8th Grade LGPE

For the first part click here.

We all slowly got down. Aster helped us open the car trunk and get our stuff out and I was just about to how my laptop bag in that car until Aria got it for me.

“Thanks friend.” I said, while adjusting it on my shoulder.

We blended in with the rest of the crowd, wearing all black. From the car, the black almost blended in without my glasses on. As we entered the school, we said hi to our friends and entered the cafeteria where the instrument drop off was. Then Aster began to panic.

“Oh no,” She began, “Oh freaking no.”

“What happened?” Aria asked.

“I left my music in my mom’s car!” She wailed.

“Well, run!” Aria ushered.

“RUN LIKE THE WIND, BULLSEYE!” I shouted after her.

People were migrating into the instrument drop-off and the people already in here were either practicing, improvising, recalling an old piece, talking, and/or rosining their bows. I drew my music binder from my laptop bag and began flipping through it pizzicato-ing anything to relieve my stress. Most of the girls were just chatting about and most of the guys were kind of just wandering about.

Eventually, Aster returned with her music very exhausted and walking quite oddly.

“I got it!” She said triumphantly.

I shut my music folder, set it beside me and began playing various songs from memory. Even though it seemed like I was focusing all my time in practicing, in reality, I was looking for Arco. Carnation, however, popped my bubble when she asked why I brought my laptop bag with me to LGPE.

Side note: If I still didn’t say it, LGPE [Large Group Performance Evaluation] is an event where in the state of Georgia , Orchestra groups [Should their teachers/leaders choose to pay to go {because it’s 175 dollars per group you take}.] pick three pieces within their level of learning and practice and perfect them before their performance date, either a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday in Late Winter/Early Spring, like February or March.

Their performance date is the day they go to the hosting school in your county and perform those pieces before three judges who judge your performance by Intonation, Style, Bow Direction, Dynamics, Tempo, Accuracy and other things. All Superiors is the highest you can get, which is what we got last year in 7th grade. Then It’s Overall Superiors which means maybe one piece didn’t rank a Superior but in your total score you got a Superior, All Excellents, Overall Excellents, All Goods, Overall Goods, All Fairs, Overall Fairs, All Poors, and Overall Poors. The thing that really irks about LGPE is that the judges sit so far away from THE ACTUAL ORCHESTRA so we have constantly enhance our dynamics louder/quieter than they are really supposed to.

Anyways, I explained how Aster, Aria and I hung out the library with our laptops before LGPE and I returned to the three pieces we were going to play today: Declarations, Fantasia On An Original Theme, and Momentum, respectively. Apparently, when I was explaining to Carnation, and Arco had walked in because 4 minutes later:

“So, what are you doing?” He asked while I was fixated a sign about Seniors and mindlessly plucking.

I was scared out of my mind and so my response came out more like, “AHH..I’m just plucking around. You know. One of the many things you can do with a violo-la-lin.”  I tried to stand up right but I nearly tripped on Aria’s case. 

I wish I could say it was the first time I had butchered an instrument’s name in front of him but it was so not.

It was the 12th time.

This week.

“A violo-la-lin?” He asked while smiling.

“Viola, viola, I meant viola.” I tapped my nose and pointed to my viola.

“Lobelia and friends. Plus the G-string problem from Pre-LGPE.” He explained.

“Curiosity or Pranking?”

“The latter.”

“Ah.”

“So why did you bring your laptop bag?”

“Working with Aster & Aria at the library. By the way, don’t let Aria take stars from the library.”

“Why would she take stars from the library?”

“Are we talking my lucky stars?”

“Yeah and why I probably shouldn’t let you go to the library alone.”

“It’s not like they would actually miss it. Unlike the books our friend, the book thief/addict, uses for more than just reading if you know what I mean.” She clicked her tongue.

I immediately turned red, “Lies, lies, you sit on a throne of lies. I wouldn’t be a book thief because stealing is wrong and how I could I steal from the library anyways with the detectors anyways.” I rushed and ended with a forced laugh.

By this point, Mrs. Anima was ushering us out into the hallway towards the high school orchestra room after finding a missing bass bow. We used the orchestra room to practice for about an hour which actually went by quickly. We practiced the songs in the opposite order we were playing them so we would have JUST practiced the first piece. The high school orchestra teacher, gave us some tips on dynamics and more techniques as he was listening from his office. Hosta really did well on the piano. I would say this practice was extremely great, and it was but then I noticed the major lack of violas. Only about half of our violas were here, which meant there was more pressure as usual on us with our dynamics.

Great.

Walking onto the stage made me incredibly nervous. Forget my heart leaping out of my chest, my heart was flying towards space at this point. We were dead quiet and dead still in ready position. We did pretty nice with that random burst of talent shining through like the Pre-LGPE concert. It wasn’t even 30 seconds into ‘Declarations’ before my fingers felt like they were basically drenched in sweat. To be honest, I thought we sounded better in the Orchestra room. Also, during Momentum, I heard two sounds of random plucking at different times from the cello section for some reason?

We were silent as some of us could going into the sight reading room. The sight-reading room was the band room and I looked around in wonder. The band department had a ton a trophies, plaques, and medal. They even got this tarp thingie that said, “Performed at Disney Land”. I was slightly amazed and Aria was too because she looked at me and mouthed, “What the f–k?” while smiling.

The sight-reading thing was optional, but Mrs. Anima wanted us to challenge ourselves and do it. There were these folders that  said, “GMEA (Georgia Music Educators Association) Orchestra” on them. The sight reading monitor, who happened to know Mrs. Anima, informed us of all the rules Mrs. Anima had already emphasized to us over the past three months. For one minute after opening the music folder, there was to be no talking or noise. After that moment, you could discuss rhythms, keys, time signatures, accidentals, dynamics and such. During the whole sight-reading moment of 6 minutes we could not, under no circumstance, intentionally pluck or bow our instrument until it was time to play. You could practically do anything; clapping, snapping, singing, just not playing your instrument. The song didn’t look TOO hard when we opened the folder on our stands. However, halfway skimming I noticed that we got some strange rhythms, like 4 key changes and odd syncopation. So when it was time to talk, people bombarded Mrs. Anima with questions and she tried to answer them all as quickly as possible. Time went by quickly and when we began to play, I knew we were screwed. Our performance was… fine, I suppose.

After the sight-reading bit, I went to the cafeteria, packed up and began to look for my mother in the crowds. It had started to rain, when it was all nice and sunny before, and my mother still wasn’t here. I sighed (struggles of not having a phone anymore) and asked Lantana for a ride home. I could just walk home but I knew for a fact, I was not going to make it in the pouring rain. I always hated asked people for a ride home because it puts them in an awkward position out of their way to take me home. Lantana lived pretty close to me but I still didn’t like doing that to people.

My shoulders and fingers were killing me when I got home and when I asked why my mother wasn’t there to pick me up, here’s what happened. She had forgotten I was at LGPE and instead of telling my father the HIGH SCHOOL to go to, she gave him the ELEMENTARY SCHOOL of the same base name. What I mean by base name is, say there’s a Elementary school called Red Neck Meme Elementary. Red Neck Meme is the base name.

I sighed because I didn’t even go there in elementary school. Out of the two elementary schools (technically three) I never went to that school. I walked to my room and dumped my things there before going onto my laptop and find more writing inspiration.

Float In The Unexpected Talent Cyber Space!

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