I finally have time to update the blog regarding the final week. Our repertoire (for the trombones at least) was the Overture to Zampa by Herold and Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Our conductor was David Bowden, a fine conductor that directs a few orchestras throughout Indiana. Each rehearsal started with the singing of “Like a River Glorious,” my mother’s favorite hymn. As a conductor, he was well-prepared and gave us a detailed rehearsal schedule and tempos in advance so we could be aware.
The performance went very well and the Enigma Variations were quite special to me. The famed Nimrod variation is the same piece which my beautiful bride walked down the aisle for our wedding a year ago. When I first saw her on our wedding day for some reason I did not tear up (and I am a big crier). Since then, I get goosebumps and tear up whenever I hear that variation. The Pittsburgh Symphony performed it recently and I had to hold the tears back when it came that time. And each rehearsal was rough, especially the one where I found out that Nimrod was actually for a joyous occasion and for Elgar’s friend who encouraged him. I made my friends aware of this moment that there would be some tears of joy caught up in the moment of Nimrod probably. Ironically, for our wedding day, I specifically told our wedding coordinator to open the doors right when the climax of the variation occurs. Well right when the climax occurs is when the trombones come in; and I tell ya, all I could think about and picture was my bride walking down the aisle. Such a great moment.
All in all, the festival was a good one this year. I was able to catch up with many friends and colleagues from years past; I was able to make some new friends and become closer with others. It truly is a great festival that pushes for excellence in music and transforming lives musically and spiritually for the next generation.
For now, it is practice practice practice whenever I can. The real education of disciplining myself to continue to work hard starts to occur now that I am no longer pursuing a degree. I constantly remind myself of this thought:
“I am weak and unqualified, but with God, this audition (or anything) is possible.”
This will be my driving force! More updates will come as I get ready for a few auditions coming up.