A Musical Challenge MAG

By Unknown, Unknown, Unknown

   Everyoneneeds a goal to give meaning and direction to life. Mine was to be a member ofthe New York All-State Band. I play the bassoon, a hard-to-play and lesswell-known member of the woodwind family. To make it into the band, I needed ahigh score on a level-six piece during my audition. I chose to prepare Hummel'sConcerto in F Major.

Learning the piece requires extreme effort andconcentration. It has a fast tempo, and took much practice to teach my fingers toskip from note to note. The solo commences with a pure, floating Baroque melody,and the deep, mellow tones of the bassoon brilliantly portray the mood. I imaginefigures wearing elaborate ball gowns waltzing in a golden castle.

Ipracticed every day, and despite its difficulty, playing the Concerto couldalways lighten my mood. I never grew weary of those two hundred lovely measures.I practiced all through the school year, every day setting aside one hour of mybusy schedule. After each exhausting sports practice, I dutifully played mybassoon and then attempted to finish my homework before my eyes could not stayopen anymore. I did not have time to watch television and only had a few minutesto eat. I became more confident in my solo as the audition drewcloser.

Finally, the day arrived. I knew I could play the Hummel Concertowell. I walked into the assigned classroom and smiled at the judge. He justglared back at me, and at that point I began to get nervous. Fellow musicstudents had warned me about an evil judge who loved to present hard-workingmusicians with low grades. My audition might be more difficult than Ithought.

The judge began by having me play the G-flat, E and D-flatscales. Although they usually challenged me, I had practiced them. As I playedthe E scale, though, I made one small mistake. The judge frowned and scribbledsomething on the audition slip. I reasoned that one mistake could not cost me toomany points.

I nodded to my accompanist and started my solo. I barelyhad to look at the music because of the many hours I had practiced. My fingersnimbly leapt up and down my bassoon as if they knew what to do without help frommy brain. I played my beloved music better than I ever had. I would have smiledhad a reed not been in my mouth. The judge complimented me after the last perfectnote, then asked me to play the second movement.

A jolt of pain shotthrough my stomach and a horrified look crawled across my face. My instructor hadtold me I only needed to prepare the first movement for the audition. I tried toexplain that to the judge as tears clouded my vision, but he said he couldn'tgrade me unless I played the second movement. My accompanist said she was sorryand left the room so I could sight-read the movement alone. I had never playedit. I started, and after what seemed like hours of fumbling through strangemelodies, the judge told me to stop and leave the room.

I felt I hadwasted an entire year of my life. Depression followed me everywhere for weeks. Icouldn't help but walk around with a dejected look on my face. Every time Ilooked at my bassoon case, my throat constricted and tears came to my eyes. Myinstructor explained that even though I didn't achieve my dream, I'd learnedvaluable musical knowledge. I still love music, even though I didn't achieve mygoal. Music had become an important part of my life. I will never give up on mygoal of sharing my love of music with the world.

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i love this so much!


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