Thursday, March 22, 2012

Competition Day, North American Saxophone Alliance Young Artist Competition at ASU—Bellevue School of Music

Competition day, Saturday March 17th, has come and gone. I had wished to report a fairytale ending for Andrew Nelson, but because this is real life the hero in our story isn’t always victorious—these are the terms we accept in the pursuit of our dreams.

Andrew Nelson, Rehearsal Finalist in the North American Saxophone Alliance Young Artist Competition 2012 Gammage Auditorium, Arizona State University
Andrew Nelson rehearsing Friday March 16, 2012
Herberger Institute of the Arts School of Music
Arizona State University
Bellevue School of Music

Seven of the nation’s brightest high school saxophonists arrived on the campus of Arizona State University, each deserving to have their hopes fulfilled, their months and years of preparation validated, but with three prizes it was inevitable some would come away empty handed. Truly there were no losers here as each faced the challenge with tremendous skill and grace, exhibiting the finest traits of human character. The level of performance was uniformly brilliant leaving the judges to assess the quantity and quality of fleeting lapses.

Andrew NelsonFinalist in the North American Saxophone AllianceYoung Artist Competition 2012Gammage Auditorium, Arizona State University
Andrew Nelson Gammage Auditorium Saturday March 17, 2012
NASA Young Artist Competition Finals
Arizona State University
Bellevue School of Music

When Andrew’s time came he took the stage with remarkable poise and character that only years of experience can give you. With each performance comes the prospect that things may not go well but this day Andrew truly excelled. Performing in front of your peers and for some of the nations’ leading professionals can be a daunting proposition, though today Andrew’s training and maturity came to fruition as he delivered his best performance to date. Andrew performed the most difficult literature of the day with fearless virtuosity and passion, an accomplishment he can be very proud of!

Andrew Nelson performing in the NASA Young Artist Competition
Concerto by Alexander Glazounov (the compulsory piece)
Renewing the Myth by Marilyn Shrude
Bellevue School of Music

The value in facing the challenge of performance at the NASA Young Artist Competition is immeasurable. Preparing for such an event inspires a monumental effort which raises one’s ability to new heights. The experience of testing your skill on the national stage expands the boundaries and forges a new mindset in which all things are possible; a once young and inexperienced teenager becomes a seasoned performer capable of advancing to a professional playing career. With Andrew’s high school tenure almost over, his remaining performances will be met under a different light, with a newly tempered confidence and greatly advanced facility.

Long after the dream of winning has faded the value of the lessons learned carries on. While it is human nature to want to triumph, gain the prize, be validated for our hard won ability, the true benefit of competition is in learning to overcome our nature and discover competitions’ immense legacies. By repeatedly accepting the challenge you become energized and your learning curve skyrockets, by performing under the variety of circumstance your focus and resolve become unshakable. Andrew’s character has been re-forged by each event, writing the road map for future success in whatever endeavor he chooses. The lessons of this competition and those before it have shaped Andrew into the artist he is today and have already begun shaping his tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.