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Lighting Design + Programming

As a part of my second year at UNC School of the Arts studying lighting design and technology, we were assigned a practical study for lighting to music. Helping us develop our understanding of visual composition when it's influenced by specific voices within the music. 

I specifically chose to build and light in the round because I felt like it was the most immersive format, with the ability to wash the audience in light or drop them into darkness, all the while, they maintain a sense of active involvement in the work.

Artistic Statement

My piece is heavily derived from the feeling that was invoked in me when I first listened to this song. “Once upon a December” is pulled from the 20th Century Fox hit, Anastasia. The work was later adapted into a Broadway production, which is where the instrumental track now heard comes from. I specifically chose this recording for its haunting interpretation of the score and the range of voices throughout the piece. I aimed to give each voice a unique representation within my work and occasionally, found opportunities where voices would interweave that allowed me to create a new vocal representation completely.


My work takes place in an abandoned ballroom. The hall is not terribly run down, but by no means is it in its former glory. You enter to find the tarnished chandelier is illuminated by a small amount of moonlight that has peaked through the windows of the hall. The chandelier flickers providing a bit of ambient light to the room- the mood is a bit eerie but you don’t feel scared. You continue to explore the ballroom and slowly begin to imagine the grandeur it would have been home to in it’s past. You hear the pianist playing with the orchestra; your vision begins to shift as if something supernatural has claimed your reality. All of a sudden the room swells with light and sound, and you are transported to the beauty of the life of its past.

You spend the evening taking part in the events that continue to unfold. As you indulge, you experience the drama, pomp, and circumstance that accompanies this type of party. You would like to stay forever in this moment, but you know that you have to leave. You take a look around one last time before the visions begin to fade. The room grows darker and colder. The spirits still remain slightly though as you return to the forgotten hall. The moon peaks brighter through the window and scrapes the dusty chandelier once again. You turn to leave, but take one last glance on your way out hoping to revisit the illusion. The room has already darkened though and you leave with

only memories.

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