –Project II

Zach Whitt

Music. Non. West.

Dr. Snyder

Sep. 30th 2014

The Black Keys

          The musical performance I chose to attend was, The Black Keys. I went to the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. to see the performance. I had never listened to the Black Keys prior to attending the concert. I thought that would be a good idea because it would allow me to go in to the performance without any preconceived notions about the music. I was very surprised when I arrived due to the lack of people that where there. At that point I assumed that they were a washed up band with not many followers. I was wrong. As soon as the opening acts were done I looked around and the Verizon Center started filling up. Before I knew it the entire venue was sold out and thousands of fans were awaiting the Keys. The air was filled with anxious anticipation and the crowd was really ready to let lose and start cheering.  When the curtain dropped and the music started the entire crowd erupted. The first song that they played sounded strikingly familiar to me. I realized that I had in fact heard this song before, however, I had no idea that the Black Keys were its creators. Gold on the Ceiling was the name of the song. I came to learn that this was one of their most popular songs. I found it interesting that they opened with one of their most well known songs as most artists wait till the end of the show, or even the encore, to play there best works. I thought that it was a great way to start because right from the get go it got the crowd incredibly involved. I was in the ESPN press box because my  good friend who took me to the concert works at ESPN. This gave me an incredible perspective on the crowd that was on the floor. Right of the bat the crowd was singing along, which was expected. What was not expected was the fact that every single person in the arena, or what seemed like every person, was dancing and having what looked like the best time of his or her lives. They only played maybe two or three slower songs. I believe that they had planned to play more, however, the audience just simply wouldn’t allow for that to happen. Everyone in the arena was so high on adrenaline and excitement that playing many slow songs just wouldn’t have worked. So, the Keys kept it very up-tempo to insure that the crowd got what they wanted and that everyone had an amazing experience. The members of the band seemed to flow seamlessly with one another on stage. It was obvious that they were very seasoned with performing with one another on stage. In between songs they would ask the crowd how they were doing. Every single time the crowd would erupt as if they were begging them to start the next song because they just couldn’t wait any longer. A few times they asked if the crowd really wanted them to keep going, knowing the crowd would erupt; they erupted louder than I have ever heard a crowd erupt. The body language of the performers was amazing. They really gave off the impression that it was not about how much they were being paid, but more so that they themselves were lost in the music and just feeling and feeding off the vibe of the crowd rather than just playing songs because that’s what they were paid to be doing. The Back Keys play sort of an up-tempo rock style, which gave me, preconceived notions as to what kind of people would be at the concert. My notions could not have been more wrong.  There were plenty of kids my age of all ethnic backgrounds. White people, black people, Indian people, you name it, they were there. Along with kids my age, 20, there was an amazing amount of older folks at the concert. These old folks at times seemed to get more into the music than the younger generation. They refused to sit down and were singing and dancing all night long, which was awesome to witness. It was as if every thing else going on in people’s lives was left at the door and we were all there to let go and be apart of a very special environment. I learned to never underestimate the amount and type of people that good music can bring together. I have been to many other concerts headlined by big names such as Pearl Jam, Wiz Khalifa, Drake vs. Lil Wayne, Jimmy Eats World, and many more yet none of those concerts achieved the level of fun and intensity that the Black Keys were able to achieve.  For the first time at a concert, I myself completely let go and I didn’t even know the words to the songs. The songs became secondary to the amazing time that was being had by everyone and that was exactly what the Keys were going for. I would, no doubt, attend another Black Keys concert because their performances were that good.

Project II

Ethnographic Experiences at the Welsh Festival of Fredericksburg, VA

Although the land of Wales is engorged with a vast amount of cultural history, one of the most recognizable form of expression in Wales is the music. Wales is often recognized as “the land of song” and has always treasured singing as a part of its national identity. Throughout my time at the Welsh Festival of Fredericksburg, VA, I have been privileged to experience such a distinctive piece of history. Every aspect of the festival, including the clothing, dialogue, dancing, and choice of musical instrumentation, made me culturally feel like I was in stepping back into 19th century Wales.

The appearance of the performers was the very first thing that grabbed my attention. Initially when I arrived at the festival, or gŵyl werin (folk festival), the apparel of the performers was very foreign to me. The female performers wore ankle-length vertically stripped skirts with shawls, aprins, vests and mantles. The male performers wore waistcoats with dark pants, wool knee-length socks and dress shoes. However, as strange as their clothing was, it reminded me of the clothing that the men and women of England wore, which is no coincidence seeing as Wales is so very close to England. Not only did the attire of the performers helped confirm the authenticity of the festival, their choice of instrumentation did as well.

The choice of instrumentation at the Welsh Festival was very extensive. Many of the instruments that were played included instruments that were discussed during our class. Instruments ranging from the bailalaika to the acoustic guitar and to your standard drum set. I was very pleased with the way the band members interacted with the audience as well as informing the audience members about said instruments and how they pertained to Welsh culture.

Brieana Payne-Werlitz

Dr. Mark Snyder
MUHL 154