The first time I heard about the carillon four years ago, I was standing at the base of UC Berkeley’s beloved Campanile. Peering up, up, up at the 61 bells that loomed impressively from the top of our 307-ft tall bell and clock tower, the first word that came to mind was “Wow!” Ever since I’ve heard about this majestic instrument, I’ve wanted to learn how to play it. This semester, I am one of twelve lucky students in the Carillon DeCal, a class facilitated by two experienced carillon students. We will be having weekly private lessons, and at the end of the semester, I will be playing the bells for the entire campus to hear!
This past Saturday on February 28, over 2,000 attendees packed Zellerbach Hall for TEDxBerkeley, an independently organized TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) event. Centered around the theme of wisdom, compassion, and connection, this year’s TEDxBerkeley featured 21 speakers and performances on an array of topics, including Ebola, forgiveness, computing literacy and gender equity, and happiness.
My friend, Erin Roberts, curator of TEDxBerkeley, and her TEDx team, had been working hard all year to coordinate the event, and it was exciting to see everything come together so beautifully. As a volunteer for TEDxBerkeley, I had the opportunity to see some of the behind-the-scenes aspects, as I served lunch to attendees, transported heavy items around Zellerbach Hall, and assisted with security backstage. It was my first time in the backstage of Zellerbach, and it was an amazing experience meeting the speakers, cheering them on before and after their talks, and seeing their warm interactions with each other.
One of the best aspects of UC Berkeley’s location is its proximity to San Francisco, located just 15 miles and half an hour away by public transportation. In addition to being home to the Golden Gate Bridge, amazing food places, and beautiful beaches, San Francisco is also a culturally rich city with many museums and performance centers.
This past Saturday, I went with friends to see Disney’s Production of Newsies, in the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco. It was an incredible performance! I was blown away by the choreography—the split jumps, aerials, and high-energy kicks—the funny storyline, and the talented singing and acting. For almost the entire musical, I was leaning forward on the tip of my balcony seat, eagerly soaking in everything happening on the stage below.
UC Berkeley’s Department of Music is ranked among the top music departments in the US, and frequently offers concerts and special workshops or events.
This past weekend from November 14 to 16, UC Berkeley hosted Piano Institute 2014, with three days of performances, lectures and demonstrations, and master classes in the resonant Hertz Concert Hall. Music enthusiasts had opportunities to listen to renowned pianists Seymour Lipkin, Suzanne Macahilig, Kenneth Hamilton, Chuck Fuery, and Malcolm Bilson.