Thursday, November 13, 2014

Accompanist

I just got another job as the piano accompanist for the university choir. I had to go in and audition last week and then again today. I was so nervous. I play the piano all the time, even all the time in an accompanist capacity at church, but it was way outside of my comfort zone to march into a university music department and play for actual musicians, for a paid position. In fact, after a hectic morning and early afternoon on the day of my first audition last week, frantically trying to get my music selection in performable condition, I almost decided not to go through with it.

But I love to accompany others on the piano. In fact, it is one of the great loves of my life. And the longing to be able to accompany again in a new, challenging, and paid setting convinced me to go through with it. When the audition was over and my residual nerves had calmed down, I was proud of myself just for trying. I know that sounds lame, but it took a lot of guts for me to put myself out there after so many years away from the serious piano scene.

I love accompanying because I get to perform, but not be in the spotlight. I get to interpret the directions of the director, underscore the nuances of the singers, and help transmit their combined message to the audience. It's all the joy of hard work and (hopefully) skillful execution, all while being practically invisible. I think the best accompanists, much like the best language interpreters (another dream job of mine), go unnoticed. They are a medium for someone else's message.

For now, this job's target duration is to get the choir through to their end-of-semester concert. But there are master classes and vocal lessons to take on, too, if I want them. I am so happy to have the chance to spend some time working with music.

2009

9 comments:

Anna said...

This is super cool!

Crys said...

Awesome! You are my own personal hero!

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Congratulations! I'm so pleased for you. Now you can pay me back for all those years of lessons . . . haha, not really. How nice to have come out on top of the competition so you can do something you enjoy.

Jen said...

Congratulations! This is awesome!

Liz Johnson said...

Congratulations!!

I had to accompany for YW in Excellence two nights ago, and about had a panic attack. It brings me great joy to know that other people actually enjoy it - next time, I will try to find one of those people.

Bridget said...

Thanks, all! I'm not sure there was much competition, but it's nice to have been deemed competent!

Sarah Familia said...

Congratulations on the new job! That sounds like so much fun. I feel exactly the same way you do about accompanying. It's so satisfying to be able to perform, but be out of the limelight.

Susanne said...

I love the tag on this post. Congrats!

Myrna said...

This is wonderful. And here at BYU, the pianist who makes the audition to accompany a choir...that is such a coup. So many hopeful pianists, and not enough choirs! Lucky you.

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