Thursday, August 6, 2009

Coop and the Scoop

LOUISIANA: I leave for Louisiana this weekend for a Cooperative Learning training at a private Catholic school just outside New Orleans. I am BEYOND excited to travel to LA, meet the people, actually train on content I truly believe in, and just enjoy the entire experience. I talked to the host this week, and she mentioned they would "start the day with a prayer, then hand it over to me." What a comforting thought to know we'll start in prayer! Stay tuned for a full report next week!

AUDITION RESULTS: I haven't blogged much about this because I could honestly write forever about this wonderful experience AND because I've tried to be patient and just wait for what God has in store for me. Plus, when you tell people you've auditioned, well, that makes it really REAL, and you've officially put yourself out there. People have been amazingly supportive, though, so I don't know why I've waited this long to post about the whole adventure!'s the scoop:

Three weeks ago, the Cherry Creek Chorale held auditions for their principal accompanist. The director is actually a colleague here in my district, and asked me to give it a try. We had worked together years ago, and really clicked. I just couldn't pass up this opportunity, especially since I had JUST expressed a desire to get back on top of my game, musically speaking. Plus, when the director asks you to apply...well, I couldn't take that too lightly, either, so I dove right in.

There were 3 parts of the audition: (1) solo piece, (2) sight-reading, (3) live audition with the summer group from the Cherry Creek Chorale using Brahms' German Requiem.

(1) I prepared an exciting, melodious Mendelssohn piece to play for my solo part of the audition (because I wasn't playing enough music, thank you 10-notes-in-every-chord-Brahms). I was temped to play Joplin, just to put everyone in a good mood, but decided to go with the more classical choice. Another time.

(2) The director also let me know I'd be sight-reading an 'open score Renaissance motet' during my audition, too. Awesome. Commence with the hysterics. Sight-reading? Not sure if my hands were actually attached to the nerve endings that lead to my brain. While not a highlight, I eventually held my own. Sort of. Let's move on...

(3) Brahms: Silly me, I thought I had the piano chops to be able to easily pick up Brahms' German Requiem. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. WRONG.

I was assigned movement 5 and 6. Mvt 5? Manageable. Mvt. 6?? A dragon. A bear. Insert whatever beast you wish that means nearly impossible to master in only six (6!!!!) days time! OY! Seriously, I've always been a strong sight-reader, and I took one look at that Mvt and completely blanched! Only when the hysterical laughing subsided did I actually get practicing!

I broke it down into manageable chunks (correction: Linda Jacobs broke it down into manageable chunks and offered priceless advice as a master conductor - thank you, thank you!), spent every waking (and sleeping) moment figuring out how I wasn't going to make a complete goon of myself in front of a live choir, and hoped for the best.

Actually playing the Brahms with the choir? Worth it all. Honestly, those 35 minutes with a room full of energetic, dedicated musicians made it worth all the hours and hours and hours of practicing. I immediately fell into my comfortable role of accompanist on the bench, and my fingers felt more alive than they had in years!

I actually left the audition wanting it even more than when I went in, which was exciting. Plus, it couldn't have gone TOO badly, because, thankfully, I did NOT spend the rest of the evening crying in the parking lot and I don't have to avoid the 65 choir members if I see them again in public. These are good things!

Results? Because it was a public position, the director had to open it up to everyone and anyone who was interested, which grew to a total of 7 people. Ugh. What can I say - it has to be a match between the director, the choir, and the accompanist. The last of the auditions was tonight. Then the Board meets to decide. Then they let us all know. End of this week perhaps? Early next week? I'm at the part where I say it's out of my mind, but it's completely on it. :)

Regardless of the final decision, I can honestly say I'm super proud of myself for even taking this on. It may not be such a bad thing to have someone ELSE tell me NO. (I seem to have a hard time saying it myself!). That being said, having 2 more Brahms pieces under my fingers was no small task, and just being asked/thought of in the first place was an honor.

The whole thing awakened part of my brain that had been lying dormant for quite some time now, and that feels absolutely invigorating!

1 comment:

Mary Kay Maas said...

You're so right! Telling people about it does make it scarily real! It was an absolute accomplishment just getting the nerve and the discipline back to do it. Congrats! I enjoy your blogging immensely, cheese. You make me laugh. Reminded me of all the funny faces that would authentically appear as Doc would tell his stories. Oh, those were the days. Way to go on getting back in the saddle! I had no idea you were so spiritual! Yeah! Looking forward to reading more of your adventures.