What a tense two weeks! Daily, musicians were posting their results on the Gradeone-athon Facebook page for all to see and remark upon. Some people did amazingly, some only passed and I started to realise that the Kwok family honour might suffer a terrible blow. My parents had cleverly offered me results-driven sponsorship, beginning with disowning me. How many marks would be deducted for losing concentration (“the exam is nearly over!”) and jumping up the octave during my sightreading? And I definitely messed up a scale so that would be at least a mark… uh oh…
Worse still was seeing Rebecca Gilliver (Principal Cello) do her saxophone exam on a Sunday (how civilised) with the Trinity exam board and get her result on Tuesday – yes, only one working day later! Well done to Rebecca for getting a super high distinction mark (93/100), I think she must have nailed “Hot Rods”! Hopefully her husband Steve can equal her mark on the cello, seeing as he very diligently practised every day for 3 months! I think they also had the advantage of great motivation at home in the guise of their dog Jasper’s encouraging wailing – hopefully you all saw the video clip the LSO posted.
The LSO were off to Birmingham yesterday, (the last “tour” of 2013) and it was almost two weeks to the day since I played the exam, so I logged onto the website and glancing at the page expecting to see the usual “no results”, was greeted with… Distinction (135/150)! PHEW! I don’t have a full report yet, that will surely make wonderful Christmas reading. IF I can read it! In my experience, examiners, like doctors, manage to perfect that illegible spider-like scrawl across the page. My first piece I only dropped a mark, but my favourite “Hot Chilli” I dropped 6! So it was perhaps a little too spicy.
With great relief I got full marks for the aural, the first time ever. I only used to scrape by in my violin exams but then I did take them all before I was 12 and I don’t think I actually understood the questions in those days. “Plagal, hmm, Amen?”
So, I don’t think the LSO will be encouraging me to go for the 2nd flute job quite yet, but funnily enough I have picked up the flute nearly every day since the exam to just play some carols to myself, so could this will be the start of something? Perhaps I’ll pop into Barbican Chimes and look at 2015 Grade 2 pieces in the New Year…
Thanks to all who followed this pink flute journey and were so encouraging. Huge thanks to all those who so generously donated. I’ve managed to raise over four figures now thanks to you all, and all together the charity is £15,000 better off. Jo the organiser is hoping for a huge push to reach £20k by the New Year. Please help make this happen – Merry Christmas! http://www.justgiving.com/jostanzania
You can find out more about Gradeone-athon and donate to the charity on the website: http://www.childrenincrossfire.org/participate/fundraising/gradeoneathon
And watch this film to find out more about the charity the challenge is supporting in this video: