75-hour Challenge Leads To Band Audition

Senior Lane Maddox completed the 75-hour challenge leading up to area auditions.

Angel Quevy

Senior Lane Maddox completed the 75-hour challenge leading up to area auditions.

“Letter N, you may begin your audition,” the room monitor says to the girl next to me.

I sit in the ready chair to her right, my palms sweating, as I try to control my breathing and will my heartbeat to slow down. I wipe my clammy hands on my jeans, trying to maintain my composure.

You can do this. Deep breath. You’ve got 78 hours of practice under your belt.

Letter N starts, and I try to tune her out. I can’t listen to how good or bad she is; I can’t let her get in my head.

She finishes her etude and pushes the music stand all the way down, shooting a smirk to me and a knowing glance to her friends seated behind us, making fun of me because I’m the tallest one in the room and I prefer to play my pieces standing up. It’s a mean thing to do, but it’s the only way to survive auditions.You just have to ignore them and keep them out of your thinking space. You have to want it more than anyone else in the room.

I try to ignore her and brush it off. I’ve wanted this for so long, I can’t let the pettiness of the flute audition room get to me. I take my time adjusting my stand, getting my mind into the right place. This is your audition. Deep breath. Not anyone else’s. You can do this. Deep breath. You have to do this.

“Letter O, you may begin your audition,” the monitor says to me.

I close my eyes for a moment, and imagine that I’m performing in a concert for thousands of people, all of them there to see me and listen to my performance. For many people, this would make them even more nervous. But not me. I love the rush of performing, and I love making people feel something when they hear my music. In my head I’m no longer in this stuffy audition room in my jeans, boots, and t-shirt. I’m in the Musical Arts Center at Indiana University, wearing a glittering formal gown. My audience applauds me as I take the stage, anxiously awaiting my performance. The clapping dies down as I play my warm-up note.

Here we go. Deep breath. Play.