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The Piano Recital

By , Crawfordsville, IN
The quiet wisps of wind pelted the walls of the little church on the hill. Everyone had gathered on this one day to listen to the local children play their tunes of joy and cheer. One after the other, the children rose to present their songs on the piano centered on the massive stage. They walked up, presented their joyful little melody, and then they sat back down with the warmth of applause in their hearts.
My turn was coming up. Since I was the eldest piano student currently enrolled with the town’s piano teacher, I had the honor of presenting my song last. In past years, I had drooled over the prospect of playing the closing piece. But, not that the chance was all mine, I was shaking in my own skin.
As the second to last piece melted into oblivion, I rose with the echoing of old applause. As I slowly moved toward the huge stringed instrument at the front of the sanctuary, I wondered if my own song would be as gladly accepted. My footsteps echoed as I reached the piano bench.
I slowly sat down; all my nerves were aflame with tension. I knew this song wasn’t full of cheer and joy, but I knew I had to play it. I had worked countless hours preparing the piece; it was too late to turn back now. My hands cautiously lowered to the surface of the keys. The hard cold sticks of ivory greeted me with a chill of anticipation. It was now time.
My fingers willingly played the first few keys. The eerie sounds of the notes echoed throughout the large chamber. The soprano pitches struck my ears with a shrill tone. The mood was being set as I played the opening, but I couldn’t dwell upon the prelude. I had to go on with the main message. I leisurely changed over to the main tone of the piece.
I played with zeal and passion. As the first verse flowed from within my soul to the tips of my fingers, it pulsed around the room; its eerie melody escaping from within the caverns of the piano. It came forth like an army of soldiers marching off to battle.
The chorus flew by as my fingers danced across the keys. They smoothly rode the mysterious tune, trusting on me to guide their every move. My eyes darted back and forth as I paid close attention to what I was doing. If I even accidently hit a note half-a-step lower, the whole song would change and it would totally lose its purpose.
After several minutes of my eerie song, the ballad section of the piece began. I slowly commenced a crescendo, my fingers asserting more pressure as the tone of the tune changed. The bass crept upwards in volume as the harmony melted into the melody.
Then, the song stopped. Four counts of silence separated the beginning from the end. I softly touched the keys; the eerie melody returned. As the song brought itself to a close, I closed my eyes. A bead of sweat trickled down my cheek. I played the last note as my eyes reopened. It was done.
There was a deep silence that followed. I sat on the bench, afraid that I had ruined the mood of the previously joyous afternoon. But then, I faintly heard a small clap. The clapping escalated into a roaring applause. I slowly rose, turning towards the crowd, and took a deep bow. A tear escaped and trickled down my face. I hadn’t disappointed anyone. My mission here was done.





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