There are many concerts and recitals at the end of each semester, produced by the music and dance departments, student bands or a capella groups, SAC (Student Activities Council), or any of the myriad student groups here. I should know because I usually end up playing in a few of the ones that the music department runs. For me, it’s a bittersweet moment in the semester. Playing in concerts is a fun and invigorating experience, but it’s usually time-consuming with rehearsals and preparation for each performance. It’s also a sign that the semester is getting close to the dreaded finals period. However, playing a concert is about more than just jumping onto the stage of Evans Hall. There are a lot of little things that go into it.

  1. Practicing: The joke about Carnegie Hall is that the only way to get there is by practicing, and the same can be said for Evans, our 400-seat concert hall. If no one is using Evans I’ll sometimes practice in there rather than go to a practice room; my scales are always at their best when I’m playing front-and-center on that stage.

  2. Laundry: This one’s not quite as obvious, but when you’re playing one concert every six days as I was this past semester, you have to make sure your concert clothes are washed and ready to go. I really don’t like doing laundry and always wait until the last minute to get it done. This past semester, I was decent at having the right clothes ready to go: the orchestra concert was the only one where I was racing between my house and the arts center!

  3. Eating a sandwich in JA: When I’m actually wearing the right clothes I usually go to Jane Addams Dining Hall (close to the arts center) to eat a sandwich. It’s a tradition of mine that I started because I like eating something simple before playing.

  4. Enjoy the music food: Yes there’s dinner before the concert, but here at Conn we also have a reception after the concert, and I really look forward to seeing what the food is. I especially enjoy the receptions that include cookies, and I also like the fruit salad and crackers and cheese that are also often served.

In all seriousness though, I always enjoy playing in music department concerts; for me, it’s a moment where I can sit down and take in all the progress I’ve made throughout the semester taking clarinet lessons, attending ensemble rehearsals, and just working my way through my courses. With the end of each semester I enjoy seeing how much I, as well as everyone else, have learned in our ensembles.