Bosba PANH


I woke up this morning, no construction noises, remembered summer vacation was actually a thing ..

This pas semester was very taxing on me, emotionally, not so much academically. I managed to make it to Dean's List again, and continued to write music regularly and premiering it every month. So far this year, this would have been seven premieres (including one abroad ) and one choral reading. I finished my first song cycle for piano and voice, wrote for brass for the first time (ugh!), wrote my first harp piece that was premiered in Toronto by my best friend Clara Wang at the Royal Conservatory of Music and passed music history (thank the Lord). 



 with Clara, in April after the harp piece premiere // the infamous UNOs cookie sunday on my 19th birthday

The panic around finding a place for next year settled down with a small room about 5 minutes walk away from school. I won't be living with any musicians but with three medical students and a small dog that goes by the name of Ellie. I'm excited to be cooking my own food and getting away from the hustle and bustle of conservatory drama back to my cozy little corner overlooking the South End. 9th floor views aren't so bad. I'm paying way, way less than what other students are paying for living around the area. " You got the deal of the century" says my friend Carlos, sitting on my bed at 3am in the morning post-chinese food. 

The reason why I say that my second semester was taxing emotionally is because I am preparing to go back to Cambodia for the first time after 4 years away. I am not sure how to feel about the trip and if Cambodia will be able to accept me - or the other way around, me accepting Cambodia, as a changed artist and woman. On top of that, the frustration with writer's block and the teacher I am working with. I applied for a studio teacher change, and will be studying with Ken Schaphorst (head of jazz studies) and Michael Gandolfi (head of composition studies). The two men have a wonderful track record of mentoring their students and hopefully I will be able to feel more at ease working with them. My previous teacher was very nice but I think our musical styles eventually got the best of us. 


with my roommate Rae, on Valentine's Day getting donuts 


A lot was happening in my personal life too, and there were days where I wished I could stay under my covers and sleep my life away but thankfully, good friends tend to drag me out and feed me food to cheer me up. Stress tends to cut my appetite and throw my sleep schedule off track by several hours. Coffee helps get through the day, but nothing is better than being held by trusting friends in silence. I am looking forward to summer - but I am not sure what to look for and I am scared of it. Most of my friends are going to these amazing summer programs. As for me, I am attending this small but intense workshop on a full ride (transportation, food and hotel covered.. not bad) in Cambodia with Dr. Chinary Ung. It is not Aspen or Bowdoin, I don't feel ready to attend these programs yet but I can't help but feel a bit jealous of the facility for instrumentalists and vocalists to attend summer programs while they are young. For composers, it takes a bit of time to master your craft and mature enough to feel ready to attend Tanlewood, Bowdoin, IRCAM in France etc ..These programs are all fellowships program and very hard to get in, hence feeling " ready" to apply and attend them. 





catching up with our highschool friends: Graham and Chris // Charles at the Upper Crust Pizzeria, highly recommend ! 



with Chet, Abi and Abraham outside our dorms due to a power outage 


I looked back at my year and thought of a few things I could have done better. Definitely should have studied for my music history final (i winged it ... still got an A in the class), grateful I pushed myself to present new music every month but maybe could have managed my sleep schedule better and procrastinated less, DEFINITELY need to stop wasting my time on people who take me for granted. But, overall, I think I liked my year a lot, despite the rough start. 

I absolutely loathed NEC at first, and I figured out if I bury myself under work, I could ignore how bitter and lonely I was. However, as the year went on, I opened up and chose to trust those around me. It is without saying that I found some of the kindest, most open-minded, supportive, talented and inspiring artists to be surrounded by and work with. Some in particular, you know who you are, I love you very much. This year was definitely full of surprises and self-discovery. I am still learning how to separate solitude from loneliness and am curious to see how the following years at NEC will shape me and redefine my relationship with ... everything.

Thank you to everyone who has been so patient with me, from NEC or outside, see you in the Fall or for our graduates, hope our paths will cross in the coming years!

- Bosba


Boston portrait: birds overlook soggy bagle 


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