In the midst of unprecedented times, several musicians have faced a new challenge: several auditions that have typically been in-person have now switched to a virtual format. For many musicians, this is a MUCH more comfortable audition method! However, I consider myself as more of a “one and done” kind of gal. I want to walk onto a stage, introduce myself, sing for a judge, and then call it a day… but sometimes, you gotta record your audition from your apartment. I like to think I’ve got my virtual audition method down to a science, and I would love to share it with you!
In my opinion, there aren’t many more joyful things in life than making music with another person. I recently have had the pleasure of playing with Kevina Lam, pianist for the School of Music. Kevina’s talent is a gift to the flute studio. She accompanies our class week after week, while maintaining a full schedule with several other studios, recitals, concerts, and being a mom.
This week, I had some trouble with my flute. Actually, the problems have been very slight for about six weeks now, but it got worse this week. This comes at a shaky time for me, because my recital is in under two weeks! Yikes! The question for me was whether to chance playing on my flute with its leaks or sacrifice a few practice days without it. Thankfully, the repair person, Tom Peterson of Flute Asylum, loaned me a flute for the days mine will be in the shop. Here are some things I’ve learned through this experience:
Since September, I have been rehearsing 5 days a week for a show that opens on November 12th. It has been a long rehearsal process as it usually is for any production.
This was the first “official” fall break and Thanksgiving in my life. This one-week break allowed me to have some time to relax and recharge during the busy and nearing end of the semester. However, I didn't spend all the time vegging in my house; instead, I managed my time properly. It was really a pleasant and fruitful week.
Today, I was vacuuming my family’s living room in our home in Richmond, VA, in preparation to set up for Christmas. It’s my family’s tradition to set up a Christmas tree and cook our same-old, same-old foods (and for me, the National Dog Show is a must). My mom likes things to be clean, really clean, before we can touch any decorations. I always wish we could skip this step and just get to the pies and ornaments. But today I was reminded of the importance of taking thorough care of the things I need to do before I can get to the fun stuff. My goal for this break was to maximize my time at home by doing all of my homework as fast as possible, checking my eye doctor appointments off the list, turning in some graduate school applications and then putting my feet up for a few days of rest. But of course, fall break just isn’t that long. And with all the things we often have to do, the fun stuff starts to feel like an obligation.
The world-renowned Krannert Center for the Performing Arts offers many performances in a year and provides a vigorous and artistic environment for students in the School of Music. It had always been a dream of mine to perform on stage there. At the beginning of October, I finally entered Foellinger Great Hall, and it was such a great pleasure that my first time there was to be on stage as a performer alongside the University of Illinois Wind Orchestra. I was pleased to see lots of people in the audience. Even though the audience wore masks, I was certain that they enjoyed the music with happy faces.
I’ve been doing a lot of “stress thinking” as we enter midterm season, especially about how to study. A lot of research has shown that changing up the place or environment in which you study can be more effective than any amount of cramming. But when there are busy schedules and rehearsals which are central to Krannert and The Music Building, a change of place can be hard to find. That doesn’t mean we can’t rotate, though!