House Concert – 1 June

Last night we had our Studio Concert for the first semester.  It was different in character from our usual Taurominium events in that it was a house concert, as we weren’t expecting too many performers.

Surprisingly, more than expected arrived.  This was great.

The venue was a private home with a large lounge which we transformed into a temporary concert hall; this gave the affair a cosy, homey effect.

The performances were of a good standard even though some of our most advanced students were not there due to school pressure.  (This is always a pity.  However, many thanks to those who arrived despite of school pressure and still gave their best.)

There was only one case of a young student who thought she could perform without having practised.   In future, a student who has been missing a number of lessons directly before the concert will not be allowed to perform without at least passing a prior audition to ensure he/she has practised.  It is painful for an audience to have to sit through a recital full of stop-starts and embarrassments.

However there were also some extremely well-prepared and beautifully delivered performances, and I can only say one thing to our students:  We’re proud of you.  Well done.

It was a most enjoyable concert, topped off by some surprise numbers by intermediate students, and an amateur ensemble playing Irish jigs.  Long after most of the guests and performers had left, we were still playing impromptu gypsy pieces with one of our performers.

It is interesting, as one of the performers observed too, how long a player remains intermediate.  From beginner to intermediate goes quite fast for those who practice faithfully; but intermediate itself is a long, long path.  This is where concerts and even exams can help shape a young player’s self-perception.  An intermediate performance should always be a pleasure to listen to, even though one wouldn’t expect “wow” effects and a lot of mistakes or technical weaknesses still have to be forgiven by the audience.  One of our intermediate players performed tangos with great pazzazz, so his imperfect intonation will have been forgiven in favour of a performance delivered with great flair.

Plus:  The concert flowed well, with mainly intermediate numbers; it wasn’t overly long; the audience was warm and comfortable and the atmosphere more relaxed than on a formal stage.  The young children (siblings, cousins and young performers) were on the whole well-behaved though they did lose focus for listening halfway through and retired to another room to play games.

To improve:  Next time I’ll have a platter of sandwiches ready for children to eat at seven o’clock.  Children were hungry as the concert lasted longer than planned.  Also, nobody will be allowed onstage without having passed a quality check (either in the lessons or, before time, in a backstage setting).  I’ll also look at improving the lighting to create more of a stage effect.

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