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Mendy Smith

Day 23 - Mock Audition or Concert?

February 24, 2009 at 5:58 AM

I arranged for the conductor of my orchestra to have a little Mock audition of the Bloch after rehearsal tonight (sans piano).  So what does she do?  She announces it during rehearsal, asking anyone and everyone who could stay for a few minutes afterwards to listen to me perform.  The more the merrier.  After rehearsal, everyone stayed in their chairs waiting for me to play.  OMG!!!!!   My hands started sweating like crazy, so I excused myself for a moment to wash my hands, stretch, and collect my thoughts for a moment before begining.  By the time I came back and set-up, somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 or more people were still there waiting to hear me play.

I played from the piano score, though I didn't look at it but twice.  I started off calm enough, reveling in the music. I didn't start getting a bad case of the nerves until right before the nosebleed section, after a pause where the piano would play before I enter in.  I made the mistake and looked up and saw everyone.  OMG!  I missed the high Eb, shook like crazy, lost control of my bow for a moment, then found the D and made it back down with determination, some wrong notes, but without collapsing into a gelatonous pile on the floor at the end of the run.  Thank goodness for the phrase that comes after that - it even calmed my nerves and I stopped shaking as badly as I was.  I finished off the piece entirely from memory.  The ending is much less challenging technically, and sounded better right up and through the final diminishing note.

I'm still shaking though - even now.  Never before in my life had I played solo in front of so many people.  I'm thankful for having the support of my orchestra for taking a few minutes out of their evening to stay, listen, and support me.  At least now I know I can go though the audition without falling apart completely.  2-3 judges should be a piece of cake in comparison.   I now have a very clear understanding of my weak spots in this piece that I'll be focusing on over this final week.

I still can't believe I just did what I did and lived to tell the tale.

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on February 24, 2009 at 2:34 PM

It's hard to feel on the spot like that!  But I'm sure your orchestra mates were a sympathetic friendly audience, all pulling for you!  We are.

What if you do win the scholarship?  Will you still go to Texas and take that job?

From Mendy Smith
Posted on February 25, 2009 at 12:30 AM

PS -  I just completed one more Mock Audition a few minutes ago.  This time at the University, up on the stage with the violin/viola instructor (who I really don't know).  I didn't shake one bit through the Bloch nor the Bach, no out of tune notes, etc...   Yippeee!!!  Maybe that little concert last night did the trick and scared the stage fright right out of me.

From Ray Randall
Posted on February 25, 2009 at 9:48 PM

At TWA we did so dang many practice sessions of catastrophic engine failures, fires, explosions, etc., that when the real thing happend just as we rotated off the runway in very bad weather it was a piece of cake.  The #3 engine on the 727 lost all oil pressure and quantity in about two seconds. The turbines spinning that fast with no oil would explode and maybe shear the tail off or at least kill a few people. With no raised voices or increase in heart rate we handled the problem extremely fast and continued the climb out to work on where to land. The point being that keeping yourself exposed to situations of pressure where there's minimal harm done if you screw up makes the real thing a piece of cake.

From Stephen Brivati
Posted on February 25, 2009 at 10:03 PM


that`s exactly the point and precisly whythe kind of work yu do in a run up to a performance should be centered on this concept. Its like the recurring nightmare you may have ha das a kid.   Remember how after a fewnights of trauma the mind just wouldn`t take anymore and modified what wa shappening so you began to feel increasingly safe and able to cope?   The mind/body is only willing to take so much relenless stess so it simply waters things down or stops reacting.   But you need to keep up the presusre now you have proven you can do it.



From Tess Z
Posted on February 26, 2009 at 4:02 AM

Congratulation's on finding permanent employment in your home state.  Now you have to start packing, ugh!

And Mendy, you could always pursue a music degree part time......



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