Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ouch! Too Much Practicing!

Friday, MYA's Honors Wind Symphony played a concert with the Newington College Symphonic Winds, an Australian band on tour in the United States. 

Friday morning when I pulled out my clarinet to practice, my forearm really hurt!  It was hard to practice, and suddenly I found that I couldn't play the fast sections at full speed.  This was bad because I was supposed to play in two concerts this weekend!  I called my clarinet teacher, but he didn't answer the phone so I called my piano teacher Barbara.  She said, I had probably hurt myself, because I was practicing too much this week and tensing my arm while I was playing.  She told me to get Aspercreme and a heating pad and not to play my clarinet.

My teacher Dileep called my mom and told her that he would neck strap for the concert that evening.  He said repetitive injuries could be really serious and I had to take it easy.  I put the Aspercreme on my arm and rested with the heating pad until it was time for the concert.

When it came time for the concert, I was feeling a bit better after using the Aspercreme, heating pad, and advil.  I went to the MYA building in Highwood and warmed up in a practice room.  I had forgotten my mouthpiece, so I borrowed one, but it was really hard to use.  The day was not going well.  I was hurting a bit, but it was much better than the morning.  Sandra Wu, the organizer for HWS, told me it was time to start the dress rehearsal.  I went in and sat next to the principal clarinetist of the Newington College Wind Symphony.  He introduced himself to me.  He was really nice and he had a really nice tone on his clarinet.  It was fun rehearsing with the Australian band.  They were really good.  The Newington Wind Symphony left the hall so our Wind Symphony could practice their chamber piece, Old Wine in New Bottles.  It was hard to play with an unfamiliar mouthpiece and my arm was starting to hurt more.

After the rehearsal, we got dinner.  MYA had brought in food for both ensembles.  I ate some food and talked with my friends.  I was a little nervous to meet the kids from the Australian group, because I'm always a little nervous about meeting new people and many of them were a lot older than me.  After dinner, I went and got my tux on, which took me a long time, because it was hard to get the little metal buttons on right.  I went to the concert hall, and I got warmed up.  Dileep, my clarinet teacher, rescued me with a neck strap, because the neck strap would take some of the clarinet's weight off my arm.  My mom came in with my normal mouthpiece, so things were better.

We started the concert.  I played better than earlier in the day, but the neckstrap restricted my movement, making it harder to phrase.  I didn't think I played as well as I could have played.  That made me upset, because I felt like I had let my ensemble down, especially with my big solos in the third and fourth movements.  The rest of Honors Wind Symphony played really well. 

After we finished, the Australians took the stage.  The Newington Big Band played really well.  I especially liked the trumpet solos.  Then the Newington Wind Ensemble played.  They had a nice sound, and they performed really well.

Finally, Honors Wind Symphony and Newington Wind Ensemble joined together to finish the concert with a piece called Variations on a Korean Folk Song by Chance.  I played much better in this piece than in our earlier piece, because I was getting used to the neck strap.  By the time we finished the concert, I was in a lot of pain.  Still, it was a fun concert, even though I had to stay until 10:30 that night because my mom was loading the MYA truck for the Symphony Orchestra Performance tomorrow.  I couldn't help, because my arm hurt so much.

It was fun to meet the Australians in spite of all the problems I was having.  I'm hoping it will heal soon enough that I can play in the Walgreens compeition in 9 days.

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