The Artsy Side of Life at SMU

1607112_10202451461061709_233284073_n[1]By Shannon Conboy

My favorite part about being at SMU as a Vocal Performance major is the balance I am able to maintain between focusing wholeheartedly on my training and being social and involved on campus. I’ve heard people speak of Meadows School of the Arts as being a conservatory-style school as far as training and this is something with which I fully agree. I love that I get that intensive training but am still on a University campus and am able to take advantage of all the opportunities outside of my Major. This February; however, I was given the chance to fully submerge myself in my opera major.

As a Meadows student, I have many unique opportunities to participate in shows for the rest of SMU’s campus. The largest production I’ve been a part of thus far recently finished, but it was such an incredible experience!1510763_10151933320642286_1293171742_n[1] I was cast in the opera this year as a sophomore, and spent my winter break and the first half of this semester completely consumed in the production. This year, Meadows produced Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera. I think my favorite part about the production was getting to experience the life-style and rehearsal setting that I’ll hopefully someday be experiencing as a professional. I loved working alongside the graduate students and soaking up all I could from them as well. Probably the most exciting time for me was putting the production together with the orchestra. Singing with a live orchestra is something not a whole lot of undergraduate students can claim to have experienced, and I definitely didn’t take the experience lightly!

The opera was great for me as well as all my friends who decided to attend! I think it’s awesome when I have a friend who is a Business or English major, someone who never would have previously been interested in watching an opera, and they come to appreciate the Meadows shows. It would be silly not to take advantage of all of the (cheap or free) shows that the school offers its students! It’s all right at our fingertips and I certainly love that all-encompassing aspect of SMU as well as when I get to share my major with everyone through these Meadows shows.

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Let’s Go To Taos!

taosBy Taylor Corrigan

With all of the endless opportunities SMU has to offer during the school year, the possibilities don’t end with the arrival of summer – the adventures are just beginning! For me, they are in Taos, New Mexico, where I will take a business course and a physical fitness class for the month of May (which are just two among a long list of courses offered). As soon as finals are over, I will head to Fort Burgwin in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to take a business elective course and hike the amazing forest. I have been listening to my friends rave about the Taos program ever since I became a Mustang, and now the opportunity is finally here!

I am looking forward to the adventure of a lifetime as I, along with six of my closest friends, make our way to New Mexico to learn and explore among the beautiful scenery. I am not really sure what to expect, but from what I’ve heard, I will become quite the hiker and do my best to stay afloat as I make my way down the rapids – all while learning the ins and outs of business law. Wish me luck!

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The Hilltop Gives Back

By Kevin Hess

I recently had a chance to go explore Dallas and give a little back to the city that every SMU student grows to love so much. SMU helped organize a volunteer project with a local organization called “Give Graffiti the Brush.” Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 12.03.12 AMThis was a really unique volunteer opportunity in which a group of SMU students went out into Dallas and helped clean up the city by painting over some graffitied buildings.

This fun morning shows just one of the many opportunities that we have outside of the classroom on the Hilltop (you just have to check your email!). I really enjoyed seeing parts of Dallas that I had never seen before and found it very fitting that SMU was able to give back to the city that helps make us such a great school.

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You Won’t Go Hungry Here!

By Mehdi Hami

It’s no secret that Dallas has more restaurants per capita than New York City, but who would have thought that SMU’s cuisine on campus is also really good. It has to be to keep me eating on campus more than off campus!

In terms of cafeteria options, Umphrey Lee, also known as Real Food on Campus, provides a wide variety of food that will have you coming back every single day. From the International Street Fare to Country Kitchen, you’ll feel like you’re right at home! Mama T’s omelet’s and the fresh cookies at the dessert station will have you begging for more! For those days when you want to control that calorie count, Healthy on the Hilltop, the deli station, and salad station will keep you fit! SMU even has a dietitian to advise all your dining needs. There is no limit!

Outside of Umphrey Lee, SMU has a variety of retail locations that really hit the spot. You can grab fresh bagels for breakfast in the morning at Einstein’s in the business school.  The Varsity in the student center has Subway, Pizza Hut, and Chick-Fil-A to satisfy all your cravings. SMU has its own Sushi restaurant, Sushic, and serves burritos at eSMUcho. After hitting the gym or the tanning pool at Dedman, you can even grab a smoothie or a protein bar at SMUothies!

If you’re up at 11 PM at need a late-night snack, there is Mac’s Place, a great grab-and-go late-night dining option.

If this sounds awesome, just wait until the new two-story cafeteria opens in Fall 2014 with an outdoor patio… it’s safe to say that Mustangs never go hungry!

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Opportunites Abound in PR

prssaBy Kelsey Buttrell

PRSSA is one of the many amazing academic organizations on campus and one that I have the pleasure to be a member of. This past week at SMU, PRSSA hosted Mark Hass as a guest lecturer for all PRSSA students. Mark Hass is the President & CEO for Edelman, the largest public relations firm in the world.

hassHe gave the students insight on his company’s research. One campaign Edelman is working on right now is the rebranding of AXE. Their research concluded that AXE is a very dominant product for ages 12-15, but older men find it immature and childish. As a result, Edelman has conducted research observing the interaction between relations of men and women since previously that has been the campaign for AXE. They still want to use this relationship idea but mature the nature of the brand.

This is just one of the many perks of being a member of SMU PRSSA. This program continues to amaze me with the remarkable career fairs and the experience to engage with amazing PR professionals.

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I Met the President…

bushBy Jack Murphy

I met the president.  No, let me rephrase.  I had a memorable five-minute conversation with the former Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush and his wife, talking about how great SMU’s students were, my red hair, and our favorite topic: SMU Basketball.  But let me back up, you may be wondering how I met the president?  A few days ago I was chosen to represent the SMU student body to attend “Dining with Decision Makers,” a dinner held for the SMU Board of Trustees and for students to connect with them.  The Board is doing a phenomenal job with our university from completing the new Residential Commons in the southeast quad to hiring the great Larry Brown as our head basketball coach.  In attendance to this event was former First Lady Laura Bush, one of our Trustee members, and her “plus one” President Bush.  After finishing the George W. Bush Presidential Center, students are used to seeing the presidential couple around campus, but this was my opportunity to officially meet them.  After the dinner I walked up to George but before I could introduce myself, he exclaims “Big Red!”  Taken aback, I began to chat with him about SMU’s basketball season and the game that previous night where he spotted me in the halftime free-throw competition (being 6’3” with red hair, I’m not hard to miss).  We ended our conversation with a few good laughs and his remarks on our amazing student body of leaders and world changers.  That night I left the dinner looking back to the day I first arrived at SMU as a student less than two years ago.  With all the things SMU has allowed me to accomplish, I cannot be more excited for what is about to happen in the next two years.

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Live at the American Airlines Center

aacBy Kelsey Buttrell

One of the best attributes of going to school at SMU is being in the amazing city of Dallas. One of the amazing things about Dallas is the American Airlines Center. It is the home of the Dallas Stars and The Mavericks. It also hosts many amazing concerts. This month, I got discounted tickets for Imagine Dragons through the ticket office at SMU! My best friend at SMU is obsessed with the Imagine Dragons, and so I decided to attend the concert with her because we received a really good deal. During the whole concert the band never ceased to amaze me. If you are not a fan of their music, I suggest seeing them live. Its 2X better than on the radio! I love the fact that I can witness and experience such amazing talent and shows just by being in Dallas.

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Magic in Moody

larry browBy Courtney Quinn

I have been attending SMU Men’s Basketball games since freshman year and I never thought I would find myself camping out for tickets my Senior year. Since gaining Larry Brown as our head coach last season, Brown has completely changed our basketball program; the team has done a full 180. Brown worked hard last year to recruit a great incoming class for the 2013-2014 season and he succeeded. This season the team caught everyone’s attention. SMU basketball games are now the hottest ticket in Dallas! This season we have had Mark Cuban, Tony Romo, Jason Garrett, Laura Bush, and President Bush grace our coliseum, as well as numerous recruits. We are even fighting contenders for March Madness!

Last Monday was the ticket pickup for the big Louisville game on March 5th, which is another sold out game! I found myself on Sunday afternoon pitching a tent with my friends outside the ticket office in order to score a ticket to the best seat in the house; center court student section. There were over 20 tents lined up! It is really cool how dedicated and enthusiastic the student body has become about our team! Larry Brown and the team even came to the “campsite” that night right after they got off a place from being out of town for an away game. They wanted to show their appreciation that n, but we are the ones that are thankful. Also the next morning when we had to wake up bright and early at 5am, Mr. Brown was there with donuts for us! Larry Brown is without say an excellent coach with any amazing work ethic and we are very lucky to him as a Mustang! Our team is so exciting to watch and I can’t wait for the rest of the season! Pony up!

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The Dallas Music Scene

blog1 By Daniel Brock

One of my favorite parts about SMU is being connected to the Dallas Music Community. A big city offers a wide variety of opportunities that I would not be able to get in a small town. My favorite music event in Dallas is Sofar Sounds.

Basically, Sofar Sounds are these secret concerts from artist and bands that perform in a local’s living room. The whole organization is volunteer based, who plan and run the concerts. What you do is sign up on the Sofar website and if you get selected you and a friend get to attend the event for free. Sofar sounds is international and almost in every major big city in the US and England. The concerts are extremely exclusive, because they only have room for about 40-60 people each time. And once the doors close on the starting time, no one is aloud in or out and if you are late you are banned from being invited back.

blog2Now I know that sounds intense, but the experience during the concert is unlike anything else in the world. By having the concerts in a local’s house, the music feels intimate and personal. The first 30 minutes you get to mingle with the guest and the bands. Afterwards the bands perform a 2 hour show. And you never know who is going to show up. The first Sofar Sounds I ever went to, Marcus Foster (from Foster the People) performed a solo set.

Just last November, I was extremely lucky because my friend and I got involved with the Sofar Sounds Dallas community, so she got to be in charge of the guest list and I got the host the event in my duplex. I never would have imagined when I moved to Dallas for SMU that I would be hosting a private concert in my house.

Sofar Sounds wanted to promote themselves with SMU students, so my friend and I were able invite up to 20 SMU students to spread the word. The show was amazing and performed everything from rock, alternative, and folk music. The O’s, the Roomsounds, and the Friendly Savages all performed about 4-5 songs each. Sometimes you might not be familiar with the bands, but this is the best way to discover up and coming artist. Each band has a unique sound and put on performances with stellar energy.

When I graduate this spring, I am glad I am able to leave a little SMU in the Sofar Sounds community and that SMU students will be going to Dallas Sofar Sounds concerts for years to come. By having SMU in Dallas, you get the best of both worlds of having the college experience and getting involved in the Dallas community.

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Moody Madness

By Katelyn Hall

It’s a good time to be an SMU student and a Mustang basketball fan. Over the past few weeks, I have watched the Mustangs win every home game at our renovated Moody Coliseum.

It was so fun to cheer on the Mustangs with all the SMU students. I joined the MOB, the student fan group, so we sit at center court and cheer extra loudly. The ambiance at the games is incredible, with the student section packed and all of Moody sold out.

But one of my favorite parts about SMU basketball may surprise you: getting my tickets.  Every few games, SMU students line up extra early to pick up free tickets to the game. The ticket window opens at 7 a.m., so everyone lines up even earlier.

Last time, I woke up at 5 a.m. and headed down to Ford Stadium with my friends to wait in line with our fellow Mustang fans. We brought blankets and homework and chatted about our recent win over ranked team Cincinnati.

Right before the ticket office opened, Larry Brown and several basketball players came out to greet the waiting fans. The Hall of Fame coach even brought us donuts and coffee and shook everyone’s hands.

It’s so fun to see our campus united and proud to be Mustangs.

Pony Up!

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