The Burning Within…

Folks, you will have to forgive me.  I have not posted anything since the middle of October!  I am sure I could give you the laundry list of excuses like how I have a little baby that consumes all my time, 10 piano students, an upcoming album to finish, recitals, concerts, housework, family….but I will save that for another day.

Lately I have had this burning inside of me.

It started last month when I stepped inside of a sheet music store to pick up some new music for my students.  The smell of the freshly printed repertroire books, metronomes, and violin strings.  I went crazy and bought way way WAY more music than I originally planned on and went home and poured over the music on my piano as if I were an animal devouring fresh meat.

And then a few days after that, two of my students told me about how they had recently auditioned for the local youth symphony and made it in.  I wanted to hear all about it.  What song did they audition with?  How many participate?  What songs are they performing in concert?

I’ve lately pulled out my old classical piano books and have been practicing them.  My car radio has been set to Seattle’s classical station and I have been playing the old game of guessing the piece and composer before the announcer comes back on. 

My violin has been sitting in its case on the floor underneath my grand piano sending me subconscious messages. “Play me…come on you know you want to…”

Where am I going with all of this?

It’s simple:  I’ve got the itch.  An itch that I haven’t had in a few years.  The burning ambition to be part of a group of musicians, to return to my classical roots, to be a part of that world again.

The world of rehearsals, the sound of tuning up your instrument, the tap-tap-tap of the conductor’s baton on his music stand to start a piece, the feeling of excitement for 80 musicians to play that first note, and the rush of the audience applauding after the final note.

I’ve had this desire lately to audition for one of our local semi-pro symphonies, just to be part of that again.  But the thought of the night and weekend rehearsals make reconsider (Do I really want to commit to that?). 

Not to mention it is a completely different world than that of writing and composing my own music.  Right now I hold all my own cards.  I run my own show.  I decide when I will perform, and what, and at what venue.  I decide when to release music or albums.  My world is also more…how do I describe this…laid back?  I suppose that would be a good description.  I compose what I want without rules and play to a very forgiving audience.

To enter the Classical world again….would be like a student transferring from public school to private with uniforms and the whole works. Strict teachers, protocalls, the works!  It has been 4 years since I last performed with an orchestra. 6 years since I last soloed with one.

And then yesterday, at the peak of my interest my husband stumbles across this and emails it to me:

At first glance, I thought “You’re kidding me”.  and then I thought “There is no way I would do something like that….video myself for a big youtube thing? How embarrassing.”

But then, as my curiosity got the better of me I returned to the site this morning and poured over their Q&A, the video clips, downloaded the audition pieces.  I started feeling like I was backstage amongst fellow orchestra members with the buzz of instruments, sheetmusic, tuxedos  and black concert dresses in the air.

I watched Lang Lang’s video and remembered meeting and talking with him a couple of years ago when I was working for the Seattle Symphony.  And there he was – as an ambassador for this YouTube Symphony idea. 

I think I’m gunna do it. Heck, the chance to possibly perform at Carnegie Hall with musicians from around the world?  I highly doubt I would be selected…but why not audition anyway? (Quick confession: I have wanted to perform at Carnegie Hall since I was, ohhhhhh, like 10 years old!)

Which means I’ve got to break out the Beethoven Sonatas and Brahms’s Intermezzos and get crankin’ on my skills.  I’ve got a month and a half to submit my audition video.

Possibly this might be the scratching this itch needs…

To be continued.


**6/6/09 Update:  I never ended up auditioning for the youtube symphony because I was too busy with the new album, though I really regret not being able to. It sounded like it was an awesome opportunity.


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