Monday, January 25, 2010

Three Things

I have three things to write about today.

Legere Reeds

Legere synthetic reeds are plastic instead of wood. I tried the Legere reed because my Vandoren reeds were warping in the cold weather. It was so bad that I could barely play a reed after using it for only one day.

I went to my lesson, and I couldn't play on my regular reed or my spare reed. I didn't know why, until Dileep (my teacher) looked at one of my reeds. He saw that it was badly warped. And this was a new reed! He gave me a Legere reed to try instead. It was clear, which was weird. I'd never played on a clear reed before, much less a plastic one.

I loved it. The tone quality was better than my old Vandoren reeds. I could immediately start playing without warming up too much. In the future, I think I'll use Legere reeds. I already had my mom order some from Woodwind & Brasswind.

2nd Seating Audition for MYA
On Saturday, I had another seating audition for my youth orchestra. I went in thinking that I was totally prepared. I had practiced the section plenty, and I could play it at a good tempo. I rarely made mistakes when practicing at home or rehearsing with the orchestra. The audition covered around 20-30 measures of the first movement of Beethoven's 1st Symphony.

Unfortunately, I went into the audition room. I picked up my clarinet, told the recorder my name, and started play. I got to this one part, and I messed up. So I started again. I messed up on the same part a second time, and this was a part that I never messed up on! I started again, and I did the part that I kept messing up and then I messed up another part 2 notes later! It was a disaster. I kept going this time, because I had started over too many times. I messed up again on another difficult section before finished, and this was a part that I had down almost perfectly the day before! I was even playing on my new Legere reed.

I felt so frustrated. Not only did I mess up on a song, but I messed up on a piece I totally knew cold! My mom said that everyone has a bad day and I would do better next time, not to worry. So I'm expecting last chair. I really wanted to make first chair. Oh well, maybe next time.

Interlochen Recording
Today, I made a test recording for my Interlochen audition. Interlochen is a summer fine arts camp in Michigan. It's supposed to be a really good experience, and I'm really looking forward to it. To get a spot in the Intermediate program, I need to record an audition and send it in by the end of this week. I've been working on two pieces: The 1st movement of the 3rd Stamitz Concerto and the 2nd movement of Finzi Five Bagatelles.

Here is a link to one of the pieces I recorded. Lots of improvement since the fall, but still a long long way to go.
This is after 400 hours of practice.

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