Wednesday, April 22, 2009

GRMR String Quartet State Competition

Tomorrow, thursday night..... my string quartet and I are leaving for a state competition in Ellensburg.

For the past months we've spent with one other, I can say my passion for music has really grown and matured in so many ways. Learning from and being surrounded with 2 seniors and a junior, have really changed my perspective in music. Well, not just music... but basically everything. They've played a huge role in stretching my mind to think beyond the obvious. They've helped me in so many ways.

The string quartet we've formed has been one of the highlights of the school year. Together, we rehearsed for hours and sacrificed time/freedom to do the best we could. I say "to do the best we could" because we never really had a specific spot we were reaching. We just wanted to put forth our best effort and show that throughout our music, represent KM, and have fun in the competitive environment. And really, we did do our best. Although none of us expected to go to State and were just expecting a 1 Superior score from the judge, we always did our best even if we had the slightest doubt in the back of our minds. We never had professional coaching from anyone. We practiced all by ourselves, and did it as a team. After the competition, as we were informed that we made it to state bceause we were the regional champions for the GRMR small group competition, beating 26 other teams, everyone was so happy and thrilled. That moment was so unforgettable, and I will never forget the rush of adrenaline I felt in my heart. I felt really proud and I knew that everyone in our string quartet family really deserved this, because we did all this by ourselves.

That was on March 14th. Now....we're leaving at 6 PM tomorrow for our State competition which is on April 24th on a friday. Doesn't time just fly? Especially when you're having fun, or being productive. Well, I'm leaving thursday evening to rehearse with the group, since our performance is at 8:10 AM. [We're the 2nd group to go.] We will be bright bright and cheery, so we can make a good impression on the judges, and of course.... be awake when performing! I'm just so happy with the improvement everyone in our group has made. Together, we've bonded, learned from one another, and have become passionate about the music we make together regardless of how many times we've played it. At first, the bond between each member in the quartet wasn't very close. But as we helped each other out, rehearsed at Logan's house, and started conversations..... we did get closer. The bond and time experienced with the members of a string quartet play an immense role in the music, and connection.

All those hours of rehearsals on weekdays, weekends, and breaks were worth it. Most definitely. On weekends, we we would rehearse from 5 or 6 PM, and get home at 9:45 PM. Sometimes, we'd get home past 10 as well. On school nights, we'd usually get home at around 8 - 9:15 ish. Then when we had coachings in Seatte, Dashpoint, and other areas. Preparing for this competition and just bonding as a string quartet is really time-consuming, but definitely worth it. Well, after becoming regional champs, we took our rehearsals a lot more seriously, and finally starting getting professional coaching from famously known musicians such as Elka [logan's private teacher], Quinton Morris, and John Schandle. Our very first coaching was from Elka. I just felt so honored to meet these people that were well-known in professional musical circles or recognized nationally in the music industry.

I feel privileged as a freshman, to be able to go to state with upperclassmen that share the same connection and passion with me for music. I feel really grateful to be meeting big people, and having professional conversations and coachings from them at their house. I don't want to boast or brag, so I want to let everyone know that I'm not any better than anyone else. I'm not any more qualified, or capable than any other human being. It's just that I've come this far, because I really was passionate about the music, and the fact that I received plenty of feedback from my fellow string quartet members. Thanks to them.... I know I can lead the orchestra next year a lot better than I thought, and grow as a musician.

Thanks so much everyone. I feel so grateful, blissful, and excited. Seniors Logan Ellis, Kailee Wright, and junior Eric Siljig really deserve some recognition. We've been through a lot together. In orchestra, outside of school, and in rehearsals.

Even if we don't place in state or get the score we expected.... as a string quartet we truly did try our best, and we improved in so many ways possible. We're all grateful to just represent KM by making it to state, and going to a state ensemble competition. What made us even more proud was the fact that KM didn't go to a state music ensemble in the last decade!

Well, before I go, I'm really going to reflect this school year and remind myself to be thankful, and just have fun for friday. Although I'm glowing with happiness, I feel guilty in some ways because this blog sounds like I'm a total attention-getter. Sorry. I just write things out to speak my mind, and what's going on in my life. And, I wanted to inform everyone how thankful and appreciative for their kind words.
This is probably the first time I'm not nervous to perform or compete with others. It's because I feel confident and ready for tomorrow. I hope all of our hard work pays off!

WISH US LUCK GUYS! :D Love you all, and thanks for the support.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Evaluation on the song Spring Time

The song Spring Time by the korean pianist, Yiruma, is a mellow, sad, yet peaceful song to the ears. When you listen to it, it instantly warms your heart, and wants you to close your eyes to think of all the past pretty memories you had in your life. Well, at least that's how it's like for me. I'm not sure, but I think this song was in a korean drama as well, because several of Yiruma's songs are used in asian dramas. In this song, the melody starts out at an alto pitch, and as the climax of the song gets nearer, the the pitches get higher and more chords are heard throughout the piece. This song is not very dramatic, but more of a song you can listen to when you can't go to sleep.

I would give this song 5 out of 5 stars. I've always loved Yiruma's songs because they're so peaceful, and passionate. Just listening to each of his songs warm my heart! Definitely, Spring Time is one of my all-time favorites. This piece isn't too fast, or too slow. The speed, pitches, and everything is just perfect [at least in my opinion.] I know that whenever I need to clear my mind, or just relax... I can always listen to this song and feel at peace. Although Spring Time sounds very mellow and sad in some ways, it also brings a sense of hope, and a "new beginning." Especially the part after you finish listening to the climax. It's just like a breath of fresh air.

Overall, it's kind of hard trying to describe this song, because really... it can bring different emotions and feelings for everyone. It all depends on the way you take this song, and what your situation is. Good thing is, Spring Time is a song you can listen to any time regardless of the situation, or mood. The main reason I listen to this song is because it's calming, and meaningful. Five stars!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Evaluation on 2009's School Spring Break

Spring break. It's a time for kids to relax, sleep in, hang out with friends, have time to talk on the phone, to check your myspaces/facebooks, and just time to do everything you've missed out on. School breaks/vacations are always exciting for students & staff members, because it gives you the opportunity to do things you couldn't do on school days. Well, spring break lasts one week, and it started last saturday. This will be my first spring break in high school. How exciting. [Not, ha.] Anyways, during spring break I can gurantee you that a lot of kids will procastinate and slack off when it comes to homework. Why? Because they think that they will have all the time in the world, when really.... when one is having so much fun, time seems to fly by faster than you think. Overall, spring break is just very enlightening & delightful to students, obviously because there's NO SCHOOL! (: I just hope everyone uses the time we have this week wisely.

If I would have to rank this year's spring break from a scale 1-10, it would have to be around a 4 or 5. Why do I say this? Well, actually all of my breaks this year haven't turned out like what I expected, nor have they been relaxing. Sadly, breaks to me are no longer considered weeks of relaxation, hanging out, or free time. Instead, they're a time for catching up on activities, making up for lessons, doing homework, and eventually sleeping in. The only thing that really satisfies me this spring break is the fact that I will be getting a lot of sleep. Before I start getting to anything big, I'm going to warn my readers that this post will basically include a lot of my complaints about spring break. Hopefully, you can endure my incredibly long, boring, and painful rants.

So.... before spring break starts, most people exchange ideas and plans for what they want to do over break with their friends. They talk about what movie they'll watch, when they'll go shopping, or "chill." Well, I on the other hand have something different in store for me. So if you're curious, you'll be wondering, what exactly am I doing this spring break? 4 words: a lot of things. Complaint # 1: My piano teacher expects me to finish a huge, advanced piece just in one week of this spring break. We started working on the piece before, but things were pretty slow because I was busy with other things. Problem is, even though I'm on break now, I really don't know how I'm going to do this. This piece is incredibly difficult in so many ways, and I'm so depressed that I have to cram all this practicing in. Sadly, I can't even take my teacher's words lightly because she believes I can do this, so I can't let her down, or dissapoint myself. So much pressure, this sucks. :( But at least I don't have any violin lessons & byso rehearsals in bellevue this spring break, so I'm very, very, very happy! Next several complaints [skip this, and go to the next complaint if this part bores you]: Well, here's just a basic idea of my schedule: Last saturday: piano lesson, string quartet rehearsal, extra hours of piano & violin [because my private teachers are giving me more pieces to work on since it's break], & hw. Sunday: Church, piano & violin practice, and hw. Monday: Piano & violin practice, IRP group meeting, hw. Tuesday & Wednesday: Piano & violin practice, homework, IRP group meeting, and String Quartet rehearsal at 6 PM & 7 AM. Thursday: piano & violin practice, homework, and String Quartet coaching @ Seattle University 2:00 PM. Friday: Piano & violin practice, and homework. Saturday: piano lesson, instrument practicing, homework, String Quartet rehearsal, [maybe] IRP meeting. Sunday: hw, instrument practicing, church. Next complaint: Sigh... I really don't like how I have to include my instrument practicing on my schedule since it should already be an everyday thing. Darn these time-consuming pieces! Now I have more things to do. :// Well, I could rant and complain forever, but I think I should stop here for the reader's sake. As for me, it's actually helping me relieve my stress, ha.

Sigh... well look on the bright side. At least I don't have to go to school. Last Complaint: But then, I'm pretty sure I won't be able to talk on the phone often with my friends or hang out with them this week. Sorry guys. So overall.... this spring break won't be a time for me to lazy or relax 24/7, but it'll be more of a productive, work week. Oh well, it feels good to get things done. I'll feel accomplished, haha. Wish me luck guys! I'll try to stay positive, and realize how I should take advantage of the time I have. This spring isn't that bad, at least I can still catch up on some sleep! Hope everyone has a great spring break! You guys deserve a break after all the projects we've been getting lately, phew.