On Saturday I went to the IMEA All-District festival. They are the people who put on the solo and ensemble festival and the all-district and all-state band concerts in Illinois. It's for kids who play music in the public schools. Earlier in the year I tried out for it and made it.
On Saturday, I my mom woke me up to get ready for IMEA. I was tired, but excited. I went downstairs, ate breakfast, packed my clairenet, and grabbed my music. I got in the car and my mom drove me to the high school where the IMEA All-District festival was taking place. The building was big and confusing with a bunch of different wings. My mom's strategy was to follow the stream of kids dressed in black pants and white shirts. This led us to the orchestra rehearsal room, which was on the exact opposite side of the school from where the band was rehearsing. I did warn her that we were following people with violas and violins. Fortunately, the school's choral director walked us across the school to the band rehearsal room. When we got there my mom left to find my school band director. I unpacked my clarinet and went to the band room.
The band room was basically a plain room with chairs, music stands, and lots of quotations on the wall. While I waited for the conductor to show up, I got out my music and practiced the Stamitz Concerto. When he arrived he made a speech about how honored he was to direct this band. He told us to introduce ourselves to the people next to us. I was sitting 6th chair between two 8th grade girls. They were very tall, but they were very nice. There weren't very many 6th graders there, but there were several kids from MYA there.
After that rehearsal, we went to the stage where we were going to perform, and had another rehearsal. The second rehearsal was much longer than the first. We practiced Chimes of Liberty and Nettleton on the stage. Then we went back to the rehearsal room, and practiced again before lunch. We mostly worked on the third movement of the Fanfare Ode and Festival. We had already played about two and a half hours and we were only half way done! I practice a lot at home, so I wasn't tired yet.
At lunch I met my brother Ari's friend Raffi. Raffi plays trombone at MYA in the Concert Orchestra. We ate lunch together. Raffi was playing euphonium, not trombone, because he wanted to do something on his euphonium for a change. We were in the lunch room for about forty-five minutes. We had sausage pizza for lunch, and it was great. I spent the last fifteen minutes of the break practicing the Stamitz Concerto some more. While I was practicing the director, Dr. Cunningham, walked up to me and asked me if I was playing the Stamitz Clarinet Concerto. I said, "Yes!" He told me that I was playing it really well.
After the break Dr. Cunningham told us that we had some really talented players here. He said that he had heard some really great solos during the break. When he said that, he was looking at me, which made me feel really proud! We rehearsed for about an hour and forty-five minutes. That made a total four hours and fifteen minutes of rehearsing. I thought it would be more like five hours but I was fine with less.
Finally, it was time to go to the concert. I was very nervous at first, but I felt fine after a few minutes of talking with my friends. Chatting with the others made me feel more confident. After the junior chorus who performed before us went offstage, it was our turn. We came onstage and got ready to perform. The pieces went off with only a few mistakes, which were all almost unnoticable. We went offstage, turned our music in, and I went to meet my mom downstairs. It was an exciting day. I had a great time!