Thursday, November 19, 2009

Doing it!

So this was probably the first week where I finally felt like a professional musician and not someone who was taking a break from an office job. I had a jam packed week of performing, teaching, music engraving, networking and positive feedback from the whole thing. I really feel like I am actually working as a musician, not hoping to one day get more work. Its definitely here and I am working hard, but still having a blast doing it.

Because I've had 2 performances and 6 rehearsals in the past 5 days I had to reschedule most of my students, so needless to say I haven't seen my husband much. Its been a crammed week for sure. And I am looking forward to having tomorrow off, and having a break this morning is certainly refreshing.

Let's start with the orchestra gig I had this weekend with the concert on Monday. I was hired to play 2nd flute with an orchestra put together by a conducting grad student for his graduate recital. I wasn't expecting much, mainly I was expecting alot of students. That was not the case. Who walks in to play piccolo? Only a flute professor of UGA from when I was at UGA. Although it was fabulous to see him again and to finally get to play with him, it was nerve wracking. This is someone whom I respect as a player and think highly of, and although I had played many a jury with him sitting on the panel I really wanted to play my best this time as a professional. Lucky for me and anyone who has met him, he's so positive, encouraging, and laid back it made it easy to relax, have a good time, and in fact play well. It turned out to be a great experience, and another reminder to always be prepared, you never know who's gonna show up to play piccolo.

Now preparing for Tuesday's concert was a different ball game all together. I was premiering a work of my own for solo flute "Smorgasbord" as well as music by Boston composer Karl Henning. Karl and I were even performing a duet of his, but would only get two rehearsals to put it together. Lucky for me, he as gracious enough to send a midi of the clarinet track with and without a click track for me to rehearse with. I knew it would be a difficult piece to put together ensemble wise with only two days, I felt it was a good request to ask for and see if he could provide. He was more than happy to do so, whew! The rehearsals went well and we really didn't need as much rehearsal time as we had planned. I certainly hope to be able to perform with Karl in the future. We certainly clicked, maybe I'll get to go to Boston next time, a place I've always wanted to visit.

Enjoy a little clip of Karl Henning and I rehearsing his duet Heedless Watermelon:

I was incredibly surprised by the reaction to "Smorgasbord". It went over well, and many people, aka composers, asked about the techniques I used. It certainly raised people's curiosity and the audience found it amusing. I've recently been pushing myself to write more positive and humuorus music, since that is how I have been feeling recently. My life has changed for the better, I am happy, my music should reflect that. I am surprised at how easy that has been for me. "Mangosteen" and "Smorgasbord" are great examples of my upbeat disposition. "Nautica" reflects the intensity and spirit in which I've been tackling my life during this transition into being a wife and full-time musician. This has all been a good thing, and I am glad I took that leap from an intense, stressful office job as a single graphic designer, to a married full-time musician with new experiences every day and plenty of love and support.

Being able to quit my job, makes it easier to practice and write. I feel better prepared for everything, and I am certainly performing better. I am even more productive as a composer. The future is just as exciting, if not more so. "Mangosteen" has been accepted into the 2010 Festival of Women Composers at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. So in March, I will make the journey to Indiana, PA to perform it and hopefully check out the Jimmy Stewart Museum. I am also going on my first tour in January. Its only 5 days traveling throughout the south playing in the pit of a musical, but its a new exciting adventure. Playing music and traveling are my two favorite things, and I am gonna get paid to do I have certainly been blessed, and I have lots to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

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