Posted by: Hope | November 23, 2009

A Sense of Beautiful Peace

Here is a paper I wrote for my freshman writing class. I’ll be posting a few others. Enjoy!

A Sense of Beautiful Peace

As I look around I see the anticipation in everyone’s eyes. We are all so excited to begin the concert. I think to myself about the solo I have to play and contemplate whether or not I am prepared. I finally come to the conclusion that I am as we line up for warm-ups. I stand there rolling my eyes at the people that are there merely because they have to be.

As my director begins the warm-ups several members, including myself become more focused. We listen as we play; adjusting our tuning slides to the correct position. Finally we become content with the overall intonation of the band. We then go back into our positions and prepare to head onto the stage.

At this point I become overwhelmed with joy. There is no other activity that can give me such joy and peace as the music I’ve prepared. I can’t help but be excited to share that with other people. At this point I can only hope that they get the same joy and comfort that I receive as the music comes out of my horn.

As we walk in onto the stage, one line after another, I cannot help but have a huge smile across my face. I feel so prepared and proud to share such beautiful music with the crowd that applauds us as we walk onto the stage. Finally we all arrive to our seats and sit down. I look up and see the very bright stage lights shining upon me. I look to my left and I see nothing but darkness, but within it include many parents, friends, family, even fans. As I look to my right I see fellow trumpet players, along with other players surrounding us. I simply give a smile then look straight ahead waiting.

As I look ahead I can see my director back stage waiting for the proper time to come onto stage. It makes laugh a little inside, as I ponder how prepared he feels we are. He does, after all, appear nervous. Finally, it is his time to come on. As he steps out the band stands up and waits patiently to be told when to sit down. As we are directed to then sit down, our director turns around to say a few words into the microphone.

Finally, he’s finished. He turns back around to us as he questions the percussion if they are ready. When he receives confirmation he then stands onto the podium. At this point I slowly raise my trumpet onto my lap, prepared to put my horn up. I watch with nervousness as we prepare to play my all-time favorite piece, An American Elegy.

He raises his into the air signaling us to do the same. As he brings his hands down for the first beat I slowly put my horn back down. As I count my rests I listen to the slow, swaying sounds. It captures me as I close my eyes. I imagine what the music is saying as each note comes out of the instruments. Slowly I hear the music begin to build, at which it is my time to come in. As I raise my horn I feel so passionate about it all.

I come in, playing as beautifully as possible. No other song has ever been able to inspire me as much as this one.  As my notes come to an end I slowly put back down my horn as the music continues to soar around me.

Quickly the music begins to accelerate. As it does I feel goose bumps run through my body starting at my toes all the way up to my head. It is yet again time for me to play my part. I breathe in deeply and exhale into my instrument playing a very high note cleanly and loudly. It is so beautiful. After about eight measures I slowly put my horn back down again.

The music is slow and quiet again. An oboe begins their solo as I listen with anticipation. I prepare myself for my own solo as I listen, impressed, to the oboe solo. It appears that not only have I worked diligently on this piece, but so has the other players. As a result of their practice, it made the song more beautiful than anticipated.

Finally it is time for my solo. I listen to the bassoon in the background as I step of stage to do a “off stage” solo. I have never played a solo like this, and I am so excited to discover how beautiful it will sound. As I begin my solo my hand begins to shake. I become angry and curious as to why I am nervous. After a few notes, the shaking goes away and I begin to put everything I have into the music. I forget that people are listening and merely focus on what is coming out of my horn. When the solo ends I keep the horn to my face until I hear the sound fade away. I then dramatically move the horn away from my face and slowly down to the side of my body as I walk back to my sit and prepare to finish the song.

As I sit down the trumpet player congratulates me on doing a good job. I merely reply with a kind smile and nod. I feel a sense of relief, along with pride as I become comfortable into my seat. I soon realize that the song is not yet over and look back up at the director to figure out where we are in the piece. As I figure it out it is time for me to come in again. I pick up my horn as the music becomes louder and I come in with yet again, another loud beautiful note. We build together as a band until we finally hit a climax in the music.

At this point the music begins to slow down and become quieter. Instrument sections one after another begin to drop out as the music comes to an end. The final note is played by a tuba player and fades away slowly. As the piece ends my director waits for the sound to fade away before he lowers his arms. He signals the soloists to stand to their feet. As the oboe player and I stand we take our bow and then the rest of the band joins us. As the crowd roars we all smile with great joy of the success of the song. I knew I was extremely happy with my personal performance along with the rest of the bands.

I will never feel as comfortable as I do when I am on stage. It will always be where I belong. I feel so grateful when I have the opportunity to steo onto any stage to present any piece to a crowd of people. It will always be an honor of mine to present amazing music to people that deserves to have the same peace as I do.


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