The final day had come. Today was the day for our dress rehearsals and final concerts. I at breakfast at 8 and went to watch Casey get fitted for his new horn. I had tried out horns earlier in the week, but I was still interested to see the process as an observer. This process is pretty taxing on a player. Nate Zgonc kept having him play Mahler 5 and Bolero. Imagine playing these two excerpts over and over for an hour or more. After about an hour, I went to go warm up for the day. I have started to implement some of the things I have heard this week, and it already seems to be making an impact.
At 11:30, our choir had dress rehearsal. We basically ran our pieces in Legacy Hall and left to eat lunch. I made a sandwich and ate it very quickly, changed into my concert clothes and finished gathering my things to save time packing later. I had little time because the quartet concert started at 1 and our group was first on the concert. We played our two pieces, which went alright. A few things did not go as well as they did in rehearsal, which was a little disappointing, but overall, it went very well. The rest of the quartets played after us, and the whole concert concluded at about 2:15.
The choir concert started at 3. The performers choir went first, choir A (my choir) went second, and choir B went last. We were able to watch the first few pieces of the performers choir, but then we had to leave to tune and such. Our performance went extremely well and everyone was pleased. After choir B performed, all the choirs performed a piece together. I got to stand up on the balcony in front of the organ. I got a great view of the hall and the ~15 people left in the audience (most of the audience were people playing on the combined piece). I also got to play next to Colin Williams, which was pretty awesome.
After the concert, we headed to our room and finished packing up. I got the car and we packed all our luggage and horns into the trunk and back seat. After stopping by the music building to drop off our keys and say goodbye, we were back on the road for the 16 hour drive to Iowa. We ate a delicious dinner in Atlanta near the campus of Georgia Tech. I had the Bobby Dodd Burger, which was a half pound blackened burger dipped in their stinger sauce and topped with cheddar cheese, onion rings, honey bacon, lettuce, and a sunny side up egg. This came with tots, as well. I can’t even describe how good this was. I also got the dessert special, which was cookies and cream cheesecake with a scoop of peanut butter and jelly ice cream. The ice cream literally tasted like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I am definitely glad we stopped here. We made it about an hour past Nashville before we had to stop for the night, and we got up early to drive again. After stopping in St. Louis for some delicious ribs, we made it back to Iowa City at about 5:30. I was glad to be back (and not driving), but I had a blast this last week. I learned a lot and am excited to start using some of this stuff in my everyday practicing. It was especially eye-opening to hear the professionals and the level at which they play. They told us a lot about how they got to where they are, as well. I definitely have a better idea of what I need to do to have a good career in music. STS was definitely worth my time and money. I am looking forward to possibly going again in two years. I would recommend this to anyone and everyone looking for a career playing or teaching trombone.