Accompanist

I just got another job as the piano accompanist for the university choir. I had to go in and audition last week and then again today. I was so nervous. I play the piano all the time, even all the time in an accompanist capacity at church, but it was way outside of my comfort zone to march into a university music department and play for actual musicians, for a paid position. In fact, after a hectic morning and early afternoon on the day of my first audition last week, frantically trying to get my music selection in performable condition, I almost decided not to go through with it.

But I love to accompany others on the piano. In fact, it is one of the great loves of my life. And the longing to be able to accompany again in a new, challenging, and paid setting convinced me to go through with it. When the audition was over and my residual nerves had calmed down, I was proud of myself just for trying. I know that sounds lame, but it took a lot of guts for me to put myself out there after so many years away from the serious piano scene.

I love accompanying because I get to perform, but not be in the spotlight. I get to interpret the directions of the director, underscore the nuances of the singers, and help transmit their combined message to the audience. It's all the joy of hard work and (hopefully) skillful execution, all while being practically invisible. I think the best accompanists, much like the best language interpreters (another dream job of mine), go unnoticed. They are a medium for someone else's message.

For now, this job's target duration is to get the choir through to their end-of-semester concert. But there are master classes and vocal lessons to take on, too, if I want them. I am so happy to have the chance to spend some time working with music.

2009

November 14th, outsourced

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