May 2006

May 30, 2006 19:26

Okay, I'm doing a really quick entry before I go to bed. I got some new repertoire at my last lesson. Some of the stuff I got:

Intro. and Rondo Capriccioso
Wieniawski Scherzo Tarantella
Chausson Poeme -- I love it

and, finally, the Chaconne from the D minor Partita! YAY! I am so happy about that, I've been waiting to play it forever. When I was little I would look through my big green unaccompanied Bach book, and try to play the chords in the Chaconne. I listened to it all the time so I had the chords in my head, but they were way too hard for me to play. Now I can do it, though! I played the third mvt. of the Bruch in a local competition last Saturday, and I'm finally done with it, for now.

So that new stuff is some of the repertoire I'll be bringing to Encore, where I'll be studying with both of the Cerones this year. I'm really excited--only 4 weeks left till I go! Two weeks after Encore I'm going back to Kinhaven, for two weeks, on viola. So my summer schedule is pretty similar to last time. I might have to leave Encore for a few days in the middle for a FTT show. It would be a nice break, since I don't get to go to Ireland this year!

School is almost over. My school is so great--while my older sister is all anxious about finals, our school is taking trips to the beach and amusement parks. Wow, am I going to miss my school next year.

Today I shadowed at Masterman, one of the two schools I'm looking at for next year. I had almost decided on going to the other school, Central. But after my shadow today, I am completely torn. It was really wonderful there--the building is lovely, the classes were great, I met some really nice kids. I really am stuck right now. Here is my list of pros and cons for the schools in my head.
Pros--
Masterman: smaller school (everyone knows everyone, more attention from teachers, etc) better academics,
Central: closer to our house, my friends from middle school are going there
Cons--
Masterman: I will be the only kid going to the high school that wasn't already in the middle school, so everyone will already know each other (but that's not too bad because I want to meet new people).
Central: HUGE place--a ton of kids.

Looking at this, I'm making it look like Masterman is better. Maybe subconsciously, I want to go there more. I did like my shadow better there. Aahhhh, I don't know. In any case, I still have one week of middle school left to enjoy. Goodnight.

--alice

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May 26, 2006 18:46

I also have been quiet in terms of blogging recently, because so much has happened! I had a really busy week, and I haven't been home since Monday. Here's what it looked like:

Monday morning, my mom and I took a train to New York for my Juilliard Pre-College auditon. I definitely prefer trains to flying now. They're a whole lot easier to get on, and just more pleasant. So we got to our hotel and dumped our stuff, but then we had to go over to Juilliard right away so I could take my theory and solfege placement auditions. I haven't really taken any theory before, but wasn't worried, I figured I could just be in the beginner class. And I didn't really have any idea what solfege was, but again I thought I would just be with other beginners. I took my theory test first, and I could only do a little bit. It's fine, though, the theory teacher said I would be fine in the first class. Then I went into my solfege test, and the solfege teacher asked me to do a bunch of things, most of which I don't remember but for example, he would play a fifth, and then, depending on whether he wanted the chord to be major, minor, augmented or diminished, I had to tell him which note would go in the middle. Stuff like that. I kind of guessed my way through all of it, but when I was finished he said, "I'm going to put you in class 3+. That means that, if you get in, you'll be taking level three classes, but if you feel like it's too easy then you can move up to four." I thought that was really weird since I didn't even know what solfege was until I walked into the building!

So that evening I had my rehearsal with the accompanist. Juilliard provided three, I think they were all graduate students. At least mine was. He was very nice, and I was glad to have him because it gave me an inside scoop of the auditions, for example he said that the judges don't like it when the pianist plays the tutti's for too long. So we cut them as a short as possible, and then we went out and took advantage of the restaurants in New York where you can waltz in and get a table without waiting. The next morning I got up early and warmed up. I think I was the very first violin audition of the year, certainly the first of the morning. The weird thing was, I wasn't nervous at all. Not even a tiny bit! I think it was too early for me to be nervous...*yawn*. I'm definitely not a morning person. I think that it went really well. I started with the second movement of the Bruch, which they heard a few lines of. Then they asked for the third movement, which I played about a page and a half of, then they asked for the Bach, which I played about two pages of. My teacher, Catherine Cho, was one of the judges, and there were about seven other people that I didn't know. Anyway, I felt it went really well. After the audition, we ran back to the hotel, checked out, and jumped on a train to Boston!

To Be Continued...

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May 7, 2006 16:56

In my last blog I posted the links to the two performances I did in my music school's annual concert (one with my quartet, one as a soloist). My string quartet (Seraphina) went first, and we played the first and second movements of the Shostakovich 8. It is one of our favorite pieces as a group. We've have a pretty varied repertoire as a group; we have the staples, Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, and more fun and modern pieces such as "Short Set for String Quartet" by Gwyneth Walker.

Playing the staples when we first started the quartet really helped our development a lot. The only reason we played the Shostakovich is that the other violinist played it at camp and really loved it, and wanted us to play it. Of course, the rest of us loved it too. And after the performance, which we felt good about, our coach told us that we could never have played the piece when we started the group three years ago, but that we had come really far along. It was wonderful to hear that.

After we we performed, there was a break between the two concerts (they had to split it into two since there were so many performers, I was on the second half) and because it was such a beautiful day, the quartet walked to South Street and got ice cream. When I got back to the school, I rehearsed Praeludium and Allegro with the accompanist. I was kind of tired (the Shostakovich is pretty draining) but the rehearsal was good. The only thing was that near the middle of the Praeludium, my D string slipped.

While I was retuning, my teacher said, "If that should happen in the performance, just smile, retune, and start over." Of course, that had never happened before and I didn't think it would happen again. But when it came time to perform it, the beginning was fine, but the same string slipped in the same exact place, within the measure, as in the rehearsal! So I retuned and started over, and it was fine. But that's really weird, because it's never happened before and hasn't happened since! I'm glad it happened in the rehearsal, though, because I knew just what to do. The rest of the performance was great, the only bad thing that happened is that my ponytail slipped and there was hair in my face. Since I wasn't using music, it didn't really matter. It was just a little distracting.

Yesterday, my quartet was in a master class coached by the Miro Quartet. We played the Shostakovich since we had been working so hard on it and had it really good. We had a half hour slot in the master class, and they let us play both movements all the way through. Out of the four of them, one of the violinists was missing, but the guys that were there were really nice. One of the things they said was that in playing this piece themselves, they discovered that, "it will sound even more wild and frenzied if you play it with a lot of clarity and precision". They said it looked like we were really getting into it, but if we had more control, it would bring out all the crazy off-beats and discords, and make it sound even more frightening. That was one of the most helpful things they said.

--alice

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May 1, 2006 20:15

Here are the performances from my birthday, my string quartet Seraphina playing the first two movements of the Shosti 8, and then me playing Praeludium Allegro (you'll get to see all the interesting things that happened during the latter, haha).

Praeludium and Allegro

Shostakovich

I'll do a real update later.

--alice

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