Faithful readers will recall that, since our daughters began taking lessons from their current piano teacher (Mrs. Vold), they have competed in the same annual music festivals as those that my sisters and I did as children. The National Federation of Music Clubs sponsors junior festivals under the auspices of its state-level organizations, and in this region of our state, the site for the annual festival is the university. We were there bright and early this morning (8:15 A.M. on a Saturday qualifies as "bright and early," right?) so that Suzanna could play in the first session. Hillary played next in a different building, and Abigail played in the same room as Hillary but not until this afternoon.
Suzanna played "Scherzo" and "Elegy in E"; Abigail played "Festival of Marrakesh" and "Dance"; and Hillary played "A Merry March" and "Grasshoppers." Each played with good form at the piano, nice rolls with her hands, expressive dynamics, etc.; we were proud parents. And the results?
Each girl earned a "superior" rating from her judge! A "superior" is worth five points, and one accumulates points from year to year in order to win gold trophies. The first trophy is earned after the first 15 points, a bigger trophy is earned after another 15, and so on. It used to be that there were four trophies total, so one had to take lessons for 12 years--and earn 12 "superior" ratings--in order to accumulate all the trophies. This is the third year of competition for both Suzanna and Abigail, and this is the third "superior" for each of them, so each has earned the first trophy! This is Hillary's first year of competition and first "superior," so she's just getting underway.
I've written before about how fun it is to see our daughters participating in something that was an important part of childhood for me and my sisters, too. It brings back a lot of fond memories. And my career as a piano festival performer may not be over yet! While waiting for Suzanna to perform, I was approached by a local music teacher who invited me to perform in April at a piano festival for boys; I suppose she's thinking that an adult male piano player would serve as an inspiration or role model for them. I'd better consult my collection of piano music from my festival days and start memorizing . . .