(You seasoned professionals can skip this if you like, since the experience is ooold news for you. )
Today we had our end-of-term recital at the music school I attend. I was nervous before we started, especially since I knew my teacher would be late so we would not have time to rehearse before, and I had also invited a colleague from work.
What did I play? Two songs from lesson books, "Visa vid vindens ängar" and "Greensleeves". (The first one is a Swedish folk song.) The first one was with piano accompaniment, and the second a duet with my teacher. I also played with the schools ensemble. The ensemble piece was an arrangement of Haydn’s water music, part 15 and 17 (trio), and a summer song.
I arrived one hour early since we wanted a final rehearsal with the ensemble. We made some errors we never used to do, played forte with jazzy rhythm instead of piano dolce, forgot repeats, and I lost where I was in the music... Never mind, there was no audience yet.
When we had finished rehearsing, everyone else, including family and friends, had arrived. The venue was cosy, and people were sitting around small tables helping themselves to coffee, sandwiches, cake, and other refreshments. There were mostly adults playing, since kids usually go to the municipal school. Everyone played beautifully, and I enjoyed listening to the fellow students I knew. We flutists were anxiously waiting to see if our teacher would make it on time. (She did of course.) The audience was really polite and listened to the music quietly and with great interest, even though the refreshments.
Finally it was my turn. For the solo songs, I found it difficult to keep the rhythm correct when practicing. But apparently I had been practising enough (always with metronome or cd) because especially Greensleeves went really well! I played the first song ok, but not as musical and with a poorer tone as I know I can play it. The reason was, I assume, that as I started playing I noticed I had forgot to tune with the piano and also started at a too slow tempo. I was not much out of tune, and managed to correct it better than I expected, so almost through the song it started to come together and I could relax more and focus on the playing. Greensleves went really well, and I am sure it is because I found it so difficult before and therefore spent huge amounts of time trying to get the rhythm correct and flowing when practising.
The ensemble pieces went really beautifully. No one messed up badly, and we started and ended together. Actually, we stayed together really nicely, and it was so great to hear the moments when all parts played so well that the music melted (blended?) together and nothing was “sticking out”. I loved the feeling when we hit the last note, and realised we actually managed to pull it off. (The big smile on the conductor/leader’s face, and the nice applauses, were of course fun too!) I am also impressed that the audience did not clap between sections, since I would not expect them to be concert goers and much of the other music was not classical.
wow well done, i will never forget the first time i performed at school, it was in the junior orchestra, which in our school ended up being a trio (me another flute and a cello) but we screwed up a little and no one notice so it went well, but the nerves were so intense it was horrible and when we finished i wanted to jump up and run away, so i understand how you feel, and i am glad it all went well for you, i hope you have more good experiences.
Thanks! I do not really know why I enjoy the flute, and music in general, so much. There was no music interest whatsoever in my family when I was growing up. But practising helps me relax and is a way to handle the intense workload I have at work, and I love playing with others and look forward to possibly join some community orchestra in a few years.
So happy to hear that you continue to enjoy playing. I have found that music is a wonderful retreat from the stresses of adult life. It takes you to a place where no one else can take you. I remember my Dad (also a musician) telling me as a very young child that music would follow me all my life. And he was so right, because it is there for you during the happiest times in your life as well as the most difficult. It is a gift you should treasure.