Personal Narrative: Perry Band Olympics

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Perry Band Olympics. This phrase both excites and terrifies every band student in Ankeny. Every year, our directors selects different songs for their students, and the students spend around six weeks practicing. My junior year solo was the hardest solo I’ve prepared, it challenged me in ways that I had not been prepared for. The song was divided into three movements, with little breaks or rest time in between. As an Oboe player, which plays on a double reed, it is hard to support your breath when you play for long periods of time. The lack of air also makes it hard to stay in tune. Looking at the different movements, I decided to start with the second one due to the speed and difficulty. I needed to knock out my biggest challenge first.
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The director randomly chooses three to four students every day to play eight to twelve measures of their solos. When I was chosen, I knew it was not going to go well because I still hadn’t practiced enough to sound decent. I stood up to play my couple of measures, feeling my chest get heavy with anxiety. This anxiety made everything I knew about playing my solo fly out the window. I played wrong notes, was not in tune, and had to stop multiple times just to catch my breath. I could feel the blood rushing to my face, I wanted to just hide myself away due to the lack of preparation I had put into my solo, especially when a bass clarinet chuckled at the fact that I messed it up. At that moment, I was determined to sit down and learn the music. During seminar the fourth week of prep, I sat in a practice room and played the rhythms repeatedly until I engrained the fingering pattern in my hands. It wasn’t easy…show more content…
Waiting in the gym for my results, I gave up on my hopes of getting a good ranking. The hours passed by very slowly. When the awards started, I felt my hopes drop even lower than before. This contest consists of 10-12 graders, and multiple duet and solo groups, so the anticipation level is very high. When they got to the 11-12 oboes, I didn’t expect much. They announce the top 5 places. The first name was announced. It was the senior oboe player from my band. The second name was announced. Still, not my name. When they announced the third name, everyone around me started cheering. I had won third place. This was a very happy moment for me because I did not think my performance was worth a 3rd place spot. It was not an improvement from the year before, since I had also been given 3rd place, but I knew that this specific year, I worked hard and that I actually deserved that 3rd place spot instead of just being lucky enough to beat out a few other oboe
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