Monday, February 4, 2013

College Audition Tour

Before her audition at BYU and BYU-Idaho, Jesse had a Pre-Audition performance at our High School.  The choir teacher was kind enough to let her use the auditorium, in exchange for charging a small entrance fee and donating it to the High School Choir program.  She raised $91, thanks to very generous friends and family!

Here is the piece that Jesse liked playing the most - Paganini Etude No. 6 by Franz Liszt.  It is 5:36 min long.  (The video is poor quality - sorry - but the sound is good.)

Here is a video of her playing the Bach Prelude and Fugue.  It's about 7 min long, so you might have to listen to it as background music!

A week ago Friday, we took off down to Provo.  At the last minute, Grandma let us borrow her car to drive instead of our own vehicle.  This turned out to be a true blessing the whole trip, as we ran across a lot of fog, snowpacked roads and general winter road conditions, and her car was great.  We went to Young Living to pick up some orders, and then went to Panda Express with our cousins on Bruce's side of the family.  It was so fun to be with them and visit with them!
Anthony, Alena, and Heather
Lauren, Camille, Joseph, Mary, Jesse - COUSINS!
Then we were off to campus to see old friends.  We visited with Matt, who was a missionary in our ward last year. So fun to see the switch from missionary to RM and BYU Student!  Then we went to the Smith Fieldhouse, where we met up with Jacob, Joseph's buddy from BYU-I, who is now going to BYU.  So fun to see Jacob!  I got to meet Jacob's mom, Dona, too, whom I had corresponded with via email.  She went to college and a mission the same exact years that I did.
Jacob and Joseph
 We slept at Stetson and Whitney's, and the next morning, Jesse and I were up bright and early at the HFAC on BYU campus! How exciting!  I couldn't believe we were actually there doing it.

 Here is Jesse filling out the paperwork.  We were the first ones to sign in.
 She went in at 9:42 to audition, and came out at 9:53.  Nine minutes.  Here is a picture of the judges, right after she walked out.
 She played beautifully!  She had prepared three pieces:
Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 by Beethoven
Prelude and Fugue No. 9 in E Major by Bach
Paganini Etude No. 6 by Franz Listz

In all, it was about 35 minutes of music, memorized and perfected.  They listened to nine minutes of it!  She went straight from her audition into the aural exam, and scored a 41 out 63.  She took it later again that afternoon and improved her score to a 43.

Jesse listened to the recording that I had taken on my iPhone of the audition, and she kept saying, "Oh snap, that sounded good!", and "I hit that part!  I didn't think I did!".  It was so fun to see her delight right at the moment - she was so relieved and happy.  Later on in the day, she started to second-guess herself, but right at that moment, she was happy.  :)

After she finished, we walked around campus a little and Mary had fun showing us all the places she hung out at BYU Ballroom Dance Camp this past summer.  She had such great memories of that!  

When we passed the IPF (Indoor Practice Field) the night before, Joseph was also remembering his tryout for the BYU Soccer team just a year ago with his friend Dane.  Good memories for him also!

That night, we got together with my nieces and nephews in Provo on my side of the family.  Fun times at Slab Pizza!
Stetson, Jesse, Lorena, Lindsey, Mary, Whitney, Joseph, Whitney
Sunday morning we left early and went to the Tabernacle Choir's Music and the Spoken Word.

 It was fabulous!!  It is the first time in my life that I've been to that production live, and I was mesmerized.  The sound in the Tabernacle is the ultimate in surround sound.  The music practically vibrates in you.  (That's silly - of course it vibrates, it's sound! But seriously, you could just feel it all through you.) 
 I want to return to that over and over again.  They started with Beethoven's Hallelujah Chorus, and ended with High on a Mountain Top, which has special significance for our family because my great-great-great-grandfather wrote the lyrics.  We loved it!!

Then we got to go to Church with Josh and Rachel!  We were really impressed with their ward - what a great place to be.  They just bought a house and we went over for a few minutes and had chips and salsa at their kitchen table.  It started snowing like crazy while we were there, and we decided to brave the roads and get on up to Rexburg.

If I had known beforehand what the roads were going to be like, I might not have gone!  But I'm glad we did - we made it fine.  I put on plenty of Valor, Stress Away and Deep Relief, essential oils blends that helped with stress!  We were very relieved to arrive at Angie and Rodney's without incident.  The Lord truly blessed us with protection.  Angie had a wonderful dinner of Taco Salad sitting on the table - oh that tasted yummy!  We stayed there for an hour or so, and then headed to Rexburg to be with Craig, Jenette and Hannah.

That night, according to locals, there was the biggest snowstorm in Rexburg in the last ten years, if not more.  Thankfully, although there was a lot of snow, it was relatively warm - 32 degrees, so at least we had that.  In the morning, Jesse and I scraped piles of snow off of Grandma's car, and then drove up the hill to the campus, with about 10% visibility because it was still snowing and the windshield wipers got ice on them.  It makes me laugh now, but it was pretty much a whiteout in the windshield more than once.

Jesse's audition at BYU-I was awesome.  We were welcomed into Dr. Thomas' office, and Jesse played beautifully.  He listened to about 12 minutes of her repertoire, which was the same as her BYU audition (very convenient).  We talked to him for about 45 min total, and felt totally welcomed and cared for.  He said that she definitely was qualified for the program, and would very likely receive a scholarship.  I saw a smile creep across Jesse's face for the first time that morning.  :)

We won't know full results from BYU or BYU-I until the end of the month, but at least we know that she's in the program at BYU-I!

Jesse and Joseph had a great time visiting with old friends on the BYU-I campus while Mary and I spent some time visiting with Jenette and Hannah.  Jenette said, "Craig, what are we going to do when Mary leaves?"  She was playing with and reading to Hannah, and Hannah loved it.  We got to eat a yummy taco soup with Craig when he came home for lunch.  Oh, I forgot to mention that I stayed up until 1:30 in the morning the night before talking to Craig and Jenette!  And we could have talked the whole night through if we didn't have responsibilities the next day...  I love my brothers and sisters and their spouses.  They are the best!

Mary and Joseph drove all the way home, and did a great job, even through snowy weather near Boise.  Thank goodness for good kids!

We have been spending as much time with Joseph this week as possible!  Last night after Church, we had a roast for dinner with carrots and potatoes, and then went up to the ER for games and ping-pong.  We played Ticket to Ride and Joseph whomped on all of us.  That's good, because the kids kept calling him "Monarch" because I was letting him choose the game, etc. because he was the "man of the hour".  ha ha  We then watched some old family videos, and we got to laughing so hard about the kids, and how some of their characteristics are still very much the same, especially Jesse and Mary.  We need to do that more often - it was really fun.

I have to say, I'm always glad to see January go!  On to longer days and warmer temperatures!

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