So, the day after my birthday (and subsequent party), I had my very first jury examination!
For those of you unfamiliar with the term outside of the American Judicial System, a jury is like a performance exam. Music students have to demonstrate their progress by dressing up like they would at a recital and performing a few diverse pieces of music for a select group of faculty higher-ups.
They scheduled me for 7:10pm: the final jury of the day. . . probably because they would have something to look forward to! (Right?)
There were three people in my jury besides me and my awesome accompanist: The Extension Division department head, my teacher, and the teacher of the saxophone player who went ahead of me.
I prepared three pieces.
- Vocalise by The Rach.
- Pie Jesu from Faure’s Requiem
- He Shall Feed His Flock from Handel’s Messiah.
I was attempting, in my choice of pieces, to be diverse. That’s why I chose the Handel. It’s not a great piece for the instrument, but I chose it because I was familiar with it, it was Baroque, and I’d never heard anyone play it on the theremin.
I got to choose which piece to play first and I played Vocalise. It went really well although I could have turned my amp up a bit more to get a wider range of dynamics. On the EPro I used the most muted timbre for this piece — the one to the far left of the dial. It made the high notes less screechy.
I didn’t know they were going to be writing during the piece, but as soon as I got used to that, everything was fine.
When I had finished the Vocalise, they all complimented me, saying that the sound was beautiful and haunting.
The next piece was chosen for me by the jury panel. I was crossing my fingers for the Faure. Of course they chose the Handel.
I changed the timbre to produce a more brassy sound. It went well. I probably added more crescendos than Handel had originally intended for an Oratorio, but it would have been pretty dull without them.
Again, they complimented me and told me that it sounded like a voice! Hooray!
A few days later, in the hall, the Extension Division department chair saw me in the hall.
“We need to talk,” he said.
I approached him apprehensively.
“You know, your jury went really, really well. You blew. us. away. Very nice job.”
I got my evaluation back yesterday.
It was in the key of A.
(Please forgive me for that last sentence. It was way out of line.)