Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Violin Player Dressed Like a Wedding Cake

Well, it all happened on a dark and stormy night when I was about five years old. Actually, I don't truly remember what kind of day it was, or what day it was for that matter, but I was actually five. I saw Itzhak Perlman, dressed like a wedding cake, play a solo with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and after that concert I was hooked. I asked my mom, "mother, dearest, will you buy me my very own violin? It would make me ever so happy." And she bowed down to my unbelievable charismatic powers as a five year old and said "of course, honey. Whatever makes you happy." Actually I'm pretty sure it didn't happen that way, but it was because of Perlman that I started playing the violin.

I got my first 1/4 violin two weeks after that and began taking lessons at DePaul University (funny how I ended up at a school for music with only ONE letter difference, huh?) and kept going. My mom was a very musical person back in the day. She played clarinet starting when she lived in Japan, then Arizona, then California, then Oklahoma, then Texas, then so on and so forth until she moved to Chicago. That's when science took over (blah). But anyway, she didn't really have to force me to play or anything. I loved the sound. But when we moved from Chicago to the *shudder* suburbs, I had to stop playing since there weren't any good teachers around (I was seven by then). This is the part of the title that said "then ended" and I bet all of you are anxious to hear how I got started up again, so I'll delve into this.

Hokay, so, here's how it all went down. When I was in elementary school I was forced to play a wind instrument, since the school wanted more floutists. I wasn't really given an opportunity to play the violin anymore, although I did have a choice to decline the band, but I wanted to fit in, so here came the shiny steel pipe that I quickly grew fond of. Within a month or so of starting it, my teacher was impressed or something because he wanted me to do a recital of this Pink Panther and patriotic stuff I didn't care for. But, like a good egg, I did it. This carried from second grade up until fifth grade, where I was again forced to make a decision that I didn't want to make. Middle school was queer like this. They allowed choir students to continue playing an instrument that was at a different period than choir, but wouldn't allow string players to play a wind instrument the period after. Those bastards pissed me off so much, because I had been continuing on the violin since I was five, so I was obviously in love with it, but my little affair with the flute brought up some turbulence in my upcoming choice, because I had grown very very fond of it. What was a little ten year-old boy to do? Well, I saw Itzahk Perlman on an episode of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood one day when I was flipping through channels. I stopped to listen to what he played. I was enraptured, so my violin fire was rekindled (I don't mean that I lit my violin on fire. It's a play on words, come on) and thus was my choice. It was because of this little episode of Mr. Rogers' that middle school was what shaped me as a musician.

I am a somewhat shrewd musician. As picky about a note as a gardener is about what flowers and such are in their garden. I would just as quickly say "that A is a bit flat" over and over again as a gardener would say "those aren't gladiolas, those are gardenias! dammit, get it right!" It was in middle school that I began playing again. There was a little program at my school called select strings, and only a few people could get in there. I made up my mind that I was going to get in there. And as the old saying goes, which I do believe, you can do anything you put your mind to. So I practiced and got in. Woohoo. Then shortly after that, before my 8th grade graduation, in our final concert, I recieved the director's award: the highest award any middle school musician can earn. Boom. Then high school. This is where the real magic happened. It started with the Youth Symphony of DuPage, then that led to Interlochen for two summers, then two years with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, which, if any of you know, is the #3 youth symphony in America. This was what firmly made up my mind of what I wanted to do with my life, and retained my pickiness thusly. So, after all my preparation with that wonderful orchestra, I ended up here at DePauw (that's not to say that I'm regretful for not going to Oberlin or Northwestern, mind you) and I retain my critical musical ways, making sure that A isn't flat, or making sure that the articulation is just so.

Now, as you can see, this is significantly different than my original copy, so you can see this. But the point is one day I hope to be that violin player dressed like a wedding cake. Like a wedding cake in that it's all dressed up, not the whole frosting thing, cuz that's just wierd: having a violinist wearing all frosting. Yeah, that's not how I roll.


At 9/17/2006 8:34 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

Nice use of metaphors. Or similes. I can never remember which is which.

At 9/17/2006 8:48 PM, Blogger Kitt_Katt said...

UM.....what does a violinist dressed like a wedding cake look like?

At 9/17/2006 10:40 PM, Blogger Nat said...

I enjoyed the blog but I felt like you got a little too casual at times, I know, this coming from me who wrote my entire blog as if I was talking to the person, but I wouldn't refer to something as "queer"....

At 9/17/2006 11:31 PM, Blogger Ferdinand_The_Bull_Smells_Flowers said...

I love your title! Very entertaining.

At 9/17/2006 11:37 PM, Blogger Godfather Outlaw said...

your title is very attractive, and i like your new changes!


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