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Tour of the School of Music!

March 8, 2018

One of the newest buildings at Liberty University, the School of Music has programs for all types of musicians, singers, composers, and engineers. The School of Music is one of the most beautiful buildings at Liberty and has a concert hall that rivals all. In this vlog,  Alexander Patterson, a film scoring major shows us around and talks a little bit about his major. Click the link below to watch!

Student Activities: Nitboneras

February 16, 2018

As someone who loves discovering new artists, Liberty University Student Activities provides a platform for new artists to find their voice and develop an audience.

This week, I am covering the Nitboneras; a band from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Nitboneras faced immense hardship when war broke out in their country. They lost family members and friends. Clean water and food were scarce. They lost hope. That soon changed however when a good Samaritan helped their entire family out of the Congo and into Kenya where they were able to start a new life. However, since they were refugees they were not allowed to work… this brought a new set of challenges. But using the gifts God gave them, the Nitboneras started making music. Nine years later, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) finally allowed them to move to America where they use their talents to perform.

These musicians have an amazing story and bring inspiration to all those who come in contact with them. In an after-show interview, I asked the two frontrunners of the band, John and Emanuel some questions new listeners might have.


Me: Who are your musical influences?  How would you describe your band to someone who has never heard you perform?


Nitboneras: We are a Christian contemporary worship band. We mix the contemporary worships from here and the African music together


Me: Has Liberty had any influence in your music career?


Nitboneras: Liberty is a good platform. Just being in an environment that loves god and has really good worship programs here. So I say the environment really encourages us when we go to convocation and it pushes us further and we get to learn more about God and understand.


Me: What has been your biggest challenge as a band?


Nitboneras: The challenge is knowing that you are not born from here. You come here trying to get into the industry and that you are not from here. It is challenging for anyone, doing things in a foreign country. It is difficult but it is something that is pushing us to keep pressing forward.


Me: Where do like to perform the most?


Nitboneras: We have performed in different setting. Mostly we have done a lot of worship songs in church but we have also done outdoor events like festivals and that stuff. (Emanuel) Mostly I like doing the programs inside the church setting. I love being in the church setting where I can give my testimony and talk about God.


Me: What are you working on right now?


Nitboneras: We are recording our next album this year. We really want to record great worship songs and get our music out there, we need a platform. So right now we are renting out a studio trying to record really good songs that we want people will sing in churches. We write all of our music so we are ready to go back into the studio and start recording.


This band recently organized a shoe drive last year at liberty where they collected over 25,000 shoes and took them back to Africa to give the children over there. To learn more about this band, please visit:

Here are some photos I took at the concert! 




Shredding the Snowy Slopes at Wintergreen

February 8, 2018

I love skiing... but let's be honest. It can get pretty expensive and as a college student, I really can't afford to spend upwards of $70 to shred for a day. Thankfully, Liberty University Outdoor Recreation has set up an awesome deal with Wintergreen which gives students a full day of skiing (plus transportation and rentals) for under $30. Cool right?!?! Also, if you aren't able to join one of these trips there is always Snowflex! A state-of-the-art ski facility to send massive air all year long.

Click the video below to watch this adventure!


What I Learned from my Senior Thesis Film

February 7, 2018

The process of converting a script to the screen takes perseverance during setbacks and the ability to adapt. The journey of my senior thesis film, "The Flashback" is one I will never forget and will strive to do again. Making a movie is about making mistakes, failing, and questioning your choice of major. However, it is about how you handle those failures that determine if this industry is the one for you. Quitting is not an option, no matter how tough the process may be. The journey the crew and I took when making this movie was certainly a bumpy road yet we repaired each flat tire with the efficiency of a NASCAR pit crew. From the bustle of pre-production, the 14hr days of production, and the late-night editing sessions, "The Flashback" was a journey, to say the least. 

During the pre-production phase, schedules were sent, casting was called, and the script was finalized. The day had finally come: Day 1 of 4 of principal photographing. Day 1 took place in Washington D.C. at the Vietnam war memorial… and went, well, amazing. Day 2 & 3 took place in a house and backyard in Roanoke and day 4 of 4 was… a wrap!


There are three stories told when making a film. The one you write, the one you film, and the one you edit. The latter of which becomes the story.  After countless hours of editing, re-editing, and more editing I finally have a film I am dying to show the world. (Yeah that was very cliché… but you know what? It's true.) What I am actually looking forward to is showing the cast and crew the story they made. Filmmaking is not a solo process. Filmmaking involves everyone. To the Production Assistant that fetched the actors bottles of water, all the way to the Director of Photography who made every frame a painting. Everyone who was involved in the creative process of filmmaking was in my opinion, a "key."

In conclusion, filmmaking takes hard work, perseverance, and faith to overcome obstacles in your path. No matter what you do in your career, don't worry about failing… because you will. It is inevitable. Before this film, countless hours were spent creating other films, some of which will never see the light of day. In fact, there was a point in the making of "The Flashback" that I thought it would become another failure. Ironically, failures never fail you. The project itself might be trash but the lessons learned are golden and prepare you for the next project. 

The New Natatorium Makes a Splash

January 31, 2018

Liberty University's, recently opened natatorium, is featured in my latest Vlog. The natatorium boasts a 50 meter, Olympic pool, designed for speed, a 17 ft. diving well with a full tower, and a 1,000 sq. ft. hydro room. However, that's not all that puts this 75,000 sq. ft. facility in a class of its own. Watch, as Triathlon and Men’s Swim Team coach, Parker Spencer and I show you around this incredible facility.

Alex Bartz

Cinematic Arts