I have auditioned and been qualified to be an official student accompanist at my school for end-of-year exams in the music department. This is my very first time accompanying someone...
When I heard that pianists at my school are given the opportunity to earn community hours by accompanying fellow music students in our end-of-year exams, I was all up for it, even though I have no accompanying experience whatsoever! There is an "audition" event that you have to pass in order to be able to accompany people. The "test" consisted of about a minute of playing one of your current repertoire, and a bit of sight reading that the teacher will give you, depending on your level.
I played my Chopin nocturne in B-Flat Minor op. 9 no.1, and was praised for my "very good" sight reading ^_^ Personally, I didn't think it was that good...At that time, I had decided to accompany only 2 people, as I know I have my own exam to focus on anyway. Then a classmate begged me, I saw her music, "sorry, "L", I don't think I'm the best person to play those rapid octaves", so I got assigned to another girl who's at a lower level. This was not my wish, but she was desperately in need too. That makes 3 people. Then another girl begged me. This time, the music wasn't so hard. I couldn't say no. Now, I'm at 4 people.
Out of the 4 people, one plays violin, one plays viola, and the other two are vocal students. I also play cello myself ^_^ I'm going to take advantage of this super 4-day weekend and learn all 8 pieces (each person has 2 pieces, totalling up to about 4 minutes for each exam). I wonder if I'll have much time to practise my own piece, as most of the music is fairly easy, but a couple of the vocal pieces are driving me crazy.
From calculations, if I spend a minimum of 3 hours practising together with each soloist, I would get a total of 12 volunteer hours. Not bad!
On a more thoughtful note, I really find this very exciting!!! Since I was small, I think I've only played one or two duets, and I've been 99% a solo pianist. Playing the cello in my school's string orchestra makes up for it a bit, but I've never stepped away from the spotlight in this manner before! I think I love the vocal songs best. They are so interesting, and some have beautiful harmonies, even though it's just some chords, solid and broken with a bunch of passing notes in between.
For my exam, I'll play Chopin's (yes, I'm a bit leaning on that side...XD) Etude in E Major op. 10 no. 3, transcribed for cello and piano accompaniment into C Major. It is only the slow opening part, that exquisite melody that nearly made me cry the first time I played it. Well, on the flip side, I'm looking forward to playing with my piano accompanist myself! ^.^
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