It ain't like I am the best player in my group.... I most certainly am not....
But I sure am the leader of the pack!!! And am I proud of my group or am I proud of it!!! :D :D
In case you were wondering what the hell I was talking about... I am talking about the new post I got in the executive committee of an Indian Instruments Orchestra here in NUS. I am the coordinator for the violin group!
When I came into this orchestra as a normal member last year, one thing that I had resolved was never to get into the exco of this group... Life would be too hectic then. But then, in the beginning of my secondyear, I realized that I needed CCA points! (CCA= Co-curricular activities.. in case you didnt know already). Thats when I decided, I had to join the exco of the orchestra... just for the 10 extra points that came along! Yeah, I know I was being selfish... and I am very ashamed of that... but wait and listen to my story!!!
I stood for the election... and won! (obviously!) And then the mania started.... Violin group just happens to be the largest group in the entire orchestra. There are 40 beginners, 25 intermediates and 11 advanced players! While every other group in the orchestra has only a couple of hours of practise every week, violin group alone takes up 4 hours every Thursday, plus 1 hour on Sunday! The coordinator has to be there for every practise session! And to add on to all that, the coordinator has to take care of the 30 odd violins that are there! I seriously thought I had invited my doomsday by becoming the VIOLIN coordinator.. of all things I could have done!
Then Shabdam happened... "Shabdam" is our in-house concert which is like a prelude to our main concert in March. Shabdam is a major event for the orchestra as each group shows off their talent (in the March concert, we will function as an orchestra... so we show off as an orchestra then! :P). The one month before shabdam was all it took for me to fall in love with my job...
Only the 10 senior players in the group performed for shabdam. Our piece was amazing, our players are amazing, our tutor was amazing... over all, everything was an amazing experience! We sounded brilliant in the practise sessions! For about a month, we practised without any other instrument to accompany us... then came the mridangam and the flute. Along with them... our piece was like.... WOW!!!!
Till the day of shabdam, I hadn't heard what the other groups were performing. So during the dry run, I sat and listened... And from what I heard, I could tell...
My group rocked!
And I wasn't the only one who thought so! Everyone came upto me and said they just loved the way we played our piece! And you know what??? During the dry run, we made about a million mistakes! In spite of that, people loved it!
We spent the rest of the day with tech runs and sound checks and a few more practise sessions to perfect our coordination. Towards the evening, just before it was our turn to perform (ours was one of the last pieces of the evening), we bonded as a group... We played anthakshari and a million other things. Thats when I realized that I was the luckiest person in the world... I am the coordinator of an extremely talented group. All the members are so cooperative and the seniors (who were members of the previous excos) were so helpful... On the day of the concert, they did half the work for me without complaining. My group was amazing, not just because they were talented violinist... but also because they were excellent people by nature.
The performance went on well. I didn't know what to think of it once it was done because I was also on stage performing (don't look so surprised! I can also perform on stage after just 3 months of training!). I came to know that violin was the best piece that evening (closely followed by the tabla group) only because loads of people who were in the audience told me later on. That night and the following day, I got a few scraps in orkut and a several messages on messenger telling me how stunning my group was. The president of the orchestra said in her appreciation mail that the violin group's piece sounded grand and the coordination was stunning!
The next day, I got the audio recording of the entire concert. I had no patience to listen to the other groups so I fast forwarded to the violin piece and listened to it... for the first time... from the audience point of view... It was brilliant... a tear actually rolled down my cheek as I listened to the notes... Shabdam was over... and I enjoyed every minute of it. And I learnt so much!
I was truly proud of my group...
Today, I know most of the juniors by name, am friends with most of them from the intermediate batch and know the senior batch extremely well. I know every single violin that is there... I know each senior's choice of instrument... I know which are the good ones, the bad ones, which need better strings, which need fine tuners etc... the bottom line is... I love my job... and though I joined the exco for CCA points, right now, I couldn't care less if they actually denied me the 10 extra points that come with all the responsibilities. The reason I am able to get through a hectic academic schedule is because I have violin to fall back to when I get bored.
Life maybe hectic... I have never been busier.... but then again, I have never been happier :)
P.S. Please dont get me wrong here... The other groups were also excellent on shabdam. In fact, this year's shabdam was the best our orchestra has ever seen. Loads of practice had gone into each group's piece. But I guess I looked at the whole concert as a VIOLIN coordinator rather than an unbiased judge. I love my group... gimme a chance to glorify it and boast about it!!! To the other performers of shabdam... you guys rock!!! :)