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Putting the "Performance" Back in "Cello Performance Major"

There are many things I love about being a music major. Developing my skills as a musician while forming deep bonds with my cello studio mates are a couple of reasons why I love what I do. My favorite thing, however, is being able to put all my hard work and practice into what I have been working so hard toward- a spectacular performance. This weekend, I was fortunate enough to play in two performances!

My first performance of the weekend was on Friday night, and it was slightly different than the concerts in which most classical cello performance majors play. It was a show with an indie rock band called The Diving Bell. I have been the cellist for The Diving Bell since last year around this time, and I have thoroughly enjoyed expanding my musical abilities in such a unique way! I got involved with The Diving Bell after playing with many of its members in the worship band at my church, Ethos, every Sunday. One day after church, the leader invited me to join their band for one of their songs in an upcoming show, and after that performance, I recorded two songs with them for their upcoming album release in a professional studio. This Friday night performance was also the night that our album was released….and it was so cool! I showed up early for sound check, spent time with the band backstage, and got up and enjoyed playing my part of the set with the band after two other bands opened for us. During my time playing with The Diving Bell and with the worship band at church, I have come to enjoy making music in a whole new way. I am able to nurture my listening and creative improvisational skills when I play with the bands, which I love! It is something that is often rare for a classical musician. I also love the rush of being on stage in front of a crowd- especially because it is a very different crowd, musical genre, and venue type/setting than I am used to. I really respect the musicians I performed with and am excited to continue to work with them!

Saturday night was another exhilarating performance in a completely different way- I performed Stravinsky’s Firebird with the DePaul Symphony Orchestra. I walked on that stage feeling extremely excited and slightly nervous to play such a hefty, famous work, and I walked off the stage still feeling excited about the accomplishment of what we had done. The performance was, in my opinion, the most captivating and energetic performance our orchestra has done this year, and my friends in the audience agreed. I think the repertoire choice affected this outcome, but I also felt like the members of the orchestra really communicated and enjoyed the music more than we have in the past. My stand partner and I agreed that we both felt very satisfied, musically and emotionally, after performing that piece, which is an incredibly exhilarating feeling. I will always crave that feeling I get when I finish the last chord of a very intense, building piece and stand up to thunderous applause. Nothing beats that!

Although this weekend kept me very busy, it was a great time of simply enjoying creating music. I love having different outlets to do this, and I really appreciate seeing the many sides that this art encompasses. No matter what type of music I am making and with whom, I love working together as a team to create something great to share with other people as we share with one another.

 
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