Hey everyone!I’ve just finished my concert in New York City and on my way back to Houston. I was the soloist for my dad’s (Kirk Trevor’s) conducting workshop for the International Conducting Institute, and at the end of the week, I performed the Beethoven concerto with the Astoria Symphony. It was a really wonderful experience! I got to NYC Tuesday night and was happy to make it to the Holiday Inn that I had a reservation at since the taxi driver seemed to have no clue where it was. My dad had told me this would be a problem so I made sure to give him lots of information. I wasn’t needed for rehearsal until 4 pm the next day so I had plenty of time to get settled and practice. The hotel was really nice and very quiet! No problems for practicing.
I met with the 12 conductors at 4:00 and we went over the Beethoven concerto one movement at a time. They sang the orchestra part and we stopped various times so they could discuss technique for different things I did with the piece. That was a workout in itself, but then at 6 pm, a few of the Astoria Symphony musicians came and we had a 4 hour rehearsal! From 6-10 the conductors took turns conducting sections of the Beethoven concerto and Brahms Symphony No. 2 with a quintet of strings and a quintet of winds. Things were a bit rocky at times but my dad helped them through it. The real problem started about 7 pm when I suddenly was overcome by a wave of tiredness and felt like I could barely play anymore. I took lots of breaks while they worked on Brahms and I managed to get through the rest of the conductors until they were done with me at 9:30. I think the traveling and the New York weather really took it out of me.
On Thursday I was free again for most of the day until about 6 pm. At 5:00 we took the metro to a church in Manhattan where we had a rehearsal with the full orchestra. It was cramped but we managed! There was another rehearsal from 6-10, but it was much more enjoyable playing with the full orchestra, and the conductors knew their parts better this time. At 8:00 we had a break and Dominos pizza – yum! It was hard having pizza without Coke though which I gave up for Lent last week. Only thirty-something more days! We worked mostly on the 3rd movement of the concerto during this session and I really got a thrill out of playing it with the orchestra. The last 59 seconds of that piece has to be one of the most amazing things ever written.
That night was the last conducting session for the conducting students (the workshop had started a few days before I got there) so we all went out to a Cuban restaurant after to celebrate! My dad and I got these amazing strawberry-pineapple lemonades and shared chocolate empanadas. It started to get really late and everyone was busy talking so I pulled out my computer and finished the rest of my homework that I sent to my teacher when we got back to the hotel. Homework is the last thing I want to be worrying about when I’m performing!!
Friday was a free day for me, everyone went to this great Greek restaurant for a farewell lunch and then I came back to the hotel to practice and iron my dress. It took FOREVER! The dress is 100% silk so I had to keep the iron on a really low setting and the wrinkles were just so stubborn! After working on it for about an hour I finally stuck it in the bathroom with the shower on high heat. I steamed it in there for about 45 minutes and then ironed it again – the wrinkles came out great. At 9:30 my dad and I took a taxi to Manhattan where we had reservations at Serendipity 3. My best friend finished her masters at NYU last year and told me this was a place I absolutely had to try while I was in New York. It was such a cute restaurant! Very much like an old-fashioned tea house but with a swanky upbeat feel to it. My dad and I shared a cheeseburger and seafood fettuccini and then for dessert we got their famous Frozzzzen Hot Chocolate and the Coward’s Portion of their huge Banana Split. The coward’s portion was still $13!! And it was ginormous!!! So good though.. I was really happy we went. We had a lot of fun and my dad got me a t-shirt as a souvenir.
Saturday was the day of the concert but we didn’t have anything scheduled until 4:30 – or rather 4. My dad’s schedule said 4:30 while the orchestra’s said 4. Thankfully we were there before 4, but apparently the stage managers at the Frank Sinatra School had the same schedule as my dad and the stage was completely empty. Everyone rushed around to find chairs and stands and we finally got started though a little bit late. We rehearsed the Beethoven last but I started to get really worried around 5:30 because I was suddenly really tired again! I always avoid caffeine the week before a performance to keep any extra performance jitters at bay, and at this point I really needed some. After the rehearsal my dad and I stopped at Starbucks and I got some vanilla rooibos tea, which really seemed to help – whew!
At 8:15 I walked backstage to get ready to go on. I was welcomed with warm applause from the audience and waited for the 5 timpani beats to start the piece. The performance felt great. I felt more and more secure as the piece went on – the first movement is always the hardest and I had two small slips that were annoying but didn’t throw me off. The second and third movements went wonderfully though and I felt light and free in my cadenzas. I received three curtain calls which was encouraging since the audience wasn’t actually that big, but they kept clapping! I talked to some audience and orchestra members during intermission - the Astoria Symphony was so supportive it was really wonderful to play with them. Then I went back to my room and changed before watching my dad conduct Brahms Symphony No. 2. He’s really incredible onstage, I hope everyone that reads this has a chance to watch him at some point.
The conductors and some symphony members all went out to Uno’s Pizza for celebratory drinks and I finally had dinner. I’m always amazed at how much more relaxed and open I feel after a performance is over – I had a great time talking with everyone.
So that was my trip! I’m headed back to Houston now where I have a lot of teaching and rehearsing to catch up on. One of my best friend’s, Lexi, is going to be coming to stay with me in a few days when the Shepherd School Orchestra performs her piece! I can’t wait to see her! Just one week back in Houston and then I’m headed to Knoxville for another performance of Beethoven. More from me then!