Yesterday was my Longwood Gardens concert... it went really well... first time in a while that I was completely organized the night before for stuff I wanted to take to the merch table. That morning I actually had time to make a huge breakfast--- eggs, grits, veggie sausage, toast... I almost made the biscuits too, but I figured maybe that was too ambitious.
So, I got to the Gardens at my appointed time... but I guess since I knew where I was going I jumped the gun a little and went straight to the music room without waiting for my concert attendant to meet up with me. I ended up entering the building through a dark kitchen behind the ballroom, and feeling my way to the door, hoping it would lead me into the ballroom or music room... which it did! I met up successfully with my attendant, but there was no tech assigned to my concert... and the piano was facing the wrong direction and the platform I had requested for my foot was waaay too high (the piano tuner had asked if a little kid would be performing!). ... so we had to wait for a tech to show up and move the piano etc etc.... which I'm glad he was able to come because he also hooked up a microphone to broadcast my performances throughout the conservatory... cool!
My playing went really well, especially in the first program... I remembered to keep repeating my Alexander directions pretty much throughout the entire performance, which definitely kept me relaxed and feeling in complete control... my chopin nocturne went really well, despite the piano starting to roll in the middle of it... I think I may have slowed down a little at that point, but I was able to keep going without much more of a hitch... the first song was funny... I had planned to play The Dreams of Sarah... and had that in the program and even announced it before I started playing... then I put my hands on the keys and started playing and about 10-15 seconds in realized I was playing The Undershore instead! whoops! I went ahead and finished that song and then announced afterwards that fans in the audience may have noticed something awry...
The second performance also went quite well, although I think my announcements didn't flow quite as nicely and I had a memory slip in the Chopin near the end... I lost my Alexander directions for a split second and the thought went through my brain "I'm almost done!" ... that was it... well I had several awkward measures... but thankfully it kept going and I was able to finish the piece beautifully, just the way I had imagined I would (practicing power of pre-concert positive thinking!) This was the first time I had performed classical music from memory in something like 12 years or so... I'm really glad I am working on this, and am starting to prepare some Debussy to add to the next concert! Someone asked me afterwards if I had any recordings of my Chopin playing... so that definitely may be a possibility for the future.
Probably the best compliment of all for the day was from my concert attendant... she said that normally in these concerts there is a lot of movement in the audience... people drifting in and out of the concert, listening for a little while and then continuing their strolls through the conservatory... but in both of my concerts, pretty much everyone sat through the entire concert, many with eyes closed. What a neat feeling that all that hard work I've been pouring in the past few months brought some enjoyment in the afternoon!