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Senior Recitals and Twin Time!

I had the great privilege to not only attend, but to also participate in my twin sister, Rachel's senior recital this weekend. She is a viola performance major at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and her wonderful performance was a huge milestone in her college career. As a music performance major, your junior recital is a big deal, but your senior recital is on a different level. Although she doesn't graduate until May, her recital being over is a strong representation of how much she has learned and grown as a musician during her undergraduate studies.

Rachel scheduled her recital for Sunday at 4pm, which was the perfect time for my parents to travel from Detroit, for my sister and brother-in-law to travel from Lansing, and for me and my boyfriend to drive from Chicago. We set out for Cleveland on Friday night after orchestra (which ends at 5:30 every Friday) and arrived around 2am on Saturday morning.

Rachel and I decided months ago that we would love to perform together at one another's recitals, so we selected the "Eyeglasses Duo" for viola and cello by Beethoven. It was a great idea that excited both of us- we love making music together, especially because we naturally communicate on a different wavelength than most chamber music performers- but we also knew it would be a bit stressful. Because we only saw each other during winter break for a couple of weeks and for one day before her recital, we had to crunch in a lot of rehearsal time at the last minute.
Saturday was full of lots of music making. Rachel and I practiced our piece together and then drove over to CIM for a lesson with her viola teacher. After our lesson, we had a dress rehearsal for the Beethoven on the stage of Mixon Hall, a gorgeous glass cube, where her recital would be. After our thirty minutes on stage, trying to learn and change everything we possibly could 24 hours before the performance, we both realized that we had a lot of rehearsing to do. But at that point, the late night and long drive had hit me, and her pre-recital stress had taken a toll, so we both rested for the afternoon and rehearsed later on in the night.

The rest of my family arrived on Sunday in the afternoon, and we all reunited just an hour before Rachel's recital. Many family selfies were taken, and we all stood in the back of the hall as we watched Rachel light up the stage as she rehearsed.

Soon after, Rachel and I walked out onto the stage, sat down, gave each other nods and smiles and were off to nervously playing through the Beethoven. Before we knew it, we had survived, and people seemed to be clapping. We got off the stage as quickly as we could and celebrated pulling off such a stressful task in such short time. I hugged her and wished her luck as she continued on in her program. I gladly joined the audience and sat with my family as we watched her and reflected on how far she has come.

After she received a standing ovation for her recital, Rachel joined us audience members and hugged and thanked every person who attended. Once she gathered her bouquets of flowers and I retrieved my things, we hurried out to enjoy a meal as a family at her favorite Italian restaurant nearby before we all dispersed to our respective cities.

My boyfriend and I enjoyed the road trip back, but we were both extremely thankful that we made it through the snowstorm that had hit Cleveland yesterday afternoon and could finally rest after such a hectic weekend.

I am so proud of my sister for all of the hard work she has done. Recitals are so significant for a music major. It is a time to put your all into something- to work with all your heart and motivation to make it great. It is a special moment where all your family and friends come together in one place to celebrate this hard work that you have done because of your love for music. It is a time to also celebrate all the joy and love in your life and enjoy those who have supported you through it all. It makes the music even more significant and special.
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