This whole week has been just lovely. For starters, I performed at Ave Maria's Second Annual Festival of the Arts on Sunday. Despite a somewhat disapointing turnout, the concert was lovely and I felt I played quite well. A touch scratchy on the tone and a tad messy on the runs, but overall (considering I couldn't warm up beforehand)I thought it was pretty good. My accompanist thought it went much better than my competition back in March, so I'm happy with it. And to top it off, the audience really seemed to enjoy it, so I couldn't ask for more.
Monday was the Feast of the Annunciation, the namesake event of the university, so we went out to the permanent campus for Mass. Everything is going beautifully! I can't wait to go to school there next year! Unfortunately, the oratory won't be done until February or so, but the rest of the campus looks fantastic and the town is going to be really beautiful.
Then, yesterday, I found out that I got free tickets to the Philharmonic Center for the Arts 25th Anniversary Gala Event! This is a huge deal, because at $1000 a pop, I never could've afforded tickets. The Phil has been exceedingly generous with free tickets, but this one has to take the cake. I certainly got my money's worth out of the Youth Orchestra (in fact, I'm playing on full scholarship, so this is all completely free!) Huge thanks to Myra Daniels, who seems to have provided all these wonderful opportunities to hear great artists live!
Tomorrow is a Chemistry exam, which I am determined to do very well on. These past few chapters have been pretty easy for me, so I hope to get an A to balance out the C+ from my midterm (oh, that was a wicked exam!)And Seton is still evil. Curse them.
Now I just have to wait and see what wonderous event comes my way today (dare I expect anything?)
Usually, I start off by saying "Not much has happened recently..." or "Nothing going on right now..." or some such thing, and out of habit, I almost began this post in a similar fashion. However, once I started thinking about it, quite a bit has happened since I last posted.
For starters, I turned sixteen on the thirteenth. My boyfriend came over for my traditional birthday dinner of my all time favorite food; vegetarian stuffed grape leaves, Greek salad, baklava, and pita bread. I've had the same birthday meal since I ate it at our Lebonese friends' house when I was eight or nine, despite the fact I am neither vegetarian nor from the Middle East.
Also, I finally cut off my very long hair (more than a foot of it) since it was becoming quite raggedy. It's now shoulder length and looks quite nice, although I'm still learning how to take care of it. Shorter hair is so much more of a hassle, believe it or not.
I couldn't have a post without complaining about my highschool at least a little. I'm really not doing well at all, and both my parents and I attribute this to the evil graders at Seton. Despite the fact I mantain A's on all my college-level material and scored in the 97th percentile on the PSAT, I get nothing but B's and C's for all my efforts. Some things are just stupidity on my part: for instance, I failed to turn the page and notice that there were questions #11 and #12 on the reverse side of the page (ten seemed like a nice even number). But some things are just plain stupid. I failed a history exam because (they took off 1/3 of the problem's value off for each of these) 1. Apparently the Marquis Lafayette was not a French general 2. The admiral Cornwallis was waiting for was not *captured* by the French, he was *defeated* by the French, and 3. Despite what our handout on the "weaknesses of the Constitution" says, it is false to say that God was not the underlying basis of the Constitution, due to the Deist mentality of the times. So now I have to retake an exam and send them proof that my answers are completely verafiable by the book we use. Yay.
I haven't heard back from either of my summer camps yet. I'm *really* hoping beyond hope to get into Encore, but I'm not sure if I can. I know competition's fierce there. But I'd so like to focus on my solo playing, rather than cram orchestral repetoire (we had to learn nine pieces, including Copland's Rodeo, Tchaikovsky's March Slava, Sibleius' Finlandia, and the Overture to Lohengrin in four days last year)=...I didn't get any solo work done all summer!).
So othewise, I've just been studying my brains out, practicing my fingers off, and getting ready for my concert on Sunday. I'm playing as a soloist for the second annual Festival of the Arts at the university. Should be a blast.
Well I got THE CALL yesterday at around 4:00. I can now say that I am a three time winner of the annual Naples Philharmonic Concerto Competition. The manager (who called and talked to my mom) said that the judges didn't have a single negative comment for me on their review sheets and that they were totally "blown away!" That's really good, because I try very hard to outdo myself every year; it's the real goal I have.
The slightly unfortunate news is that I won't be playing until the autumn. There are tons of graduating seniors this year who have to play in the spring, and they take precedence over my desire to play sooner. But it's really not that bad, because I'll be playing the Lalo for college auditions in the winter anyways.
I shipped myself back to Ave over spring break...I'm getting tired of lounging in my room with literally nothing to do. It's hard for me to study in my bedroom, especially with constant noises and distractions from my three siblings. I do much better in the complete quiet of the library, with only the clacking of computer keys and various instrumentalists practicing next door. Good organ pieces are always a joy to listen to, especially when the musicians are quite good.
I discovered and fell in love with Stephane Grappelli the other day. Quite a long time ago, I heard a brief excerpt of jazz violin-ing on the TV and voiced my high opinion of it. My father recommended Grappelli, but a search for his name yielded no results on our library catalogue, so, being a miserly CD purchaser, I forgot about him. While topic browsing the library catalogue, I came across "Violinists- jazz" and lo and behold I found several Stephane Grappelli CDs that had been lousily catalogued. I love his tone- so warm and fuzzy without being scratchy...and jazz is such a refreshing break from classical. My favorite CD so far is one of Grappelli and Menuhin playing jazz together. So fun! The music sounds like it would be so enjoyable to play.
So all in all, I've had a very nice past two days. I am now abandoning all this novelty for the solace of the Ave library cave.
Despite cramps, a sore throat, and very high stress levels, my concerto competition went very well last night. I played the first Mov. of the Lalo Symphonie Espagnol and, despite a messy first run and several out of tune stratosphere notes, I think it went pretty darn well. My tone was very good, the beginning was strong, the ending was very good, and the entire piece was focused and energetic. Even my hard-to-impress Julliard accompanist (who is amazing- even the judges commented what a fine job he did...) complimented me. I wish I could've had a little more constructive feedback from the judges though. But I really shouldn't complain because they seemed pretty pleased. Now all I have to do is wait for the phone call that tells me my fate...
Quartet is really going well. I'm not practicing the Lalo at all today, but I think I'll work on quartet music a tad. Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn...all fairly easy note wise, but leaves endless opportunities for musical development. Mr. Gao's really a fantastic chamber coach too. I like him a lot because he's not afraid to make us do things over and over and over until they're right. At the same time, he knows when we've reached the end of what we can accomplish. I really do love chamber music.
Been working on SAT crud. I haven't been feeling that great, though, so I haven't been pushing too hard. I'm rechnically on spring break right now, so I'm rather enjoying my time off.
And now, I best be off, so that I don't tie up the phone lines and prevent the judges from calling me and giving me my results...
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.