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Piano/Vocal Construction Project:

A project I took on to digitize and maintain material from past Waa-Mu Shows.

At the end of my freshman year at Northwestern, I was offered the job of Music Director for Waa-2!

Waa-2 is a cast of 12 first-year students at Northwestern who learn material from past Waa-Mu Shows and perform at marketing events in the Evanston / Chicagoland area to promote the show. As the year progresses, they become a workshop cast for the writers' room, visiting periodically to sing newly written songs, and twice a quarter, attending the writing class to read through drafts of the show.

As I stepped into the MD role, the Covid pandemic had just begun. With the expectation that our rehearsals would all take place over Zoom, I emailed some friends to gather material, and quickly learned that there was no digital archive of files from past shows.

This became my passion project for over a year. I emailed my professor Dr. Ryan T. Nelson, who graciously gave me access to the Dropbox folders from the last 9 Waa-Mu shows. I would clean them, export PDFs, stitch them together, imbed a table of contents, and repeat.

Eventually, I had done this for 10 shows. I merged them all together, and after a while, I'd built the Mega Waa PV; One PDF file that's over 2000 pages, with every Waa-Mu song from the past 10+ years, all in order, organized by show, and easy to navigate using the TOC!

Later that year, I formalized the position and titled it Music Historian. I took trips to Cahn Auditorium and catalogued all of the old vinyl records and CDs. I started a Google Drive folder called the "Waa-Music Archive", and in the 2 years since, we now have all the audio from every show since 1951 (which was the first recorded show), videos of most of the last 20 shows, programs from every show, as well as song selection books and my 10 newly constructed Piano/Vocal scores!

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