Bria has been playing the violin for about 5 years now, and she does it well. Just not in front of other people. Historically, her recitals have been absolute disasters where she flat refuses to play, keeps skipping her turn and promising that she'll go next, but never making good on the promise, or playing only if her teacher plays along with her.
When we moved up here, we found the Southern Utah String Festival. If you participate in it for three consecutive years, and if you earn a superior each of those years, you get a trophy. The coveted Gold Cup.
That possiblity is the only thing that has motivated Bria to participate in the Festival. She really wants that trophy.
The first year, she earned a Superior rating. She was nervous, but Joel's mom was here and had an amazing calming influence on her and she did wonderfully.
The second year, she earned a Superior rating, though one of the three judges did give her an Excellent. It still counted for Gold Cup points. She was really nervous and her bow was kind of slipping everywhere because she was looking at me (accompanying her on the piano) as if I could somehow save her from the situation. I was very worried about the outcome, but was happy we had two judges who realized how much her nerves played into her performance.
Saturday was her third time to participate. I ended up not going down to St. George that morning because there was a major blizzard and tons of snow and I was just not going to drive in it, so we practiced a lot that morning. Her practice session was less than stellar and that's all I'll say about that.
Once we arrived at the Festival, I was really impressed with her ability to stay calm and collected. She was originally slated 4th in her session, but the first two had various problems and she was suddenly made to go 2nd. She normally freaks out about any change in schedule like that, but she was fine. Came right up, introduced herself (a bit quietly, but very brave for her) and played practically perfectly. She didn't have a single intonation issue. She didn't have a single memory lapse. She had beautiful tone. She even did a lot of phrasing and dynamics, which very few kids her age managed to do.
Since I was tabulating that session (not judging yet...that was a little later, and went fine), I got to see all the judging sheets and write the final rating. Bria was the only one in her session of ten players to get straight Superior ratings. Plus, some lady I don't know came up to her afterward and told her she was without a doubt the best in the session. Joel said she finally played up to "Dr. Neves standards" in a public performance. Most of all, Bria was very happy with how she did and of course, thrilled that she finally earned the coveted Gold Cup Prize. I wish I had a video or even a photo, but that wasn't allowed at the festival.
And that's my mommy bragging story for the month.