Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Yesterday I had one of the most embarrassing performances of my life: the viola jury. I played the prelude to the second Bach suite, which to be honest was a little beyond my abilities, but oh well. It was like one of those nightmares where you show up to an audition or performance and are told you have to play a different instrument, except for real. In front of members of the distinguished USC string faculty. I got through it, for the most part. I've never played viola for an audience before, so I wasn't sure how nerves would affect me. Apparently, they make me play even more out of tune than usual. Or maybe that was because I got to the jury just in time to play (I'd warmed up in the practice building, but I didn't get to play a scale or anything to ground my intonation right before the audition). Or maybe both. Anyway, it was embarrassing, even if my teacher said they thought it was pretty good for an oboe player. I was also informed that the viola I've been playing on was way too big for me, which I kind of knew already, but I just took the instrument they handed me at the office, and I'm not sure I really had any choice in the matter. But maybe I would have found the instrument slightly less awkward had I been playing a smaller viola. And I had to play those chords at the end, which I pretty much just can't play, and that was really scary. But hey, it makes oboe auditions seem a little nicer in some way: at least I can actually play the oboe!!