Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tough Decisions

Still life of our week
This week has been chock full of tough decisions combined with the flu. My teaching and performance schedule has amped up considerably this past month (totally grateful), but that doesn't mean everything has been going smoothly professionally or personally. I was met with one of those decisions which equated to the disappointment of facing reality. I'll leave out all the personal heart to hearts I've had with family and friends as they met their own tough personal strife. Let's talk about a professional one which was especially hard to make for everyone involved.

Through a series of events that played out I was faced with a decision on whether or not to pull my piece from a concert for Friday. No composer wants to do that. Performance opportunities can be few and far between. This was going to be one of those elusive second performances that composers have a hard time securing. It became obvious after our last and only rehearsal, however, that it was going to be a scary performance, and it could be potentially embarrassing for everyone involved: the performers, the artistic directors, and myself.

Luckily, I find myself surrounded by honest friends-colleagues whose opinions I value, but as always, it was the hubs who brought the most light to the situation. What is really great about being married to someone in your profession is that your access to experience doubles. I related what happened at rehearsal, and wouldn't you know it he had to make the exact same decision for a concert before we had ever met. At his dress rehearsal, it became obvious to him that the piece being performed wasn't ready. He felt it wasn't a complete representation of the music he had written, and he pulled it. If its not ready, its just not ready and why present a misrepresentation that could be harmful to everyone involved.

For whatever reason, the though of pulling the piece never crossed my mind as an option. I get in the mindset (as a performer) that the show must go on. But I forget that it doesn't always have to go on right that moment. So as grateful as I am for everyone wanting to take a stab at it, more work needed to be done that couldn't happen by the time of the concert. I'm especially grateful that everyone was relieved, however sad, that we cut the piece. In fact, I felt better as a musician that I could focus on the other pieces we're performing. Sometimes you need to strive for quality and not quantity. I'm glad the artistic directors feel the same way.

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