(Originally posted by Sibylle on her website)
Yesterday, Saturday, Mark and I traveled to Emporia for the KMTA Fall District Auditions.
My first student performed at 9 a.m. so we left shortly before 7:30 a.m. to allow not only for travel time but also enough time to see Ava before her performance and to set things up, mainly the footstool which she would be using.
Ava and her family arrived, their mother quite frazzled – they had left their books at home. Word of our misfortune spread; fortunately one of the local teachers, Shane Galentine, offered us use of his copy of one of the books. Even more fortunately, the judge graciously said, “Oh, I know that piece” about the other piece for which we had been unable to find a book on such short notice.
Setting up footstool went well, Ava’s performance went very well – she is surprisingly grounded for such a young person, not easily shaken.
The rest of the morning went without problems or upsets; Rachael, Hasun, Chris, Sumin, and Suyeon played beautifully and received high praises from the judge: “dynamics are perfectly in place” – “You are so well prepared” – “expression that is quite mature” – “Your melody in the LH is just elegant and absolutely gorgeous!” – “very interesting and detailed playing!” – “This performance was absolutely brilliant – so satisfying!” – and about one of the Martha Mier jazz pieces: “This really cooks!”
Actually, there was one more upset: the floor was rather slippery = both the bench and the footstool tended to slip a bit. I had adjusted the left pedal for Sumin but as she started her piece, Gillock’s Dragon Fly, the left pedal of the footstool slipped off the piano’s left pedal. The judge was able to adjust it but Sumin, having started an octave too low, actually had to get up and take a quick look at the score to remind herself of the beginning of the piece. Once she did, she was able to play her piece as beautifully and convincingly as ever.
We didn’t have much time for lunch, so just drove quickly to Ru-Yi’s Asian restaurant to have a quick bite to eat. As usual, it felt good to get away from the hustle of a competition, even if it’s just for 30 minutes or so.
Two more students from my studio in the afternoon: both Gabby and Isabelle performed beautifully. I was a bit concerned that Gabby would perform for a different judge (too many students overall to be heard by one judge in one day) as every judge has different standards and judging / writing style which makes it more difficult to compare. However, his comments were as glowing as the other judge’s had been for the other students: “nice clean playing” – “your touch is solid & confident” – “superb rendition!”
The purpose of the District Auditions is to hear all students and determine who will go on to State on November 5, to compete at the State Honors Auditions. At the District Auditions, there is (supposed to be) no rating, only “state eligible” or not. However, for some reason, this year, the evaluation form had a line for “numeric rating” where *I* meant state-eligible, and *II* meant not.
Three of my students received a I rating, five of them received a I+ rating.
After the last of my students had performed, Mark and I took at little break. Walked to the Granada coffee shop for a vanilla latte and some cookies. In addition to the normal coffee shop wooden or metal chairs, the Granada has two very very comfy deeply upholstered chairs which felt delicious after standing (in order to video tape the performances) or having sat on not-upholstered chairs at the competition for most of the day.
We walked back to the ESU Music Department where the competition was taking place to listen to a few more students and then were able to meet up with Jonathan who had been busy all day with his band performances for the football game. We met briefly at the Music Department, and then drove to his house to see the new cat and then to Applebee’s for dinner.
On the way home, as usual, Mark was driving. I appreciated being able to doze off for a bit here and there. It had been a long day, with a long couple of weeks leading up to it.
Today I didn’t do much of anything. Uploaded the videos to my laptop, and – took a nap.