Monday, September 17, 2012

Grad School Adventures Part 1

Tomorrow morning I leave for Philadelphia to visit the first of 5 potential graduate schools Temple University.  I am very excited and I hope that I don't forget to do anything important while I'm there.  I never did the college visits when I was applying for my undergrad, so this will be a brand new experience!

School has started without me and I am loving it!  Not having to be somewhere at 6:50 in the morning is wonderful :)  I just get to get up, workout, and then start practicing.  Or run errands when there is no one else out.  My grocery shopping time has been cut in half! 

I am working on the first movement of the Barber violin concerto and obsessively listening to Joshua Bell's recording.  I am in love with the first note.  It is home to me and every time I hear it or play it, I feel content.  Which can be rather dangerous with the Barber for the tricky tonality at the bottom of the first page.  I am also playing the last 2 movements of the Bach CM Unaccompanied Sonata which have both been favorites of mine for a long time.  I feel like I am coming full circle with them.  When I first started to apply to undergrad, I picked out those two movements for a couple of schools audition requirements.  I worked so hard on them, but wasn't able to really play them well.  I just didn't have the technique to do it at that point.  Now I am playing them and I have found the fun in Bach.  Paganini 16 is still growing on me.  I love the first 3 lines, but I have yet to love the rest of it. 

Orchestra has started again.  I'm back in the first violins; didn't get the principle second job.  Oh, well.  Less stress for me!  But not really since the first program is killer...

I have procrastinated long enough for now.  Back to practicing!!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Back to School Special!

All of those back to school sales and adds are infectious!  For the first time in my entire life I am not preparing to return to school as either a student or a teacher.  It is really weird.  I still feel like I need to go get the ubiquitous school supplies, even though I don't need them.

On another note, symphony season starts soon!  In less than a month I will know if I got the position and will be playing another season with the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra.  I am really excited, mostly because I am such a music nerd that the summer off season is tortuously long with no rehearsals.  The best part of this season in comparison to last year???  I no longer have to wake up at 5 am on Mondays to go to work and still be able to rehearse at 7:30 at night! 

Still building up my studio, slowly but surely and adding in more rep all the time for those upcoming auditions.  Just started the Barber concerto and I am loving it.  The first of the school visits has been scheduled in September for Temple University

Thats all for now, lots more to practice :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Vacation???? Who has time for vacation?

This summer has been a whirl-wind of crazy.  Lets start with that concertmaster audition...I played, thought I did ok, was asked to join the orchestra as a member but not the concertmaster.  I said no (how many volunteer positions can one person be expected to handle???) and then a week later the position was posted again.  Weird. 

Then I took a much needed vacation to upsate WA to visit friends and family.  The highlights of my trip were sight reading the first Duo Concertante by De Beriot with K and having R laugh himself silly at us :) 
Me and K and yes that is a french fry at the Mariner's Game (they won!)

Also check out the view from my room:

Looking out at Sqamish Bay off the Hood Canal which is off Puget Sound
It was distracting!  5 beautiful and sunny days on the Olympic Peninsula and in Seattle.  I was really lucky.  Then a day in Denver, most of which I spent reading in the main branch of the public library, to find out I don't have jury service and making up all of the lessons I missed to go on vacation.

I was also asked to sub at the El Sistema CO program in Denver and I had an amazing time with the kids and staff.  They do great work.  Check them out at

Now I am trying desperately to get back into a practice and more practice routine.  Hopefully things will settle down after my cousins wedding tomorrow.  In the meantime, I am oscillating between love and hate with both the first movement of the Bruch and the third movement of the Mendelssohn concertos (one because of memorization, one because my pinky is being stupid). 

Another audition for Principle Second Violin coming up in about six weeks.  I'm off to start the excerpts for that!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Almost summer...Yay!

There is such a great feeling to being almost done with the school year.  This time I am looking forward to the "free" time for more practicing and traveling around to check out grad schools.  I never did the college tour while I was in high school so this should be fun :)

Concertmaster audition coming up and I'm working on Summertime from Porgy and Bess by Gershwin.  Love it!  Keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New year, new start

I have been really bad about posting...oops.  Best laid plans, and life just got in the way.  So it has officially been 366 days since I graduated from college and I have learned a lot, but in many ways feel like I know even less than I did last year. 

Update:  I don't particularly enjoy all of the non-teaching aspects of a public school position.  I don't like to prescribed curriculum, organizing/dealing with the pain and stress of setting up concerts outside of school hours, dealing with students who really couldn't care any less about my class and topping it all off, teaching outside of my specialty.  All good things to know.  So, I will be applying this fall to graduate school (enroll fall of 2013)!

 For anyone who has ever taken a year off from being a serious practicing violin player and just played and practiced enough for that community orchestra you are in, and then decided that in 6 months you will be filming your pre-screening auditions, then you know how I'm feeling right now.  For everyone else, just know that I oscillate between thinking I am completely insane and being so excited that I can hardly contain myself. 

My hope is to use this blog for the next year through the practicing, filming, and actual auditions as a way to make sure that I am not loosing a year of my life to preparing but living it to the fullest potential.  That being said, I have a few cool things to mention before tonights second round of practicing begins  :)

NEW BOW!!!!  I love my new bow!  Sooooo much.  Who knew what a difference it could make?  I am still learning how to best use it, so only about 20% of what I mean to do with it actually happens, but for that 20% it is amazing and I am getting better with it each and every minute. 

I have joined (according to a friend) the "real world" and bought an iPhone.  It is amazing.  My favorite apps are the EA game of Life, and Starlight.  For Starlight, you can see what stars are in the sky above you (or below or to the right or get the idea) any time of the day or night.  All you have to do is turn on the app and point the back of the phone in the direction you are curious of and it shows you what constelations, stars, planets, or other astronomical phenomena are visible (or not visible but still out there).  How cool is that?  I have spent many distracted breaks while practicing using that app.  Best part?  It was free! :)  And, who doesn't love the game of life?  I love the updated blue squares the most.

Keeping track of the music,  I am currently working on Mozart AM concerto No. 5, Bruch gm Concerto, Bach CM Sonata, Paganini no. 16, and a pile of technique books.  Plans are to incorporate Lalo Symphanie Espagnol, Mendelsohn Concerto in em, Prokofiev Concerto No.2, and a Beethoven sonata.  This is for auditions and just some basic rep building.

I am also planning to audition for Concertmaster of a local community orchestra as well as Assistant Concertmaster of another.  Wish me luck!