Reflection on Last Week’s Concerts

I know that I have not been so great on blog posts this last month, but it was just too busy with all the activities I had to do. But, most of that included this independent study. Therefore, I am going to talk especially about last week’s concerts. I had three conducting concerts last week (something I never thought I’d say at this age). Two of them were with the instrumental ensemble and one of them was the Jordan High School Musical, “Bright Star.” The instrumental ensemble got better and better as the days went on. We had two dress rehearsals: one of them I couldn’t make, but the other I was there for. I conducted them in my own arrangement of the march called “Spirit of ’44,” and they practiced it so well, that all we needed to do was polish up some things. This means that we focused on the connectivity of the lines, making sure the specific articulation and dynamics I wanted worked, and definitely keeping track of tempo. Sometimes, when a song is easy enough for people to play since they have practiced it so well, it is natural for them to start rushing because of its current simplicity. This was something I had to make sure at the rehearsals and the concert that they didn’t do. I tried conducting with much more energy too, since that only helps the kids get more into playing the music. The first concert was in front of the whole school, which I was happy about; I got to finally show my fellow classmates what my passion is by example. Sharing what I learned through actually showing what I want to do was a great treat. Both the concerts with the instrumental ensemble were great because we were all in it together. And then, the big test was “Bright Star.” Coordinating what happens on stage with the pit band is hard enough as it is already, but what was even more difficult about this production was that the pit band, instead of being in front of the stage, was on the stage behind the singers. This means that it is harder to recuperate if things get off, as the singers can’t watch you for most of the time. Sometimes, there were moments where I had to tell the pit band what new measure we were on if the singers skipped a measure. But, the actual performance went well, as there was no point in there where we had to completely stop. In fact, it went so well, that the orchestra was nominated for TRS (Triangle Rising Stars) for Best Orchestra (the judges just so happened to show up the night I was conducting!). Therefore, I think this independent study has been a great success, and an even better one than I intended. Technically speaking, I was nominated for being part of leading that orchestra. This independent study gave me so much.