Dr. D has spent two days listening to 65 students from MYA's Orchestra Program compete in the 16th. Annual Walgreens National Concerto Competition at Bennett Gordon Hall at Ravinia. We asked him to share his thoughts about competition.
Why should students participate in the Walgreens Concerto Competition? Let me count the ways!
"Winning a competition" is not necessarily being selected as first place. If you are selected to play with one of the orchestras but really didn't learn anything in the process, I would not consider you a winner but if you weren't selected for ant prize but learned a whole bunch, you came out ahead and are a winner. So winning means different things for different people.
It is important to learn that setting a goal and following through is the most basic step in "winning". Those students who use the WCC to prepare their work to the highest level are learning life lessons that they can use in any work situation. It is in setting high goals for ourselves that we learn who we really are. Those who are afraid should realize that, at MYA, we all want the best for you, even your colleagues who are competing with you. I see it by their attendance, applause, encouraging words and smiles, as well as their friendship. So, if there ever were a place to try to stretch yourselves, WCC is it!!!
Do your best to prepare for the competition. I try not to pray to "win" but to do my best, to achieve my potential for myself, my family, my teacher, my friends. Learning a work completely is really a great thing. Heck, when first try out a new bass, I always play Eccles ( Kevin!!!) because I learned it for competitions a VERY LONG time ago - some might comment "before paper was invented"! A piece learned well can and will always be returned to but the better you learn it, the more it "sticks to your ribs.
If you were selected to perform with the orchestras don't get too big a "bump" on yourselves! Sure, be proud and happy but realize that this is your opportunity and do your best to learn something in the process. When someone complements you, use the opportunity to tell them something positive about themselves so they know you appreciate them as well. Prepare your heart out for the opportunity and let the orchestra know you appreciate their efforts on your behalf. A sincere " thank you" at rehearsals to them is greatly appreciated.
So participating gives everyone a chance to learn about music, ourselves and others! I only hope that the WCC helps create the atmosphere for all to feel challenged, nurtured, and supported. Dr. D