A Flute Recital

By Emily 

“Where is it?” my dad mumbled, scrolling through the GPS on his phone. It was the winter of 2016, and I was about to have my second flute recital. My dad was frantically driving me around, struggling to find the address written on the pink slip of paper. Finally, we reached a tall brick building, a church with stained glass windows.

I stepped out of the car and walked up to the church, imprinting footprints in the snow. I tentatively opened the tall glass door and wandered in to hear the sound of multiple flutes warming up. I strolled in through the back of the church sanctuary. An audience was seated along with my parents, eyes all glued to their phones. I grabbed one of the programs on the podium next to me and headed into the warm up area.

I breathed deep breaths as I took my flute out of its case. I can’t mess up, I thought to myself. I began to warm up, and I fingered through my piece at least 5 times. I was feeling kind of confident because I chose a piece that I was pretty comfortable with. As I heard my flute teacher call us into the sanctuary, my heart began to race uncontrollably and my palms began to sweat.

I studied the program in my hand. As I scanned the paper nervously, I saw my name somewhere near the bottom. I was hoping that wouldn’t happen because I wanted my turn to be over as quickly as possible. As soon as I took a seat, my teacher gave a brief announcement and the recital had started. I watched as other performers played their pieces flawlessly, which caused me to be even more nervous. Before I knew it, the teacher called me up to the stage. I trudged onto the carpeted red floor, my hands and legs shaking as I approached the stage.

I uncomfortably eyed the large audience. As much as I hated this, I knew I had to do it anyway, so I lifted up my flute, and signaled my accompanist to start playing. Within the first few seconds of my piece, I came in at the wrong time, and played two notes wrong. My fingers felt clumsy, and I began to sweat profusely. Adrenaline caused me to hastily rush through my piece, confusing both my accompanist and the audience.

As I reached the high note in the piece, I wished so badly that I wouldn’t mess up. But to my dismay, a piercing screech echoed through the room. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw some of the audience members cringing in disappointment. I was sure that everyone could see the beet red color burning on my face.

I finally reached the end of the piece, and ended a few seconds quicker than my accompanist. I took an enormous sigh of relief, knowing that I was done. I faced the audience, and took an awkward bow, which was greeted with slow overlapped clapping. I hurried back in shame to my seat amidst the audience, and took a seat next to my mom, who laughed and told me I would get better as time progressed.

This experience has taught me to take time to practice more and be prepared for things like this in the future. I learned that it’s important to work hard to do the best that I can in order to be successful. This made me more determined and motivated to do better.