The Nerd of May is here again! I will be auditioning for the Longhorn Band at University of Texas at Austin. I’m going to be a senior this year and I hadn’t played clarinet for almost three years until very recently. I was in band since junior high. I played clarinet for most of my junior high years and switched to Bass Clarinet in middle of 8th grade. I played the Bass Clarinet all through high school. I know it’s been awhile since I’ve been in band, but I have faith in myself to audition once. I have truly missed playing music and performing, along with the other associated antics of being band. I don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to have the experience of being part of a college band.
At first, I have always loved the Showband of the Southwest. I didn’t like to leave during half-time at football games because I respect the band. I have so many friends who are part of the band who are in my engineering classes or go to my church. Even though sometimes I may be alone, I would enjoy the show. It reminded me of when I was in marching band in high school. I would like to see what that is like in college.
I didn’t realize how much I missed being in band until one of my friends casually invited me to his concert last Spring. I sat in and I felt the true emotion of music. After the concert, I talked to him, reminiscing what I loved about band. He talked about the music he was playing. I told him how I loved slow songs that allowed for pure emotion to be drawn from the music. I also loved playful, fast songs that are fun like my personality. I realized that this part of me has become rather quiet in recent years.
I woke up on April Fools’ Day with this anxiety that I have missed out on playing my instrument and being in band. It was the one of worst days I’ve ever had. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. I cried, and had a emotional meltdown. I had to go to that same friend’s place to talk about this. My roommate advised against me wanting to join band and talking to my band friend because he thought I’ve moved away from band and I couldn’t handle the rigor of band in college. Of course, my band friend didn’t take me seriously at first because it was April Fools’ Day and I’m one of the biggest jokesters I know, but I told him that I needed someone to talk to about this. We picked up Cane’s to go, and I just talked at my friends’ place. He said I have some serious FOMO (fear of missing out), but he was really honest on the challenges of band. We just talked about life and it was well needed. I later decided I was going to try to be part of the band this next school year.
So I’ve practiced. I picked up my clarinet, and I played it almost every day. That’s more than what I did in high school. In high school, I was in band for more social reasons. I was never the best at my instrument, I was just lucky there were only a few other Bass Clarinet players in the entire school. Now, I don’t expect to be the greatest musician I know, but rather to express and use my talents. I’m not a music major, and I could never be famous for music. I don’t want to bury my talents, I want my efforts to produce fruit. That’s why I went for it, despite the challenges for a Civil Engineering major spreading himself too thin between school, social and spiritual activities. I have spread myself too thin back in high school joining every club and somehow making good grades. It worked, but in everything I did, I only did enough to be involved. It reminded me to rather focus on what I truly enjoy than scatter my efforts. I enjoy playing music.
I have posted my audition publicly, not to show off my talent, but to tell my story. I don’t believe this is the best I could be, but it shows my willingness to never settle on my dreams. I love to conquer my fears, and performance anxiety is one of them. How far will I go? Only God knows.
The Nerd of May