September 7, 2010 at 9:14 PM
The first time I performed on stage in front of a big audience was well and truly nerve-wrecking. But I have to tell you now, it was worth it!!
It was when I was 11 and my brother, Jonathan, must have been 9 or 10 when we went out in front of an audience of around 2000 people. The reason we were there was for a school concert - our school grouped up with many other schools from the area to show off talents once a year. We were to perform right at the end, after the rest of the schools had shown off their young talent, and to be honest, we soon got a feeling that our duet, 'Stamping Dance' from 'The Lollipop Man' music book, was too simple and would not live up to the standard of the rest of the kids. Jonathan must have been around grade one or two and I was probably around grade three at that time.
I had acted and danced on stage before then many times, so was used to the atmosphere of electric, but my poor brother didn't know what to expect. Wide eyed, we both walked up to the front of the stage. Although I had performed in front of audiences of this size before, I had never had the courage to get up and play an instrument or make music. Reeling off a few lines from memory or remembering a ballet dance seemed easy compared to this, but the adrenaline kept me going.
All went silent, the spotlight on the two small children standing on stage with their jazzy coloured violins (mine purple and my brother's bright electric blue). Every eye was on us, every bit of expectation burning into our minds.
I nodded towards Jonathan to show him I was ready to play - he had the main tune on top and was the lead. It was almost like slow-motion - his bow was lifted to the string and then the sound of the A string rung out through the whole theatre. Then the second note, quickly after, as the first two notes were only semi-quavers. That was my queue to come in, overlapping his tune.
It was wonderful! Within seconds, the whole theatre of people were up and standing, stomping away and clapping to our fun and simple, yet very effective, duet! The vibrations from the audience shook the whole building and when we finished our duet, a huge wall of clapping sounds hit our ears! We had done it! Our first proper performance! And do you know what? It was the best feeling ever!
It just goes to show - doing something simple and easy can make people as wowed as doing some big concerto! So I would say to you - get your kids or your students out there to do their own simple duets! Or maybe even try one yourself! You never know what could happen!
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