August 22, 2012 at 2:33 AMThis would be our last night to play together. The previous night's performance in Homer had been a bit shaky in spots because I had so much energy that I couldn't manage to calm down. I also got this deer-in-headlights notion that I couldn't read alto clef, but thankfully, that went away once I realised I knew the music anyway. We made it sound good, but I knew I could do better.
Things were different today. Today, for the first time, I pulled out my viola to run through the parts, and it suddenly sang as my native tongue. All the notes clicked naturally into place, the tone clearly focused, sweet, and deep. After a quick run around the lake to off-load the usual accumulated energy, I donned my concert black, grabbed the peanut butter bars for Susie, a latte for Michael, and an americano for myself, and headed for Kenai High School. First would be the New World Symphony followed by intermission, then Mozart's Divertimento in D and 1812 for the grand finale.
We are facing the audience now, with Susie on my left and Michael on my right. Under the golden brightness of the stage lights, we check our A's at the concertmaster's request. I carefully match my own C with Michael's as the bustle hushes into anticipating silence.
This is it. I've spent a large part of my life reaching for this, dreaming about it, haunted by it. I crave it with such heartache during the long, silent winters under the taunting moon that I cannot sleep. My deepest longing is for musical companionship from someone or some group who can make me play to my potential. I strive for that connection, and in those rare moments when I find it, just for that little space in my life, all is right with the world for a change. I will enjoy this moment, and every moment I can have of it.
The conductor takes the stage. I'm beaming from ear to ear. We are about to give her the performance of a lifetime.
From Tom HolzmanHow wonderful for you to have such a rewarding experience as a musician. And as a violist, no less. Most of us probably only dream of it. Treasure it!
Posted on August 22, 2012 at 12:37 PM
From Emily GrossmanI do. I always will.
Posted on August 22, 2012 at 4:48 PM
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Violinist.com editor Laurie Niles wraps up her coverage of the 2013 Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies, held at The Juilliard School in New York.
Emily Grossman is from Soldotna, Alaska. Biography
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