My Last Performance

I always wanted to play the violin.

It has never been clear to me why I had such a fascination with the instrument. My parents claim there was a baby sitter who played the violin and that was the first time I had seen one, but I honestly cannot remember. All I know is when I was able to chose an instrument to take up the summer before 5th grade, I knew it was violin or nothing.

The Allegheny College Civic Symphony Performing on Saturday, April 30, 2016 in Schaffer Auditorium.
The Allegheny College Civic Symphony Performing on Saturday, April 30, 2016 in Schaffer Auditorium.

After a meeting with the orchestra teacher, which was essentially just an opportunity for him to see if you could physically hold the instrument, I began learning to play. I was decent, I would say. We had a good program in my school, so I was lucky in that regard. Of the six violinists in my year, three of them are now at musical conservatories.

In middle school, there was a group of us who would use our study halls to go to the orchestra room and play music. Those afternoons are still one of my fondest memories of the Queensbury School District. We called ourselves the “Orch Dorks.” We wore the mantel with pride.

I played all the way up through my senior year of high school. When it came time to look for colleges, I would always check to see if there was an orchestra I would be able to play in. Any school that had one got an automatic check in the pros column.

The graduating members of the Queensbury High School Orchestra before our final performance together.
The graduating members of the Queensbury High School Orchestra before our final performance together.

For the last two years now, I have played in Allegheny’s Civic Symphony, which is comprised of both Allegheny student and community members. It has been an incredible experience playing in a full symphony. We had our spring concert on Saturday, and I was sad to think that it might be my last.

Scheduling with rehearsals is changing next semester and it looks as if I will be unable to make the rehearsal times because of my responsibilities at the newspaper. I love the newspaper, but I cannot lie, I am sad that my career as a musician, if a novice one, is coming to an end.

I have loved every moment of my time in music. It has given me some of the best friends I have ever had, as well as hours of profound enjoyment. I have played everything from movie scores, Vivaldi and Bach, to Green Day.

At the concert on Saturday as I played our final piece, which came from a french opera, I could not believe how far I have come. The first piece I ever performed was a rendition of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

My family came up to see me play. They have been at nearly every single one of my concerts for the last nine years.
My family came up to see me play. They have been at nearly every single one of my concerts for the last nine years.

It has been an incredible ride and I am sorry that it will most likely be coming to an end, two years earlier than planned. But playing that last piece, on a college stage, wearing a tuxedo, and playing a piece of an opera, I realized that it was not a bad way to go out. I will never forget it, just as I will never forget opening the case of my first violin when I was in fifth grade.