Post Recital Reflections

What a rewarding feeling when all of the work that you have put into something finally comes to fruition.  This afternoon, after months of preparation, I performed my junior recital; now my family has left and I am sitting in my room watching an opera, soon to be getting ready for the Ball this evening.  Is it really over?  It just seems so surreal.

Granted, I should know this feeling by now, because I have been involved in so many musical and theatrical productions that I should expect it.  However, somehow this sadness at the end of every recital, concert, play, musical, opera, or other production still surprises me every time.

For my recital, putting together an hour of music after returning from Spain was a bit of a challenge because I wasn’t able to do much work in the fall semester on my pieces.  There were foreign language pieces to memorize, high notes to work up to, ornaments to run over and over again, complicated accompaniments to collaborate with, and also just details like writing my program and planning the reception.  Luckily, with a lot of practice, an excellent voice teacher, and a talented accompanist who was willing to work extra with me, I was able to put the program together for a performance that I was truly proud of.

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I wrote that first half on Saturday, but I thought it would be good to keep and use it, even though I am finishing out this entry two days later.

Monday mornings I have my voice lesson, and after working just a little bit, we gave my voice a rest and started talking about my recital next year – after all, it is never too early to begin planning!  My voice teacher took more and more song books off of her shelf, creating quite a pile, and we just sat down at the piano and sort of sang through a few different songs, discussing what types of pieces I wanted to sing next year.  More Spanish? – I do love Spanish.  Some Czech?  She is from the Czech Republic, so it is a great opportunity to do some different repertoire.  French?  Well, I did not have any this year, so why not?  And so it went, and I left with several books to start looking through.

So after a couple of days life goes on as usual, though my semester is far from being finished.  This weekend we have the opera workshop performances, so right now I am just getting ready for the next event!  Ah, the life of a musician. . . as much as it can get stressful and just kind of crazy with all the rehearsals, preparation, and general time commitment, when it actually comes time to get up on stage and do it, I remember every time why I love performing and decided to be a music major.

For me, life IS a musical.

Wow, I just realized that I haven’t written a blog in a week and a half. . . the time must be passing quicker than I realize!  Although I am content with my schedule this semester, the fact that 80% of it is music classes can be sort of overwhelming sometimes.  Allow me illustrate.

Besides my one General Education class (Math) and my Spanish-American Civilization class, I have two music history classes – I’m not sure yet if this is an entirely crazy idea or just a good challenge.  Only looking at that, four traditional classes sounds like not too bad of a semester, right?  I’ve always had my voice lessons and a couple of ensembles added to the mix, so I thought that wouldn’t be too bad to handle.  This semester, though, is much more involved than usual, which sort of came as a surprise, though I should have known this was coming.

So, as a music major concentrating in vocal performance, as well as just a passionate musician, I tend to give a hearty “sure!” to every opportunity to sing.  I think this semester I may have reached (though not exceeded yet, I hope) my maximum capacity for the amount of music I can take in at a time.  First, I am part of Choraleers and Chamber Singers, so we have many new pieces that we are all working diligently on, but I also have several extra pieces to learn because of my absence last semester.  This is a good amount of music. . . but wait, there’s more!  I am also part of the opera workshop, so I am learning selections from three different Mozart operas, I am preparing five pieces for a vocal competition two weeks from tomorrow, and to top everything off, my junior recital is five weeks away.

Oh my.

Sorry to bore you with my list (or complaining), but goodness, it just goes to show you how quickly you can get busy at Erskine!  Granted, this is the area that I choose to spend most of my time and energy in because I enjoy it and I am (God willing!) going to graduate with a degree in music next year.  Somehow it is mildly amusing to me when I think about how excited I was to get back into music, after being away for a semester, because even though I knew I would be very busy as usual, I still did not realize that I would be this busy.  But, I can’t complain too much, because I chose it all; regardless of how overwhelmed I feel at the end of some days, I know that when it comes down to it, I am going to enjoy it all and not regret any of it.

Oh, and by the way, if you like music events and want to see some of these wonderful concerts, recitals, opera performances, or other exciting music events, check out http://www.erskine.edu/academics/music/events.shtml – there are lots of great things going on in the department this semester!