I write tonight to a group of students who will audition for the PMEA District 5 Honor Band tomorrow night. I am proud of them as musicians and people for what they have chosen to do.
Dear Andrea, Janalyn, Lindsey, Jordyn, Sami, Abby, Kyle, Kyle, Ryan, Dakota, Andrew, and Chris,
I am excited for you. Tomorrow is Honors Band Auditions, and I am excited for you. I hope you are excited to continue on this journey. It is an opportunity to share with others what you have learned, how much you have grown, and how much you value this art form.
First of all, thank you for investing so much time to make yourself a better musician. Never lose sight of the musical maturity you have undergone by studying this music. Our band at home is now better because you have chosen to better yourself. Part of our band growing and developing into something greater than any one of us can achieve by on our own is to cultivate a desire to accept musical challenges in all members. Thank you for leading by example in this regard!
A graduate of our program once confided in me that one of things that made her nervous about these auditions was concern over letting me down. Understand this and understand it well – the results of your audition are not going to let me down or disappoint me. Five minutes of your musical life does not define your importance or worth to our program, it is a moment from which we can learn.
If you do not succeed in making the band, your effort has not been wasted! I am proud of what you have accomplished and what you have learned. I have seen many people personally and professionally learn from failures (yours truly included). Learn from this experience, and take an opportunity to meet some new people who enjoy making music like you do. This audition is not an end point. It is part of a larger journey that musicians and advocates of this art travel. I leave you with a few words by Rush that echo this statement:
“From the point of conception
To the moment of truth
At the point of surrender
To the burden of proof
From the point of ignition
To the final drive
The point of the journey is not to arrive”
I thank you for your time and effort. I appreciate your drive to make yourself the best possible musician you can be. I am proud of your choices, I am proud of you as a person and musician, and I am proud to be your director.