The semi-finals for the Shepherd School Concerto Competition were on Sunday afternoon.  I escaped the angst that usually accompanies the week of a competition by convincing myself I wasn't actually participating.  I was still in denial about it even as I put on my dress and make up and stood outside Stude Hall.  I really hate competitions.  I feel like I don't perform naturally and they stress me out beyond reason.  Lately I've been working really hard at adopting a new attitude towards competitions because I know they're going to be a part of the next 10 or so years of my life, and the way I've felt in competitions in the past, even when I've won, is something I don't want to continually experience.

There really is something to be said for positive thinking.  Negative thoughts plague me during competitions and over the past week I had to consciously replace each one with something positive.  I actually think it helped, I felt a lot calmer during the day which even helped my nerves on stage!  That's the other reason I hate competitions.. nerves.  I usually don't get nervous when I'm performing for an audience, but competitions are a different story.  I'm sure many other people feel the same way.

When I stepped on stage to perform the Beethoven Concerto in this competition though I felt really different.  I felt confident and ready and when it was over I was happy with how I played!  That's another rare occurrence for me during competitions.

I was so relieved to receive the email saying I was one of the 4 finalists that is going to perform on Saturday!  And then that's the funny thing about competitions - if you don't advance you will most likely be upset yet relieved that you don't have to perform again, and if you do advance you'll be excited but then stressed about the next round! That's how it is for me at least :)  I'm personally trying not to stress; I'm trying to think of it just as another performance and not a competition.  I'm really excited though! Performing the whole concerto in that hall for an audience will be wonderful.

This week is really interesting though.  I'm subbing with the Dallas Symphony which means that I drove home last night after an entire day of teaching so I could be back in time for rehearsal at the Meyerson this morning.  The schedule for this week coincidentally lists Saturday as a free day which was why I accepted the sub offer, thinking I would be able to get back to Houston for the finals if I actually happened to pass the semis.  Now I really am in the finals and will have to drive back to Houston on Friday night for my performance Saturday afternoon.  Not something I'm really looking forward to! But my mom is going to come with me to watch me perform and help drive, so I can relax a little.

We have youth concerts in the morning and another rehearsal in the afternoon so I suppose I should get to bed!  Maybe I'll dream of the Beethoven concerto! Haha - I love this piece.


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