The summer before 4th grade, we got a piano, and I started through a primer my mom bought me. The next summer, I went through another primer. I also tried playing Moonlight Sonata, although I was much better at Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer...
In 4th grade, I started playing bass. In 5th grade, I was good enough to also play for the middle school orchestra, and by the end of the year, I tried out for the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra's Junior Strings Orchestra, and made it in. Also in 5th grade, I had a part with a singing solo in my class's musical.
In 6th and 7th grade, I was in Junior Strings, which was a city-wide youth orchestra for 4th to 8th graders. There's a video of me in 6th grade with the rest of the bass section getting a special lesson from Gary Karr. One of those things I didn't appreciate at the time...
At the end of 6th grade, I started taking piano lessons, although I'd been teaching myself on and off for a while. I progressed quite quickly, and Agnes, my teacher, was pleased. In spring of 7th grade, I was played a Beethoven Sonatina from memory at the Jones Middle School Talent Show. People were impressed, especially when they heard how long I'd been taking lessons... In my general music class (I didn't make choir in 7th grade) I impressed everyone when we had a unit learning guitar by quickly picking out "I Heard it Through the Grapevine". I never was very good at playing chords, though.
In fall of 6th grade, I was in the chorus for our school's production of Annie, which I'd been quite obsessed with as a child, so it was a real treat (even if I couldn't be Annie). In 8th grade I had a short stint in Cadet Orchestra, which was the next tier up from Junior Strings.
In 9th grade I finally started taking private bass lessons. My teacher was Dr. Paul Robinson who's a professor at Ohio State, and is in general a very cool person. He made me do solo competitions, which I really didn't want to do at first, but ended up doing quite well at.
In 10th grade I started playing in the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra, which is the top level youth orchestra of the Columbus Symphony. In 10th grade my high school also put on South Pacific, which I played in the pit for.
In 11th grade, I continued in CSYO, and in high school I started playing in the chamber orchestra. I also played in the solo competition again, which had been snowed out the previous year, playing Lorinzitti, which I can still play from memory. It's a very cool piece that involves a lot of harmonics.
In 12th grade, my high school put on Guys and Dolls, which I was once again in the pit for. I ran out of time for CSYO in the winter, but kept up the high school stuff.
MTG is MIT's Musical Theatre Guild, which was the first musical group I became involved with at MIT. They put on 4 musicals a year. Anything Goes was the show they put on fall of my freshman year here (96). It was a lot of fun, even if I couldn't see the stage. Fall '98 I played in the pit for Fiddler on the Roof, and I was also in the pit for their IAP (a.k.a. January) 99 show She Loves Me. After that I decided to take a break from MTG for a while.
Since spring of my freshman year I've been involved with MIT's Gilbert and Sullivan Players. Spring my freshman year ('97), I played for Patience. Fall of my sophomore year, I played for Ruddigore. Right after that, Harvard's G&S group needed a bass for their production of the Mikado, which I then played for. Two years ago I also played bass in the IAP (MIT's January term) production of Trial by Jury, and that spring ('98) I played bass in Pirates of Penzance. Fall '98, MIT put on the Mikado, which means I've done it twice, and then, I once again got called up to Harvard to play in the Gondoliers, which I sight read at the performance without making any noticeable errors.
This led to my involvement with Dunster House Opera, also at Harvard. In winter '99, I was in the pit orchestra for Candide, and this winter ('00) they did the Magic Flute. *
Meanwhile, back at the ranch... Spring '99, MIT G&S did Yeomen of the Guard, which is the only G&S show with a depressing ending. Then, this past fall I played for Iolanthe, as well as HMS Pinafore at Harvard. This spring ('00) I played in the pit orchestra for MIT's Princess Ida, as well as doing Ruddigore a second time up at Harvard. This fall, I played in Sorcerer at MIT, and Pirates of Penzance (my second time) at Harvard. This spring, MIT and Harvard will be doing Grand Duke and Utopia, respectively, which will mean that I've played bass for every G&S show save Thespis.
I'm not addicted. I can stop any time I want! (And to prove it, next fall I'll audition for a vocal part!) (oh, wait...)
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