Yesterday was a pretty big day for me. It was my orchestral debut. The Downtown Symphony had its first concert of the season last night and I played in the Franck symphony as well as the Chaminade Concertino for Flute and Orchestra. But before I did that I had to go through another medical school interview. My alma mater emailed me on Friday to let me know that I had an interview coming up in 5 days. Oh, and I had to be there at 8AM for a special breakfast. FUN! My husband was supposed to drive me in but then that fell through so I had to wake up before dawn in order to make sure that I'd make it to upper Manhattan while there were still available parking spaces. Luckily for me there is no alternate side parking up there on Wednesdays so I was able to find something on a remote avenue. After having two successful interviews I was nervous that my luck would run out at one of my top choices. Thankfully I was blessed with a wonderful interviewer who is very committed to recruitment and was very receptive to my path to medicine. So now I have 3 good interviews down.
Oh, let me back up at this point. So as I mentioned earlier it was a stressful morning for me. Before I could leave the house I had to pack everything I would need for both my interview and the concert. I wanted to be prepared but I couldn't afford to travel too heavily either. And I'm doing all this while wearing my suit. I am not used to dressing up and it tends to make me uncomfortable. Anyway, so at 6 something I was running a mental note of everything I needed to take with me.
Interview portfolio with my primary application, the particular school's secondary application, and my list of questions . . . CHECK
Necessary toiletries for the day . . . CHECK
A non-bulky change of shoes in case the feet get really painful . . . CHECK
An umbrella because it had to rain, of course . . . CHECK
My IPOD for the subway ride to BMCC . . . CHECK
The music I was playing for the concert . . . CHECK
My oboe . . . CHECK
Black top for the concert . . . CHECK
My reeds . . . . . . . . . oops . . . (Hilda 0, PregnancyBrain 164)
Oh yes my friends. The girl who has waited oh so long to finally play a concert with an orchestra left her reed case on top of the dresser. Luckily I didn't realize this during all the interview mania. In fact, I didn't realize it until I sat down on the subway. I had that giddy "thank GOD I just god a seat 'cause 168th to Chambers is a long @ss ride" feeling when I put my hands on top of my oboe case and it felt odd. Immediately I realized that that good reed case was not there. My older reed case was there with three duds. I fought back tears and decided to just keep on going. At that point it was too late to go home and get back in time for the concert.
Once I got there I tested my duds and they were all awful. One sounded like a kazoo. And the other two leaked so badly that they could only play with waterlogged cigarette paper around them and only for a couple of minutes. Thankfully the first oboist lent me a reed and while it wasn't my usual sound (it felt stuffy) but at least I was able to produce sound predictably on it. My little solo turned out pretty well I think. It may even be on film and if it is I will try to see if I can share it with you.
Overall, the experience was great, though my elation was dampened by the reed fiasco. It was exciting to be up on stage and to watch people come in to see us. Though once they turned the lights on I couldn't see the audience at all. Our conductor got all dressed up! And we had "ringers" who filled in missing parts and supplanted the string section so we sounded much better than during rehearsals. I thought I would have time to think about how miraculous it is to be there actually making the music, but instead I was too worried counting bars and looking at the conductor to make sure I didn't miss anything. I did make mistakes but it didn't really matter as the stakes were low and we were just there to have fun. That was the beauty of it. It was great to be with all these people making music and enjoying it.
I hope this is the first of many, many more concerts.