I am currently listening to the latest from Passport Approved, which credits itself as “an internationally syndicated tastemaker import radio show.” That can only mean one thing: there is travel on my horizon.
I have noticed particular peculiar propensities that power up inside me when the travel bug bites. The first is, as you might expect, an adjustment in the music that I listen to. Normally, I sail down the street each day listening to my local Minneapolis radio station The Current (which I highly recommend), but there are some international feels that it does not satisfy.
My plan is to go to Austria in July and participate in Mid-Europe, an international wind band festival in Schladming, Austria. After reading about this small town, I learned that it has hosted the World Championship for the International Ski Federation twice, which means pretty mountains live there.
Mid-Europe has an honor band call the World Youth Wind Orchestra Project that I have submitted an audition recording for, and now I simply lay in wait for the result. I am not getting my hopes up; in fact, I am quite prepared for a rejection.
I wanted the most well-qualified recording that I could come up with, so I thought it would be a good idea to have a piano accompaniment. Unfortunately, the microphone was a bit too close to the piano, and our recording process was very rushed so I did not have the wherewithal to do a sound check. (We were pressed in between the end of the school day when I finished teaching and when the pianist had to go pick up her daughter from school. Safety Warning: No tempos were injured in the recording of our music.) Additionally, I have learned that because I play the saxophone, I must always be prepared for rejection.
Accepting that rejection is all right was actually an easy conversation to have with myself. If I do not pass the audition, I will simply attend the conducting masterclasses as a passive participant and bask in the beautiful light of wind band knowledge. Then again, nothing is stopping me from at least applying as an active participant and actually conducting (SCARY).
I will come clean, though. This week-long conference is going to be couched in about a month or more of personal travel that, for all intents and purposes, will be #@$%ing amazing. So whether or not I perform at Mid-Europe, I will still learn a great deal about wind bands, meet important figures in our shared field, and take time to explore new parts of the world. Now would be a good time for you to set up a date for coffee with me in Prague.