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SUMMER CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL: a teen’s view

Turning Music into Life With A Little Bit of Faith, Practice, Trust And Rosin Dust

by Alina Gonzalez
Bassist / Sophomore at Valley Center High School

Alina (wearing hat) and the bassists at the 2011 Summer Festival

Music is something that can capture the world, it’s a language all people can communicate with. With it, everything seems to fall into place. It brings everyone together.

I was nervous on my first day at USD’s Chamber Music Festival. I would be meeting talented players and wondered just how much I’d be compared to them. All these worries vanished when I turned the corner in a hallway and heard Dr. Angela Yeung’s cheerful voice welcoming me to the program. She was a mastermind, selecting music and arranging everything from rooms to food, all while still finding time to coach us in the art of music.

That first day was a blur of tuning, rosin dust, and introductions to new faces. Music was passed out and the thrill of sight reading kicked in. Two days later, we were ready to perform our first concert. I lined up with the other 4 bassists and like before, I tried to shy behind my bass uncertain if I could truly play the notes on the page as well as the others. After the concert, we were congratulated by our coaches and told how well we all did.

It’s easy to learn quickly when you’re young; but the older you get the harder it is to grasp some concepts. As the week progressed, I made new friends and had many sessions with a number of accomplished musicians. We were all bound here for the same reason: the love of music. Although I was outgoing with the crowd, I was shy with my playing, nervous I’d embarrass myself in front of these well known faces. Yet, each coach I worked with complimented me on what I did right and never scolded anyone if a note was played wrong. We were just told that they knew we could play it, and that the music we were playing was challenging but we were all great enough musicians to understand it. I can say I gained some confidence in my playing that week, a lot actually. There’s a lot on your shoulders when you do something that everyone loves, but sometimes you need to add your own twist and interpret the music in one of various ways.

On the last day, I was sad I’d be leaving this whole new world of people just like me. We were all going to go our separate ways, but we would always be attached by the same love. I played two concerts that day, and danced with my bass as the flow of the music filled Shiley Theatre. Our parents, friends, and family watched as we took old notes and our coaches’ direction and turned music into life. A group of us erupted into a wave of bows, and strung measures together as Dr. Yeung conducted us in Soon Ye Newbold’s “Perseus” for the grand finale. Though I thought I’d feel sad after the last beat, I didn’t. I was grateful for the amazing experience and that I had been able to meet such an amazing group of musicians.

Sometimes we need inspiration and encouragement to be able to feel success. Sometimes life brings you to be a part of something special so that you can realize just how great you are. But sometimes, all we need is music, because it can take us to the farthest places and help us discover that we can do anything with just a little bit of faith, practice, trust and rosin dust.

READ: SUMMER MUSIC -a kid’s report on his 2010 Festival experience

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

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