Offerings of Peace
Beginning December 6th, 2021, the Greenwood School of Music at Oklahoma State University will share a daily Offering of Peace created by faculty, staff, and students. An offering of peace is a short video that represents what peace means to the artist. This initiative was inspired by The Peace Studio’s “100 Offerings of Peace” campaign, which was created in response to the isolating COVID-19 pandemic.
Each offering takes under five minutes to experience. In addition to the offering, you can read a description of the offering and a short biography about the artist. Some offerings include a call to action, or a small and tangible thing we can do in our daily lives to build more peace around us. To follow the campaign, please visit the Greenwood School of Music on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About this artist: Vivian Taylor is in her second year at Oklahoma State University. She is pursuing majors in Statistics and Economics, and she is working towards a minor in music. She spends her time studying for classes, playing bassoon in ensembles, going on day trips to Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and attending Oklahoma State University athletic events.
About this Offering: For my peace offering, I wanted to combine the "Smoky Quartz" movement from the solo bassoon piece "Colored Stones" by Jenni Brandon and footage of eastern Oklahoma during the fall. I grew up gathering with my extended family in Robbers Cave State Park every Thanksgiving break, so I filmed all of the video near the state park on my family's property. It is an area and season in which I often felt peaceful and content during my childhood. I hope you enjoy a brief glimpse into my peaceful place.
Call to Action: Through this project, I want to encourage our community to seek peace. Be intentional about spending time in places that make your soul feel at rest and with people that know you and encourage you to experience the beautiful aspects of life to the fullest.
About this artist: Anthony Coito is a senior bassoon performance major from Rutland, Massachusetts.
About this offering: For my peace offering, I wanted to combine the cadenza from the first movement of “Five Sacred Trees” by John Williams and a time lapse of digital art that my friend drew. Being from Massachusetts, I always thought that fall was a much more peaceful time than the summer. I hope you enjoy.
Call to action: Find what makes you happy, whether it be a sunny day at the beach, or relaxing in a cabin in the woods.
About this artist: I am student at Oklahoma State University majoring in microbiology and minoring in dance. I have spent my entire life surrounded by the arts with music and dance and have been lucky enough to continue it through my college years. I plan to be a microbiologist and help people around the world with infections and viruses by spreading awareness of hygiene and helping to create medical treatments for said infections and viruses. I hope to make an impact on other's lives and leave the world a better place.
About this offering: This video shows in just a tiny minute where I find my peace in life. Life can be extremely hard, especially when you are harder on yourself than life is on you. Sometimes you might feel like you have failed in life or that there is no future but, in these moments, I think about where I have come from. From being that little five-year-old dressed as a ballerina for Halloween and twirling through my parent's living room, to now dancing at Oklahoma State University. Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed, I think about how cool "five-year-old Ashton" would think I am, and that I'm living the life she dreamed of. She would have never thought about how stressful being a science major in research would be, she would just think how amazing it would to be a scientist. Perhaps, we should all think of our life through the eyes of a five-year-old, through curiosity and amazement at the world and our accomplishments. This is where I find my peace, knowing I have grown into what little me daydreamed about and I urge you to think about your life through a five-year old's eyes next time you need to find peace.
About this artist: Dr. Midori Samson (she/her) teaches bassoon and music history at OSU. Broadly, her work exists at the intersection of music and social work, and she is happiest doing creative activities that prioritize commitments to social justice, anti-racism, anti-oppression, decolonization, and peacebuilding.
About this offering: I am most at peace when I am teaching, and in my classrooms, I aim to nurture community.
One of the ways we did that in History of Music 1800–Present was by creating our own
version of “In C” by Terry Riley. “In C” in its original form is made up of 53 single
measures of music that are to be played many times in a row by any number of players.
During our unit focused on aleatory and minimalism, members of our class composed
their own single measures to be combined into a new “MUSI 3873” version of In C. Unbeknownst
to them, I have recorded their compositions and mixed them into a bassoon trio version
of the piece.
Recording this gave me life and fed my soul during finals week. So I hope the class takes pride in this composition—one that celebrates community and shared music-making—as much as I enjoyed leading them through the activity.
Call to action: My call to action is specifically for GSM music students. A music degree can be intensely isolating, but it doesn’t have to be. As you work individually to hone your craft, also seek ways to use your music to build community both within the GSM and outside. Whether it is by preparing a piece with musicians you love or co-creating a work from scratch, find people and places that help you cultivate community within all the music you play.
About the artist: Kenna McCormick is a Junior Music Education major from Haslet, Texas.
About this offering: For my peace offering, I wanted to combine “Lapis Lazuli” from “Colored Stones” by Jenni Brandon and a collage of videos of being outside with my dog, Levi. I find that spending time outside with Levi allows me to relax and be in the moment. I filmed most of these videos at the Botanic Gardens where I normally take Levi after a stressful day.
Call to action: I want to encourage everyone to find a place where they can take a moment to relax and recenter themselves.
About this artist: I am a student currently attending Oklahoma State University. I have a passion for a few things in life: God, family, music, and science; each of these containing wisdom for what’s in store for my future.
About this offering: This video contains just a fraction of what peace truly means to me. The music in the background is a Bassoon Duet for “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong that I arranged as a birthday present for my grandmother. The images you see are places, concepts, and mementos of my idea of peace: living life with joy and content and having fun through it all. The world has had many ups and downs, especially recently, and I believe it’s a God-given right for us living in the present to come to terms with our own ideas of peace, rather than stick to a by-the-book definition to attempt to fulfill. With that in mind, enjoy what life has in store for you. Don’t let the negatives overwhelm what good there is in the world, and let that good flood your life with the peace you create and define for yourself.
About this Artist: Cheldon Gatz is a freshman percussion performance major from Piedmont, Oklahoma.
About this Offering: My peace offering is about the practice room. Although it is just a room within the music building, I believe every student turns it into what their mindset is. If someone goes in dreading the lesson they have coming up as they’re unprepared, they begin to really dislike and hate the room. However, if they go in with a positive attitude, perhaps a desire to get better, and mostly just enjoy themself, they will never hate going to practice. A way I keep myself positive within the practice room, such as if I’m getting frustrated with one of my solos, I step away and mess around on the vibraphone. The vibraphone has easily been my favorite percussion instrument as of late, so it never fails to bring a smile to my face. It is especially fun to mess around with improv as I’ve done in lessons with Dr. Potter. In my offering, I do just that with the melody of “Over the Rainbow,” which I also performed as a part of my juries. I focus on mallet dampening, one note harmonization with some embellishments, and then filling in the chord.
Call to Action: Never let yourself begin to hate the practice room. It is perfectly okay to mess up there, as long as you make what you do enjoyable, take healthy breaks, and occasionally revisit what made you passionate for music in the first place. Oh, and of course work on improvement. With those ideas in mind, I believe practice time will always be a good time.
About the artists: Elizabeth Shuping, Kloe Kueckelhan, Madison Cano, Cameron Taylor, and Josiah Courtney are freshmen and sophomore horn majors. They have come from different parts of Texas and Oklahoma but have found a second family in the horn studio at Oklahoma State University.
About this offering: They say that music speaks when words fail. Being able to play with others creates something truly unique in a language that we all understand whether we are performing or listening. This version of the Christmas carol, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" is by James Naigus, who offered this as one of many pieces he donates to the horn community.
Call to action: This holiday and winter season, we deeply encourage you to spend time with others. Whether that be with friends, family, or complete strangers, strengthening those bonds through compassion and community is one of the greatest gifts of peace you can bring upon yourself or others.