Today was the solo contest that I have been grumbling about for the past few weeks. Not my favorite thing in the world. It's a lot of work, takes a lot of coordination with people, buses, accompanists, students and you just never know what might happen. There are other competitions that I like better than this one. But nothing has ever happened like what happened today. It is the stuff of nightmares and my assistant and I will be telling this story for years, YEARS, to come.
Our morning accompanist did not show up. I'm not sure if I can really convey the gravity of this simple sentence. This is the person who is supposed to play for 30+ students. This is a district wide competition so most accompanists are already booked with other schools. Plus the fact that the kids at this age need consistency. For many of them it is their first time to compete like this and to add to it some strange person who doesn't know how the song goes, plays wrong notes or takes tempos too fast or too slow shakes them up. And I'm certainly NOT complaining about all the fabulous people that stepped in for us today (5 in total, mostly other choir teachers). These people basically left their own choirs to help play for our kids and they were sight reading music on the spot. I called every piano player I had in my cell phone, I rousted my friend from bed to go to the local elementary school to get a hold of our afternoon accompanist and I called our morning guy every 10 minutes.
I have to say it again. NIGHTMARE. But somehow we made it through. In the end, for the students, it was a successful day. 38 out of 46 of my students brought home top ratings and medals. And the higher ups who have been stressing me out were very nice and sympathetic. I'm still kind of numb from the whole thing. This guy of course will never work for me or probably in the district again. And I have a nice pint of Blue Bell ice cream that is going to help me unwind from this hellish day.
UPDATE: Apparently one of the ways you recover is to fall asleep, almost comatose on the couch and not be able to roust yourself until about 3 hours later.