Post-concert last night, we loaded the buses, unloaded a bus with broken tail lights, reloaded on the three remaining buses all 120 of us, then got stuck in construction traffic until 1:00 in the morning. Needless to say, I am sleepy right now. I’m also in a Starbucks writing this, and the smell of coffee is alluring even though I’ve never used coffee to wake myself up… Guess there’s a first time for everything?
Anywho, Carnegie Hall. That happened. And it happened in all the majestic glory one would expect. For one, the entire auditorium save the last few rows in the topmost balcony was filled. Filled. I think it’s reasonable to say that I’ve never played for that many people before in my life. What was even more phenomenal though, was the applause. To say that the crowd was enthusiastic would be a gross understatement. All hell broke loose after the last notes of Pictures. Not to mention the standing ovation we got at the end of the Symphonic Dances.
For me personally, it was an extremely humbling experience. I felt that my performance wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to be, but my mistakes were ones I felt much more comfortable with than those I made at our first concert. And f you’re going to mess up well, the way you’d like to mess up, I figure Carnegie Hall is the place to do just that.
On the other hand, there were points where I felt so immensely moved by what the orchestra as a whole was doing that I got swept up in the hype and exceeded my own expectations. The Great Gate was one of those instances, when I felt a fully raw and unparalleled depth of emotion exuded by the orchestra. I’ll admit. I cried a bit on stage.
More numerous than the few moments where I lost it, though, were the times when I just couldn’t stop smiling and laughing silently to myself, thinking, “Holy mother of concert halls. I’m playing a concert at Carnegie Hall.” If nothing else, I felt childish excitement and fascination crash over me in a way that I never have before in my life. That experience alone was enough to answer the question I’ve asked all my time doing this crazy art: “Why am I doing this, again?” Last night was why I do this.