February 2006

February 28, 2006 16:40

I went on a ski trip yesterday with my school. And I snowboarded. And I fell on my butt quite a number of times. The first time I snowboarded was two years ago, but I made a bit of progress since then and was able to get down the intermediate hill without falling! Yay me!

When I woke up this morning I couldn't even get out of bed, I was so sore. I was going to shadow at a possible candidate for a high school but I felt pretty sick so I stayed home. Also I'm finding it hard to hold up a violin. Hopefully this will wear off soon.

But snowboarding was really fun. I wish I could do it more often! But since I won't be with that school next year, I won't have a real excuse to go. Maybe my family can go sometime.

Oh, I almost forgot about the concert! I played the Bruch with orchestra on Sunday, and it went off without a hitch. I really just relaxed and had fun with it, something I try to do every concert but usually fail in. I wore a blue dress which I like a lot. If I can get someone to help me later I'll try to put up the audio of the performance.

--alice

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February 24, 2006 20:52

This morning I left Tallahassee at 5 AM, without too much regret. I was excited about going to Florida, but the part of Florida we were in was, as the locals told us, pretty much Georgia. And the hotel we stayed in was on top of a highway. But it was still really warm, like April in Philly. Anyway, that show went great. One of my Roving Reports had to do with a pianist who, for fear of his hands and fingers, had never learned to ride a bike! So with the help of the local performer on the show, and one of the producers/writers, we helped this kid to successfully ride a bike for the first time!





It was really rather exciting to see him do this for the first time, since it's something I do a lot. Yay for him!

I got back home in time just to grab my skates so I could go ice skating with my class for the last time. (My friends aren't too happy about this, I guess it looks like I get to miss school, hop off a plane and join them for ice skating! Oh well.)

My solo with orchestra is in two days. I'm really excited! I feel prepared and confident, a lot better than I did before. And I did my Japanese homework slightly in advance instead of doing it in the two hours before my lesson, so I feel very proud of myself! :-)

--alice

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February 21, 2006 17:04

Countdown to the concert: 5 days.

Today I went to school in the morning, and left after lunch. Unfortunately I missed the arrival of the flour sack babies. But I was informed of my partner. See, in my school we get a flour sack, our "baby", which we have to take care of for two weeks, which includes carrying it around with us, giving it clothes if we want to, etc. It's really fun, and most people think of it as a joke.
We are allowed to duct tape our babies if they rip, but covering them completely with tape is killing them.

And, "You are NOT allowed to drop your baby our of the third story window!" (Apparently this happened a few years ago.)

So I had a lesson, played through the whole Bruch, went well. Tonight I have to pack for Tallahassee (for a FTT show). We have a 6 AM flight tomorrow. I'm really excited :-)

This weekend me and varying members of my family made two separate car trips to New York. We're very efficient! We saw "The Passion According to Saint Mark" by Osvaldo Golijov. It's hard to describe, but basically it's an oratorio in all different languages including Spanish, Latin and Portugeuse. Also, it included capoeira. It was really interesting! So I am rather tired but glad I saw that.

I had another lesson with Ms. Cho (and another chai latte from Starbucks) the other day. The room we have our lessons in is sweltering so it is always a problem of what to wear.

I really wish it would either snow again, or hurry up and become spring. But right now it's not moving either way!

--alice

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February 17, 2006 19:34

Good news! I got the part of Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof!

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

(For those of you who don't know the musical, that's the one female role that gets a solo song. And it's a very pretty one too.)

Today we worked on the choreography and singing for "Tradition". It was very fun. I love being in musicals so much!

Okay, and also I had a second rehearsal with the orchestra, which went a lot better this time. I had some problems with rushing in the third movement, but overall it came together pretty well.

Today for gym at school we went to an ice-skating rink. It was sooooo much fun. I wish I still did that stuff! But I guess I can go whenever I want.

The other day my quartet "Serafina" was on the radio, for the WRTI fund drive. We played "Tangos and More" by Michael McLean, which we learned recently and love. We were working on Shosti 8, but when we did a collaboration with a dance company, you can imagine that would have been hard (but cool, I think) to choreograph. So we learned these cute, easy fun pieces. We also got to banter, as radio people do during fund drives. And we got to read the number! They made their goal for that hour.

Next week my mom and I are going to Tallahassee. It will be my first time in Florida.

:-)

--alice

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February 13, 2006 14:47

Back from New York, as of a few hours ago. We got stuck in the snowstorm. Apparently it was the #2 in NY history! It was BEAUTIFUL. Anyway, here's the whole story. Friday night, me and mom drove up (a day earlier than we usually do) so we could create the pre-recorded piece (an interview with an IMG agent, manages one of the kids on this particular show). She was very nice, open, and honest, and it was a good interview. Then, the next day, we didn't have to do anything until about 6-ish. So, with nothing else to do, we spent most of the day adventuring around Times Square and Broadway! I've been there before, but always in the car, admiring the scene from the window. So this was the first time I got to walk around. It was a lot of fun. There are sooooooo many people and big bright flashing things. There was a giant Toys R Us store with a ferris wheel inside of it! We did a lot of window-shopping. I got a caricature of myself done on a street corner. It's the first I've ever got and it's very cool. I'll post it up here later. We walked and saw all the theaters. "Fiddler on the Roof" just closed, oh well. For lunch we went into this place called Ellen's Stardust Diner, or something like that, which was 50's themed, and the waiters were all out-of-work Broadway actors! Every five minutes they would sing to the restaurant, karaoke-style. It was really fun. The pizza party was that night, then we went out to dinner with the staff. :-D By then it was snowing a little bit but not sticking. I didn't think it would amount to anything, but the next morning there was like a foot of snow on the ground! It was stressful getting around, but we managed.

Anyway, this show was special because John Corligiano was the guest artist, and all the music played on the show was written by him. I got to meet him! Pictures later.

Because of all the snow, the house was on the empty side, even though it was sold out before. But there were people there. The show went well, and we had to stay another night in the hotel when we had planned on driving home that night. Violin lesson this morning, went well. In school tomorrow we'll find out our parts for the play. Fingers crossed for Hodel. Wish me luck!

--alice

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February 11, 2006 15:26

Greetings from New York! It was nice not having to fly for this FTT show and not having to deal with security, et cetera. We got here a day earlier than we usually do, in order to make a pre-recorded piece (I interviewed one of the agents of IMG, who manage a young pianist who's on this show). Today we got to walk around Broadway, which we've never done, even though we've been in New York a bunch of times. It is quite impressive. I got a caricature of myself done on the corner of a street, and we got in one of those horse-and-buggy things and went around Central Park. It was really fun! Now we are checked into our second hotel over the period of two days, and soon I'm off to the pizza party.

A few days ago I rehearsed the Bruch with the orchestra--and it was disastrous. They are a very well-meaning community orchestra, but the sounds they were producing sounded like nothing I've ever heard before, and nothing I could connect to the concerto, anyway. So I couldn't do my entrances at all, even though the conductor was doing his best and conducting like a maniac out the rhythm. So I called up my teacher in tears, and was telling him about the experience, and he said I wasn't the first of his students to call him up crying after the first rehearsal with that orchestra! Anyway, I scheduled a bunch of rehearsals with a pianist since I had never played the first two mvts. with piano anyway, and she did her best imitation of the "Bad Orchestra" -- playing wrong chords and coming in on the wrong places, and I had to keep up. It was hilarious! And I feel better about it now. Okay I have to run and get ready!

--alice

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February 8, 2006 09:57

I'm back home from California! It was so nice there! It felt like spring in February. So the two shows were in Carmel and Palo Alto. Carmel is gorgeous, and me and my mom got a chance to go down by the beach. It is really touristy, of course. There were tons of hotels and nobody we met seemed to actually live there. We did find places to eat even though most of the stores in the town seemed to be art galleries and sweater shops. The Carmel FTT show was great; I got to do a humorous quiz with a 12-year-old pianist, and "interview" Clint Eastwood. Yep, you heard that right. In Palo Alto, the show was held at Standford's auditorium. I did a skit with a 12-year-old cellist about her website, and a little interview with a soprano about her tastes in music. I absolutely love doing those shows. When one is over I get sad, so I was really happy that we had two in a row next to each other. My younger sister came with us, but for the most part stayed with our aunt and cousins who live in Albany.

It's settled--for the musical at my school we're doing "Fiddler on the Roof". I wasn't too happy when I heard about this (the decision was made while I was in CA). I know they picked it because there are a lot of female parts, something we need in particular this year, but the real main part is the father (or so I have been told) and none of the boys are particularly talented in this area. Also, I'm not saying that Fiddler on the Roof is a depressing musical, but I was hoping to do something a bit more....comedic. Perhaps I'm just biased because I don't know it, the plot, or the characters very well yet. But I'm still a bit melancholy about the whole deal. We had the auditions for the parts the other day--if you could call them auditions. It's VERY informal, and since who is even in the musical is a lottery, a lot of the kids can hardly carry a tune, except for a few of the girls. It was really fun. I sang "Sixteen Going On Seventeen".

The other elective I'm in this semester is knitting. I'm sure this sounds odd to the other middleschoolers/highschoolers out there, but that just goes to show what my school is like! It's a good skill to learn of course. It's very funny because me and my friends spend the time sitting in a circle and knitting and talking and feeling like old ladies. It's very fun though.

Now, the Bruch performance with the orchestra is on Feb. 26. So I have 18 days left. It's coming along nicely. Though most of the time I feel confident, I have periods where my brain is like, "AHHH! What am I doing? I can't play a whole concerto yet!" But I have done the equivalent before, so I know I'll be fine.

Here are some pictures from the trip.



baby sea lions!





Two views of the beach.








I have been practicing my butt off today.


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