Rehearsal 1: 1/16/17
Within minutes, there were tears.
That’s essentially how all of us felt on this first day. A month ago, we were all eagerly anticipating receiving the list of songs for the year. Everything was a mystery to us at this point. What the songs would be, what parts we would get, and what this year would bring us. Everybody was excited for the future.
Now that the time had come, we were all anxious. The songs were so obvious to us at this point, for we’d all listened to them on repeat for the past four weeks. We’d spent hours in Mitchell’s basement, seeing steady progress as days passed, yet still agonizing over small mistakes that we all hoped wouldn’t creep up on us when the time came to impress. The familiarity of the songs scared me; that meant that every tiny mistake was that much more noticeable.
After all, we were all nervous because we wanted to sound good; we wanted to impress Dan, our band’s director, and Patrick, the ever-so-feared regional manager. I, personally, felt like I had to prove to them that I belonged in this talented group.
So, as 6:45 approached, and we rolled into rehearsal, I, and several other members, were visibly nervous.
After brief discussion, we started playing. Things went, as expected. Below the nerves, the consensus was that we were confident in what we’d practiced. It showed. There was lots to be proud of, as well as lots of glimmers of hope; things that would come together in the future to become something amazing.
With that being said, not all was well. At the end of one song, the first comment made was “Thank God that’s over.” It was a harsh, but necessary truth for us to hear. The comical inside joke of “being better”, that our director had made in the past countless times in order to urge us to practice, was extended into minutes of critiques from both directors, sometimes suggesting things to improve upon, other times simply telling us that we were sloppy. It’s not that comments like these weren’t expected, we’ve all received them tons of times and were used to them by now, but it still stung a bit to go into something with confidence, only to be put under the magnifying glass.
As 9:00 approached, and the edge of the night was fading, they told us what we’d all been wanting to hear. That they were proud of us, and that they were excited for what the rest of this year was going to look like. For me, this was a confirmation of the past month of work that I’d put in. Although, at the end of the night, I didn’t feel as accomplished as I had imagine I would in my head. I understand now that there’s always going to be things to work on, and that even though we’ve made it past week one, the next forty or so weeks are going to be no different. I know personally that I’m going to keep practicing and improving, and I’m sure the rest of the group feels the same way.
It’s going to be a hell of a year for us.