Nothing inspires me more to practice than a new, fancy performance gown!
My quartet, Seraphina, spent all of Good Friday shopping at the King of Prussia Mall for four coordinating black-and-white dresses. We found them at a store called Deb after a few hours.
The new outfits were necessary for several upcoming events on Seraphina's schedule. Probably the most exciting is that we made it into the quarter final round of the Fischoff Competition! We sent in a tape in March with samples of our pieces, and we found out less than a week later that we made it into the quarterfinal round, which means we will be flying to Indiana in early May to try to make it to the next round.
We have a list of the other groups that are competing in our age division, and the majority of them are from Chicago and Boston, with a smattering of the rest of the country—Washington, D.C., Columbus, Ohio, San Francisco, and the Newman Quartet, another group from our school—Settlement Music School in Philadelphia. I have actually met a lot of the kids and groups during my travels with From The Top.
The four of us are extremely excited about Fischoff. We said while we were applying that we would be happy to make it past the first round, but of course now that we've done that, we're ambitious to make it farther. You know how people get when competing!
Because we have to buy a lot of plane tickets, and an extra for the cello, we're having a fundraising concert at the Ethical Society in Philadelphia on April 22nd. It'll also give us a chance to perform our entire program for an audience before we play it at Fischoff. Speaking of, our program consists of the first movement of the Haydn Quinten, the first movement of Mendelssohn, opus 13 number one, three tangos by Michael McLean, the first two movements of Shostakovich number 8, Corelli's Christmas concerto, and the last movement from Short Set for String Quartet—"Don't Step on My Toes!" by Gwyneth Walker.
Also, on the way to Fischoff, we'll be playing the second movement of the Shosti on a From The Top show in Columbus. It's going to be a "battle of the bands" with an all-boy group called opus. from Columbus. They're extremely good (we've heard them online) and they have the "hometown advantage" but we've already friended them on facebook and they seem like nice guys.
We have a busy couple of months coming up!
Speaking of From The Top, some great things are happening there too. This year, some of my favorite places I traveled to with the cast to do shows were Malibu, Cincinnati, San Antonio, New York, and San Francisco's coming up in June. And just last week, From The Top came to my hometown to do a show!
The last show they did in Philadelphia was before I was the Roving Reporter and I was on the show as a member of a youth orchestra. But this time I got to interview the conductor of the Youth Chamber Orchestra at Temple's Prep Division, Luis Biava. There was a lot of amazing talent featured on the show, but for the violinists on this board, 16-year-old Fabiola "Farah" Kim demonstrated her extreme technical facilities and musical abilities playing Devil's Trill by Tartini.
From The Top just started to publish an online newsletter called the Roving Report, the first issue of which just came out a couple days ago. The Roving Report is sent to alums and people on their mailing list, which you can join by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For every issue, I'll interview an alum of From The Top for their Alums in Action feature, and I'll write a column of my own. For the first issue, I interviewed cellist Sebastian Baverstam, who shot an apple off my head on the stage of Jordan Hall during show last year in Boston. We talked about about his life since we heard him on the show and what he's planning for college.
I'm really enjoying lessons with my new teacher, Joey Corpus-- in fact, I am writing this on my laptop on the drive home from my lesson in New York. Tonight (Saturday) is my sister's 13th birthday party, a sleepover, and I'm going to be up late. I'll write more later.