Candace Brown is often at her keyboard, composing the music she vocalizes. "I write songs using my keyboard and the world around me. Singing is my addiction, and I am so grateful that I have people in my life who don't get too sick of me and my noise. I am blessed with wonderful friends and family and an amazing boyfriend who are all extremely supportive," Candace said.
Recording her first album is under way, Candace said. "It is very exciting, but it is also very expensive. I will need to raise about ($3,400) and I am going to have to work very hard to get there."
She has a multi-pronged approach to raise proceeds for her endeavor, among them Kickstarter, online at kck.st/JkZmZ0, where she talks on video about her project and viewers can hear her sing some of her compositions. The funding platform for creative projects allows fans to pre-order copies of the album in addition to other rewards, depending on the amount they pledge, Candace said.
Opening for The Four Tenors in February at the Power House Theatre, she sang two songs and warmed up the crowd. At the time, "I was asked a lot if I had an album, and sadly my answer was always no. This project is intended to help me get things rolling with the making of my very first album." That's when she decided to do a professional recording.
Candace started out in a small Central California town and only sang once in public before relocating to Walla Walla in eighth grade. "I ... was scared out of my wits. I was a very shy kid, and I had trouble even talking, much less singing in public."
It was different when she was alone. That's when she enjoyed singing the most. "I even wrote some little songs in my youth," among them, "Indian Princess," after watching "Pocahontas."
Around her junior year in high school, she and a few fellow musicians, including younger sister Helena, started The Storybook Maneuver band. Candace was lead singer, keyboardist and songwriter. They performed at school functions, put on an occasional concert and opened for larger acts that came to town. "It was a very fun time. But after several different band members graduated and moved on to other schools, the band broke up."
When she graduated from high school, she participated in local nonprofit Embracing Orphans in Jamaica. There she led music for a girls camp, which inspired a lot of her music and the song "Broken" is included on her new album.
Music theory and jazz classes taught by Tom Simon at Walla Walla Community College hugely influenced her music. And she said Tom became a great mentor.
"Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing way of funding -- if you don't make your goal, you don't receive any of the funds. I set the goal at $2,000. So I will need to make at least $2,000 to keep any of the funds. I know those numbers look intimidating. They terrify me."
It does seem like a lot, but Candace said much of the funds will be consumed by shipping payments, printing costs and the huge expense of studio time.
"But if we can surpass this goal, I will be able to create a top-quality album for you, and awesome rewards that you don't even need to pay shipping for, unless you're out of U.S."
Her musical style varies, with elements of pop, rock, funk and jazz. "The songs really tell a lot about my growth as a person and as an artist. I really focused on writing them in a way that would delve into some deep parts of life, whether it be chaos, contradictions, sadness, hope, irony or love."
Ana Andrade, a 2012 Walla Walla High School senior, received this year's $1,000 Wa-Hi Latino Club Adelantarse Scholarship.
She can apply the funds toward tuition expenses at a college of her choice. The award is funded by Exploring Post 311, a supporting partner of Latino Club.
While attending Wa-Hi, Ana was active in Latino Club and the AVID program and was ASB senior class president, according to a release. She volunteered in the Garrison Night School pre-literacy program and with OneAmerica.
Ana earned the 2011 Learning for Life Leadership Award for helping other students succeed and advance as leaders. She received the President's Volunteer Service program Gold Award for more than 374 hours of community service during the 2010-11 school year. Her parents are Guillermo Andrade and Leticia Lara.
Local reader Judith Cosby shared some of her research about the origin of Mother's Day, based on a piece called "Don't Send Me Roses for Mothers Day," published May 13 by Common Dreams, at www.commondreams.org/view/2012/05/13-2
"What happened to us mothers? We allowed this holiday to get away from us. We allowed it to become commercialized, individualized, commodified, unpoliticized.
"We allowed it to be about superficial symbols of love--flowers and chocolates and store-bought cards. We allowed it be a time when we, as mothers, sit back and receive personal recognition, instead of a time when we, as mothers, stand up together to make collective demands."
Online encyclopedia Wikipedia, at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother%27s_Day_Proclamation, notes that the "Appeal to womanhood throughout the world, later known as 'Mother's Day Proclamation' by Julia Ward Howe was an appeal for women to unite for peace in the world."
Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation, penned in 1870, "was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. The Proclamation was tied to Howe's feminist conviction that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level.
She sought the celebration of a "Mother's Day for Peace" in 1872 to be in June each year, but didn't succeed. "The modern Mother's Day is an unrelated celebration established by Anna Jarvis.
Today, the proclamation is included in the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, "Singing the Living Tradition."
Two teams of students representing Walla Walla High School recently won highest honors in this year's WordMasters Challenge, a national competition for high school students requiring close reading and analysis of many different kinds of prose and poetry.
The students were supervised by Lori Dohe.
Wa-Hi's 12th graders placed second in the nation. The Wa-Hi ninth graders participated with 548 school teams from all across the country and tied for seventh place in the nation in the year's fourth meet in April.
Students who achieved outstanding results in the meet included freshmen Bryn Chacon, Emily Prull, Mattie Bialozor, Kaitlyn Calhoun, Jennifer Cho and Lara Smith; junior Peter Tucker; and seniors Marisa Huffman, Emily Schueller, Alexander Brittain, Meth Meyer, Amanda Price and Ashley Taylor.
Peter Tucker, Marisa Huffman and Emily Schueller earned perfect scores, while in the entire country only 40 11th and 12th graders did so. More than 54,000 students from across the country and four foreign nations participated in the meet.
Attentive reading and sensitivity to language are among the most important skills students acquire in school, according to the WordMasters Challenge premise. Texts students must analyze for the Challenge range from short fiction by Eudora Welty or John Steinbeck to poetry as old as Shakespeare's or as recent as Margaret Atwood's, and to essays as classic as E.B. White's or as current as a Time opinion piece by James Poniewozik.
Though texts vary widely in voice, subject, tone and length, they have style thing in common. All use language skillfully to convey layers and shades of meaning not always apparent to students on a first or casual reading.
Like the questions on the verbal SAT I, the SAT II in English Literature and the Advanced Placement exams in both English Language and English Literature, the questions posed by the WordMasters Challenge ask students both to recognize the emotional and/or rational logic of a piece of writing and to notice the ways in which a writer's style shapes and shades his meaning.
The WordMasters Challenge is a classroom activity, not a college-entrance exam. After completing a Challenge, classes are encouraged to talk about the texts and the answers to the multiple-choice questions and are given additional topics for open-ended discussion and/or written response.
Texts for the fourth Wordmasters meet this year were a poem by John Updike paired with a prose piece by Verlyn Klinkenborg for ninth- and 10th-graders and a short story by Graham Greene for 11th- and 12th-graders. Medals and certificates were awarded to those who achieved or progressed the most in the course of the year.
Wikipedia notes that "The key to being 'a real mensch' is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible, decorous. The term is used as a high compliment, expressing the rarity and value of that individual's qualities."
Whitman College 2012 graduate Elana Congress garnered that honor when she was chosen to receive the Mensch Award by the Congregation Beth Israel Board.
The board annually presents the honor to a Whitman senior or seniors who have participated in both the Walla Walla and Whitman Jewish communities, and "who fully embody the meaning of the Yiddish word 'mensch.'"
Elana, a native of Larchmont, N.Y., is the daughter of Barry Johnson and Bobbie Congress. She graduated in 2008 from Mamaroneck High School and majored in philosophy at Whitman.
Whitman College awarded 2012 Walla Walla High School grad Marcos Medina a $42,000 Lomen-Douglas Scholarship.
Marcos is receiving the maximum amount of scholarship awarded to a Loman Douglas Scholar at Whitman, the Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review reported.
Lomen-Douglas Scholarships range from $2,000 to $47,000 and vary depending on achievement and financial need. Lomen-Douglas Scholarships are renewable for a student's entire Whitman career. Selection of Loman Douglas scholars is based on students whose backgrounds and experiences demonstrate the ability to contribute to increasing socioeconomic and multicultural diversity awareness at Whitman.
"We are thrilled to have him as a part of the entering class," said Katie DeDonty, associate director of admission and transfer Admission coordinator. "He's an exceptional young man and community member."
Hope Klicker provided color commentary in the broadcast booth during the state softball tournament in late May. The Walla Walla High School Blue Devil Softball Team played in the state softball playoffs in Spokane, according to the Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review.
Hope, a 2011 Wa-Hi alumna and 2012 Southern Conference All-Freshman team member became the second pitcher in Southern Conference history to win five games in the conference tournament for the College of Charleston. She's the daughter of Charlotte and Kraig Klicker of Walla Walla.
Locally, games are broadcast live on KTEL 1490 AM with Joe Oertel.
Wa-Hi's first game was May 25 against Central Kitsap. Capps Broadcasting Group website www.1490ktel.com also streamed the game.
Walla Walla High School 2012 graduates Chelsea Cavasos and Kayla Leinweber received Robert J. Handy/Pemco scholarships from the Washington State School Retirees Association.
The $900 awards are renewable for three years for a total of $3,600. They are awarded to 24 students statewide each year, according to Don Parks, WSSRA's state board of directors Southeastern Washington representative.
Recipients are recognized for academic performance, community service and a commitment to choose education as a career, he said.
"Chelsea and Kayla were exemplary. They're both absolutely top students in AP honors, everything," he said. "And both have given huge community service."
The scholarship is named for the man who founded a teacher's credit union and Pemco Insurance Co. in the 1940s.
Walla Wallan Jon Lundak received a master of fine arts in sculpture/dimensional studies, from the at Alfred University Graduate School in Alfred, N.Y., during commencement exercises May 12 at McLane Center on the AU campus.
He is the son of Judi Lundak. Jon was among the 13 doctoral, 104 masters and 423 bachelor's degree recipients who heard David J. Miller, AU class of '66, tell them that AU prepares its graduates to take risks in pursuing their passions.
The month-long University of Washington Mathematics Academy selected Walla Walla High School junior Kelsey Gabel to attend the highly competitive program sponsored by its Engineering Department.
Kelsey will fill one of the 30 slots in the program slated for summer at the UW.
To apply, he wrote two essays and submitted several teacher and counselor recommendations according to the Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review online.
"Kelsey is an outstanding student at (Wa-Hi) who has earned a 3.93 GPA," said Jeanne Ruecker, a Wa-Hi counselor. "He has excelled in math and science and has taken the initiative to pursue his interests outside the classroom."
He's taken many honors and advanced placement courses and is a member of the high school orchestra, Walla Walla Youth Symphony and National Honor Society. He hopes to become an aerospace engineer.
He also applied for the weeklong Washington Aerospace Scholars Program.
Kerry Russell Olszewski of Walla Walla earned a doctor of dental surgery degree from Creighton University, Omaha, Neb.
The spring commencement ceremony was May 12 at CenturyLink Center Omaha.
About 1,500 degrees were conferred during the ceremony.
Prospect Point's Bike Rodeo April 28 teemed with more than 100 children.
A course had student rotate through to learn about various bicycle safety skills such as controlled braking, balancing and using correct hand signals.
Participants also gained on-the-road experience, the online Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review reported.
When they finished all 10 stations, students were entered to win one of two bicycles from Bicycle Barn. Bike winners are Chase Braunel and J.P. Huntsman.
This project came off because of support and involvement from Prospect Point parents and staff, Bicycle Barn, the Whitman College Cycling Team, Fire District 4, Walla Walla Police Department, YMCA, Blue Mountain Action Council-AmeriCorps and Walla Walla County Works.
The activity was an element of Prospect Point's education plan requirement for the Safe Routes to Schools grant Walla Walla County received to improve Reser Road.
Jeffrey Christopher McCann of Dayton graduated from Brenau University, Gainsville, Ga., with a master of education degree after focusing studies on middle grades education.
Brenau awarded 341 graduate diplomas and 430 undergraduate diplomas at commencement ceremonies May 4 and 5 at Georgia Mountains Center, Gainesville.
Whitman College Science Department professors and students worked this spring with Blue Ridge teacher Kristen Garcia's third- and fourth-grade science classes to enhance learning opportunities.
Kurt Hoffman, professor of physics, conducted hands-on physics activities with students. Mark Juhasz, professor of chemistry, made liquid nitrogen ice cream in the classroom. Zach Schierl and Andrew Patel, senior geology students, studied rocks with the students..
Delbert Hutchison, professor of biology, spent the day at Blue Ridge with his pet lizard and snake. Nathaniel Paust, professor of astronomy, talked about his career in astronomy earlier in the year at Blue Ridge.
"Kristen contacted us this past summer asking for visiting scientists and the faculty have been very excited to be involved," said Mary Burt, Whitman's School Science Outreach coordinator.
"I was very impressed by her classes. Everyone of her students said that they 'love science' and were very excited to show me their lab notebooks and explain the investigations they had undertaken during the year. Kristen is doing an amazing job," Mary said.
Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 526-8313.