“Getting to know you, getting to know all about you” is the song that is running through my head right now. I am a fan of musicals, and this song is from “The King and I”, but I’m not usually one to walk around all day singing show tunes. Sometimes songs that are appropriate for certain situations just seem to pop into my head. What can I say…guess I’m a music nerd. So…our first few blog posts are going to be about you getting to know us—the musicians of Chamber Project St. Louis—on a more personal level. Last week Dana posted our first blog entry entitled “Do What You Love." Now it’s my turn!
I come from a big family. I only have two older sisters, but my Dad was the eighth of nine children and my Mom was the third of seven children, so I have a few cousins to say the least. During my childhood, holidays were spent driving around to the different family get-togethers where there would be anywhere from twenty people to one hundred people. I fondly remember watching my uncles and cousins play football out in the yard on Thanksgiving Day throughout the years. When you’re from a small town there’s not much to do besides engage in some type of athletic activity, so that’s what we did. And that’s what I’d like to share with you now…my dirty little secret…I was a JOCK.
It started with T-ball when I was six years old. I moved on to fast pitch softball later in middle school and continued in high school. My Dad bought me my first set of golf clubs when I was eight (but I actually started playing before that). I started playing basketball when I was ten or so, probably the same time that I started playing the saxophone. I ran track in the seventh and eighth grades; hurdles and the high jump were my specialties. In high school I played golf all four years, softball for three years, and basketball for one year. As my high school years progressed I started dropping the sports and focusing more on what I hoped my career would be—music.
By the time I was in junior high I knew that I wanted to study music in college, but that certainly didn’t keep me from my love for sports.
Finally, as high school came to an end, I had a choice to make. Accept the full scholarship to play golf at a small private college in northern Illinois with a tiny music department, or forego golf altogether and attend the University of Illinois to study music. I chose the latter.
It wasn’t until I went to college that I realized the connection between music and sports. Mentally, they’re the same. Taking auditions, trying out for the basketball team, same. Performing under pressure, same. Physically and emotionally draining? Yes and yes. Challenging and rewarding at the same time? Definitely.
Once my saxophone professor in college found out that I had been an athlete in high school, she began making analogies in my lessons that made so much sense to me. Why hadn’t I thought of this before?! Michael Jordan tried out and didn’t make the varsity basketball team. Did he give up or stop practicing?! NO! Tiger Woods doesn’t just hit a few shots until he hits a good one, he hits thousands of practice shots a day! And this brings me to one of my favorite sports/music adages:
Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.
I may not play sports competitively anymore, but I still get to enjoy golf with my family. I love playing golf with my Dad.
I also loved playing golf with my Grandma. This is one of my favorite photos of her.
Music, golf, time with family…to borrow from Dana’s blog…”Do What You Love.”
Also...coming soon to a Chamber Project St. Louis blog near you....what is classical saxophone and why should I care?!