Last Sunday I had a MYA concert at Pick Staiger Theater at Northwestern University. It went really well! We played Saber Dance and Dance of the Rose Maidens by Khachaturian, Highlights From Wicked by Schwartz and a concerto by Vivaldi.
Before the concert, in the morning my mom took me to my clarinet teacher Dileep's house where I had a lesson. Then he took me to a neighborhood brunch party where I met some people from his neighborhood. They served crepes and grapes and lots of other things, but I only ate some grapes. I met two other musicians there. Dileep introduced me as his student and a good clarinetist. One of the guests said that he was interested in playing clarinet. He asked me what what was the most important thing for a clarinetist. I told him lots and lots and lots of practice and a little talent were the best combination.
After the brunch, Dileep dropped me off at the theater for my dress rehearsal. I met my friends Anatole, Nathan, Marc the clarinetist/saxophone player, Marc the trombone player, and Natalie, the first chair violist. First we played Dance of the Rose Maidens and Saber Dance. We did very well on both of them. The concerto by vivaldi didn't have any violins or winds so I sat out of it. It was really good. The four violin soloists gave a wonderful performance. Last we played Highlights from the musical Wicked which really needed some work. After the dress rehersal I went and got lunch at the student union. I have come to know that place well. I always get sushi there.
After lunch, I went backstage and waited for the concert to start. The Reading and Cadet Orchestras did very well. Finally, it was our turn to play just before the intermission. The Vivaldi was amazing. I think we pulled off the Khatchaturian pretty well -- Marc Turenne's saxophone solo was pretty awesome, but I think Wicked really needed a lot more work. Oh well, maybe next time. Alltogether, I thought we had a good concert.
When the intermission ended, the Concert Orchestra took the stage. My brother plays 3rd chair viola in this orchestra. This orchestra was amazing. Capriccio Espagnol by Rimsky-Korsakov was so stirring that I was almost in tears when they were done. This piece has a lot of clarinet solo parts. Theo Mavrakis has a great sound, and his phrasing was stupendous. I really got the music when he played it. The first violin Rachel Stenzel had some fantastic solos as well. She was amazing. She sounds so mature when she plays, more like a professional than a student musician. It's hard to believe she's in middle school. Wow! Many times throughout the piece, it sounded like the Rachel and Theo were having a musical conversation. It was very exciting. All of the soloists did a wonderful job.
The second piece they played was movements of the Carmen ballet by Bizet. I tend to notice the clarinet soloists more than other solos for obvious reasons. Liah Watt has several solos in this piece, which she pulled off quite well. She had a beautiful tone. I was surprised that they ended with this piece, because the ending of the first piece is more of a show stopper, but every thing I have seen his orchestra do this year has been great. The concert ended with the Honors Wind Symphony which played very well.
This was the last big concert of the year. Another great year at MYA! I'm really looking forward to next year.