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Re: Back to School - at 62? [Re: Sam S] #2937584 01/23/20 12:20 PM
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Hi Sam, I am super impressed and inspired. Will seriously consider following your steps once I retire...meanwhile will practice away...


Started piano studies at age 55.The journey is more important than the result.
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Re: Back to School - at 62? [Re: Sam S] #2937595 01/23/20 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam S
The Music Office has now scheduled the 20+ recitals for this semester, and the oldest performer is the first on the list. I asked for a March date and I got it - March 1st!

Feb 13th: Recital Jury - this is where I play the recital for 3 faculty members and they decide if I can actually give the recital.
March 1st 3PM: The recital (if I pass the jury).

Stress level is pretty high. I've been playing the recital pieces with a couple of piano groups with mixed results. The more serious the group, the worse I play! March 1st is a good date though - I don't think I could keep up this level of practice all the way into May - I'm tired!

Sam

You'll do great!


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Re: Back to School - at 62? [Re: Sam S] #2937605 01/23/20 01:24 PM
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Sending you all best wishes, Sam, as you prepare for this milestone. Don't forget to breathe!


Mister Upright, Yamaha YUS5.
Re: Back to School - at 62? [Re: Sam S] #2937617 01/23/20 01:55 PM
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Best wishes! I understand this is stressful but I'm sure all your hard work will pay off and you'll do great.

Re: Back to School - at 62? [Re: Sam S] #2946379 02/13/20 12:01 PM
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I passed my recital hearing!

I'm exhausted though. I feel like I was in a knock-down drag-out fight, and just barely survived.

I made plenty of mistakes, but I kept the flow going and didn't stop.

So I now have permission to actually give the recital - March 1st at 3PM.

In case you are interested, here is long description of how the process went at my school.

Last fall I actually registered for the class "Full Recital", Yes, it is a class that you get a grade for: pass or fail. If I had not been able to get ready, I would have dropped the class before it was too late - otherwise I would have failed.

Early in the semester I got assigned a recital date. There are a lot of students trying to give recitals this semester. I asked for a Sunday in March and got March 1st.

Then I had to line up other faculty (besides my teacher) to be on my hearing committee - my responsibility. And find a time when they could all meet at least 2 weeks before my recital date. I chose the other piano teacher and a professor I had taken a couple of classes with - the same committee that I used for my half recital. Then I had to schedule the recital hall for the hearing, and for the two lessons prior to the hearing.

So plenty of hoops to jump through and additional stress involved.

Then my teacher started drilling me. She's a great teacher, knows lots of solutions to problems, but she is also good at the old "Good Cop, Bad Cop" routine. Every time I did a run-through of the recital, she would make a list of all the pieces and movements, and write FAIL next to the ones that I screwed up. Sometimes in red ink. And we had extra lessons to drill those bad spots. But she would also praise me for what I did right. I can't say that I am a big fan of that method, but I survived it.

So by the time the hearing came around I was just exhausted. I went to the recital hall early, got the piano where I wanted it and all the lights on (my old eyes need lots of light), and started running through the bad spots. When the committee arrived, they sent me out into the lobby to wait to be called in.

In general, I had trouble starting things - there were a lot of fumbles over the first few notes, especially the Bach. I got totally lost in the 5th variation of the Beethoven 1st mvt. I wandered around a bit, making Ab noises, before I picked it back up. That was a bad moment. But I pulled it back together for the Scherzo and Funeral March. The rondo was also a bit muddled in places. The Grieg went well. At one point I got off a measure in the Brahms clarinet piece, but recovered. And the Ives was probably the best.

Then they sent me back out into the lobby to await my fate. I felt sure they would fail me for the variations mvt, but was surprised when I passed.

Now I just need to stay on top of things until the recital!

Sam

Re: Back to School - at 62? [Re: Sam S] #2946383 02/13/20 12:09 PM
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That sounds so tough Sam. You have a plenty of strength of character to keep going when you feel you have fumbled early. That must be truly hard. I suppose you have the motivation you want this to be done when it is so exhausting so that helps with the determination.

2nd level congratulations are due. Holding off on the first until we hear about your actual recital.

Re: Back to School - at 62? [Re: Sam S] #2946397 02/13/20 12:46 PM
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Sam, sounds like a real test! Not just pro forma, but a significant measurement of your abilities. And you made it! Best wishes for a smooth leadup to March 1, happy playing at your recital, and a triumphant feeling afterwards!


Mister Upright, Yamaha YUS5.
Re: Back to School - at 62? [Re: Sam S] #2946405 02/13/20 01:03 PM
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Sam, you passed the dress rehearsal so all the best to you on March 1st. You are able to keep going and power through the stumbles. I think many of us here appreciate your candid diary of going back to school and admire your perseverance. Best of luck!



Re: Back to School - at 62? [Re: Sam S] #2946427 02/13/20 02:29 PM
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Sam, are you going to provide any info on time, location, how to meetup with any other Sam S-boosters before hand to sit in the right section of the bleachers, etc. for any who want to join your cheering squad on the 1st? 😀


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Re: Back to School - at 62? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2946449 02/13/20 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Sam, are you going to provide any info on time, location, how to meetup with any other Sam S-boosters before hand to sit in the right section of the bleachers, etc. for any who want to join your cheering squad on the 1st? 😀


The recital will be livestreamed on facebook, so you can watch from the comfort of your couch: uwgmusic
I am told you don't need a facebook account to watch.

I have mixed feelings about this, of course. More stress. And my mistakes will be preserved forever - and there will be mistakes. I much prefer a live recital with no recording - you only remember the good things.

Of course, if anyone wants to come, I will be glad to provide details, just send me a private message here.

Sam

Re: Back to School - at 62? [Re: Sam S] #2946701 02/14/20 07:59 AM
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Heading for the homestretch, Sam. Sounds like you are NB on the AT, just made it through the Hundred Mile Wilderness, and headed for your assault on Katahdin! You got this Sam, hike on!!!


Consolation No.2 E maj, F.Liszt
Nocturne C# minor, FChopin
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Re: Back to School - at 62? [Re: Sam S] #2946702 02/14/20 08:09 AM
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Wow Sam. You got this, and you won’t be human if there weren’t some mistakes. You soldiered on, and that is life. I remembered when you started this thread and it inspired me. And seeing where you are now, inspires me even more that you are really living in your Joy.


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Re: Back to School - at 62? [Re: Sam S] #2946704 02/14/20 08:13 AM
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Hi Sam
We are all so proud of you!!!! I hope someone else in this forum sho has access to affordable education will follow in your footsteps. Yes, please post the recital time and link and we will be listening and rooting for you

What a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Back to School - at 62? [Re: Sam S] #2947053 02/15/20 04:49 AM
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Far beyond anything I would be capable of Sam, good on you. I’m pleased the Ives went well and look forward to hearing it. Well done.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Back to School - at 62? [Re: Sam S] #2948434 02/18/20 07:54 AM
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Here's the recital announcement on the school facebook page.

They had to use the most bald picture of me they could find!

Sam

Re: Back to School - at 62? [Re: Sam S] #2948443 02/18/20 08:30 AM
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Go Sam!
I love your description of "wandering about a bit, making Ab noises" smile
Wouldn't love it if it was me of course!
But you managed to keep it going when things went wrong and find a way out, which seems really important in the context of a recital class.
Fingers crossed it will go smoother in the recital itself


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Re: Back to School - at 62? [Re: Sam S] #2951976 Yesterday at 08:13 PM
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Time is flying! The recital is Sunday March 1st, at 3PM Georgia USA time. If you want to watch, it will be streamed live at
facebook.com/uwgmusic. (Hopefully - I have no control over the streaming).

I have a cold - at least its not the flu! But practice is continuing. Preparing is a bit overwhelming. I have never played a full recital before (and I will never do this again!), so there is a lot to remember. If I could just go backstage and practice each movement slowly before coming out and playing it on stage, I might have a better chance. But the audience would get bored!

Expect a unique performance by a 67 year-old undergraduate - not mistake free, but enthusiastic!

The program:
Fantasie in C minor, BWV906 - Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Sonata in Ab major “Funeral March”, op. 26 - Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
- Andante con Variazioni
- Scherzo Allegro molto
- Marcai funebre sulla morte d’un Eroe
- Allegro

Notturno, op. 54, no. 4 - Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)

Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, op. 120, no. 1 - Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897) - Laurie Searle, Clarinet
- Andante un poco Adagio

Piano Sonata no. 2 “Concord, Mass., 1840-1860” - Charles Ives (1874-1954)
- III. “The Alcotts”

====
The program notes:
Bach Fantasie C minor BWV 906

The manuscript for this piece (it was never published) dates from 1738. What else happened in 1738? Scarlatti published his famous collection of sonatas. Bach may have seen a copy of Scarlatti’s sonatas, decided he could do that - only better - and wrote his own version. The Fantasie has the same form, and shares many of the same characteristics, as a Scarlatti sonata.

Beethoven Piano Sonata #12, opus 26 “Funeral March”

This sonata is unique among Beethoven’s sonatas in that it does not have a single movement in sonata form. The first movement is a theme and 5 variations. This is followed by a scherzo. The third movement was subtitled by Beethoven, “Funeral March on the Death of a Hero”, and it is this movement that gives the sonata its nickname. Since it is a march for a hero, the middle of the movement has ruffles (drum rolls) and flourishes (fanfares), so the piano gets to imitate a brass band. In the final movement, a rondo, Beethoven turns his back on the cemetery and runs for town.

Grieg Notturno op. 54/4

In 1860, Grieg, a Norwegian, went away to conservatory in Germany. He contracted pleurisy and tuberculosis, which destroyed his left lung and deformed his spine. In spite of his health problems, he became Norway’s most famous composer. He published 66 “Lyric Pieces” for piano. The Notturno is reminiscent of a night in the forest, complete with a windstorm and bird calls.

Brahms Clarinet Sonata op. 120/1, 2nd mvt

Late in his life, when Brahms had all but stopped composing, he made friends with the clarinetist Richard Muhlfeld. Brahms was inspired to write several pieces for clarinet, including two clarinet sonatas, which have become some of the greatest works ever written for the instrument. The second movement of the 1st sonata sounds simple, but requires a delicate interplay between the instruments.

Charles Ives “The Alcotts” from the Concord Sonata

Charles Ives was a unique individual who made a living as an insurance executive and who never made any money from his music. Yet today he is considered one of the greatest and most original American composers of the 20th century. He wrote a series of essays about the Concord Sonata, which has movements for Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and the Alcotts. This refers to the real-life family (not the fictional family) of Louisa May Alcott, the author of “Little Women”. Listen for three characters: sister Beth, playing the piano in the parlor; father Bronson (a radical educator and transcendentalist) in his study, shaking his fist at heaven; and the author Louisa May upstairs, sitting at her tiny corner desk, observing and writing. Ives was fond of using the music of other composers that was important to him, so listen for echoes of the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony throughout the piece.

Sam

Re: Back to School - at 62? [Re: Sam S] #2951995 Yesterday at 09:17 PM
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Good luck! Hopefully you'll manage a good night's sleep this weekend. I'll tune in if I get a chance. I'm sure everyone here is pulling for you.


Beethoven Sonata #6 op 10 nbr 2
Scarlatti K. 466, 521, 434, 24 / Haydn Hob. XVI/35, 36
Mendelssohn Op. 54
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