A Confession / After Open Mic Classical Nov 20th, 2016
A CONFESSION (from one of our performers)
I learned to play the viola at age 30, starting with two years of lessons from Sam Appelbaum in Maplewood, New Jersey. Then began a long career of playing with successive amateur string quartets, mostly at the B- to C level.
Much of the music we heard while playing was the music impressed in our memories from listening to performances by the likes of the Budapest, Emerson, or Guarneri String Quartets, rather than the music we were playing at the moment. From time to time we gave performances for our “…brothers and our sisters and our aunts…” who applauded dutifully as was expected from relatives, no matter the quality of the music coming from our playing.
But giving a solo performance scared the daylights out of me, so I never did it, even though I had “mastered” a few solo pieces.
It was only after moving to the Cape full time in 2008 that I joined a new amateur piano quartet group that clearly took classical music performance more seriously than I was accustomed. Occasional performances with my new Cape Cod group were musically better than any performance of any group I had played with in New Jersey, because the Cape Cod group (“New Cape Musica”) took home practicing and rehearsals far more seriously than any group I had played with earlier. And it payed off!
But still I was scared stiff to play solo before anyone, including my wife.
Finally “Open Mic Classical” was born. And one Sunday afternoon a few months after we started, when only a few people had signed up to perform, I took the plunge and played solo. I was scared “s_________s”. But I did it! And I wasn’t booed off the stage with howls of derisive laughter. I did it! And survived! And I didn’t play too badly, to be perfectly honest.
Less than a year later, I again performed a different solo piece. And this time it was easier! I had conquered my fear at age 81. Wow! Performing solo before an audience was no longer scary. It was actually enjoyable.
Thanks to Open Mic Classical I had conquered my #1 enemy! I could now play solo without the fear that plagued me most of my life.
You too can learn to play for an audience, whether you’re 11, 41, 61, or 81! You can do it too!
So to all: thanks again / please come again / please spread the word from valley to hilltop so our wonderful Cape Classical Community can continue to evolve and intertwine on our roads less traveled.