Tuesday, January 15, 2008

1 down, 4 to go.

My first grad school audition, for Cincinnati College-Conservatory, was on Saturday. To be frank, I was not particularly pleased with my performance- while it could've been worse, it could have been much much better. The first (and I suppose largest) problem was that I somehow warmed up too much, and so I was tired (though I couldn't feel it and was, I guess, distracted when I was actually warming up) before I even started my audition. I was fairly pleased with my Gillet etude, though I (as always) feel that I could have played it better if I'd had another go at it, and my two oboe excerpts (Beethoven 3 and Bach "Ich habe genug") went quite well. Paladilhe was good but not as good as at my jury, I don't think; the first part went well, and then my embouchure started slipping and my fingers started getting nervous in response. Poulenc was going along nice, although he stopped me partway through. However, my English horn excerpt somehow was really bad. I don't really know what happened, because it was the Ravel Piano Concerto, which I have played in concerts. But, whatever. Bombed that. Also, I played the Mozart Quartet very near the end, and unlike Poulenc, where there are plenty of gaps for getting one's embouchure under control, in Mozart there are not. So I sounded tired and a little flaily in that, since because I was worried about my endurance, my tonguing started to slip.

I suppose on the whole I'm happy with the audition, even though it wasn't my best playing possible, because I really got my nerves under control. And now I'm resolved to rock my other auditions. I just wish that my first audition hadn't been for my top choice of school. Because I'm about 95% sure that I didn't get in.

So...5 more days to practice for Northwestern. Bring it on. I will absolutely not warm up too much.

I'm back down at school now, and while yesterday I practiced in my apartment, today I went to Old Cabell. It's nice to be back in the practice rooms, where there is appropriate light, and a mirror, and a real stand, and acoustics which I know how to work with. Who would've thought I'd be wanting to play in our practice rooms. I also saw quite a few people, which was nice, and found out that although I haven't received my jury sheets yet, they haven't been lost, exactly, just misplaced inside the office, and I will have them relatively soon.

My reeds seem to be working again (knock on wood). I have a new batch of cane, some new silver Pisoni staples (aka the magic staples), and my corners have returned. So that's looking up at least- my reeds weren't exactly bad in Cincinnati, but they were edging on bright and squished, and I felt like I had to protect my sound too much to really get the tone and the dynamic range I was hoping for. In other reed news, I bought an Innoledy gouger! Or, to be more precise, my parents bought it for me. I was really surprised when they told me this, because I had been counting on paying for it myself with the aid of Christmas money, as I told them and they agreed, but I didn't protest too much. :-) I also, of course, effusively thanked them. I'm quite excited to get it and start having a little bit more control about the quality of gouged cane that I'm making reeds out of- I've found lately that a lot of the gouged cane I've been getting from Jeanne hasn't been that great.

Classes start tomorrow, and music-wise I'm taking lessons (obviously), independent study for my recital program notes, musicianship (dictation and sight-singing), post-tonal analysis, and orchestration. Plus orchestra, in which I'm playing Firebird this concert, which starts tomorrow as well. Outside of the music department, I'm taking an English seminar on Milton's Paradise Lost.

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