Saturday, December 20, 2008

Liesl's 1st Violin Recital

Liesl's first recital was Sunday, December 14th. Oh, my. It was an event to remember. Everything was fun, exciting, encouraging, uplifting.

Liesl went up to the stage and, for her performance, gave the audience a tutorial on the parts of the violin and bow. She did splendidly. For two weeks, we have been practicing the process of doing a performance: Carrying her violin safely in rest position, walking onto the stage, projecting her voice so that the entire audience would hear her, taking a bow, walk off. Oh boy, did all that practice pay off! At first she was too quiet ("quiet" is something that Liesl is not generally known for), but after a gentle reminder to speak loud enough for the audience to hear her, Liesl belted out the names of the violin parts with such vim and vigor that the audience could not help but laugh along with her. Her teacher said she is a natural performer. (I wonder if I can take a little credit for that. I was performing in at least 3 plays while I was pregnant with her, and in each of those plays, the musician was, surprise surprise, a violinist. She really had no choice!)

Liesl is, according to our teacher, her youngest student to have ever come up on stage, and, without hesitation, give a spirited and accurate rendition of the parts of the violin and bow. As a token of this milestone, she received her first violin pin, which, after her performance, she insisted that I pin on the lapel of her dress. She is as proud of that pin as anything, and Mommy couldn't be prouder of her if she had brought home the Olympic gold.

During the rest of the recital, she got to color and play in quietly while other students performed, though we did bring her back into the performance hall occasionally to see a few students that she knew--as well as her teacher--performing on stage. Afterwards, there was a wonderful, kid-friendly reception, in which we got to socialize with other students and their parents. Liesl enjoyed running around and playing with new friends, and since she was the littlest kid (with the littlest violin), she had a lot of Miss Sharon's more seasoned students coming up and talking to her.

What made this 1st recital even more special was that it happened during a master class. Our teacher's friend and musical colleague, John Haspel Gilbert, visited the studio and gave us a private performance of Bach's Partita #3 in E Major. (It was my first time seeing a violin soloist perform in person--it was amazing. I had tears in my eyes at the end of the 2nd movement.) Liesl was not old enough to participate in the master class rehearsal this year, but there are rumblings that he will be back next year. At that point, both Liesl and Mommy will be performing!

Tom took a video of Liesl performing, but since it was done with our video camera and not my point-and-shoot, it will take some time before I can figure out how to post it online. I will post it as soon as I have time to figure it out. (That could take years.) We have viewed it often. It is tremendously cute.

Liesl's next performance will be on January 18, where she will play pizzicato and quarter notes on all 4 strings. (As a new violin student myself, I can tell you: This is not as simple as it sounds! The violin is a tough instrument to learn, there's a huge amount of control involved.)

Soccer mom? Not me. I'm a violin mom!

Liesl with our teacher, Miss Sharon, and Maria, another student

Liesl with Mr. Gilbert. See how she's proudly displaying her violin pin?

Running off some energy before her performance...with her violin safely in rest position.

Some of Miss Sharon's other students performing with her and Mr. Gilbert. These young children amazed me with the things they can do with such sophisticated music, and at such young ages.


TronWife said...

So exciting about the recital! Thanks for sharing, can't wait to see how she progresses!

And Lizard Breath is my best friend, Elizabeth...she just LOVES it when I call her

Gail said...

I can't WAIT to see the stills ! "Violin Mom" YAY!

Julieann said...

Ohh, how fun!! She is a beauty.

Merry Christmas Rebecca!