Saturday, March 16, 2013

hello again + an amazing day!

Hi guys! Soooo, I took a blogging hiatus. No, I didn't know I was going to take just happened. But I'm back with a lot of new ideas!! But first, let me tell you what I've been up too.

Yes, this thing. It pretty much took me all of January, February, and half of March to get ready to compete. But it was all worth it! Every bit, because Thursday was a phenomenal day! So many memories.

The day started early at 5:30 in the morning. I mean, let's face it girls, it would be a shame to go to competition and not look your best, right? So yes, I got up at 5:30. My hair had different plans--it looked like second day know, the smashed frizzy curls? meh. oh well :)

Things were pretty normal at first. We had a long drive, donuts in the car, and butterflies in our stomachs. The college was filled with people--girls in long dresses with big gorgeous hair, and guys in suits and teasing smiles.

The choir was our first group performance. All went well--definitely not our best year, but not bad considering the practices we missed because of snow and sickness!

My flute solo was at 2:30. I had practiced earlier and was having a rough 'lip' day. I nervously sat down by my assistant band director, Adrian, to await my turn. That's the hardest part...waiting. I must have looked as nervous as I felt because she told me to remember to have fun. This is suppose to be fun? Oh yeah, I forgot. Soon it was my turn and I had to introduce myself.(Seriously, that's almost the worst part. lol) I played it...I didn't do very well. I wasn't relaxed and so my notes came out a bit pinched and I had a small memory lapse at the end. I won't pretend that I wasn't upset afterwards because I was. You practice for months and months and then you only have one chance. One chance. I won't lie....I did cry. But tears aren't a sign of weakness, they are a sign of strength trying to peak through. The next hour was difficult as I had to go on practicing and performing in our small instrumental ensembles when I really wanted to get away from everybody. But I am grateful for kind judges I had. The older of the group walked up to me with a smile and said, "Thank you so much for your hard work, sweetie"

Of all the people there that day, there are a few that I am really thankful for. My band director(whom we shall call Mr. H) and his daughter Adrian are two of them. Both of them being performers themselves understand more than anyone what it feels like to be disappointed in your performance. Though they may not have realized how upset I was, what they said afterwards was encouraging and helped me.

And also my parents were great support. It didn't really matter how well I did because I knew that they would always encourage me. And like my dad told me, it doesn't matter whether you get first, second, third, or don't place at all because what you learned... it's still there.

And last but not least, our group!! They are an awesome bunch of kids! I really appreciate their hugs, high-five's, and good luck's! It's really sweet to me how we can be such good friends... even though we are quite spread out in ages. I can tell you from experience that not every group is like that ;)

As it neared the evening awards ceremony, I walked out into the main lobby to find Mr. H motioning me over. He asked me where my parents were. I told him. Then he said, "I wanted to tell you together, but you got best of show!" Woah. Wait a second. That flute piece that I stunk up earlier got BEST OF SHOW? Yes, I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped to the floor. The excitement lasted for about 2.5 seconds before the nerves hit. Wait. I have to play this tonight in front of a couple hundred people? gulp. 

I didn't play till near the end of the awards ceremony. Let me tell you, it was torture to sit there with butterflies in my stomach through all of the elementary and junior high awards. Finally I was called down from the balcony to get ready to perform. As I stood at the bottom of the stage waiting for them to finish the senior high art awards, I heard my name called. My pencil drawing got first place!! 

Now it was time.  As I walked up on the stage, strangely, my fears decreased. This is going to be fun. And it was. This time I was able to relax more and let the music flow out. Oh I still made a few mistakes, but I was pleased that I didn't bomb it. I'm so thankful that God gave me the strength to do my best, and for the support of all those who encouraged me....and were secretly nervous for me :P


It was the most thrilling experience of my life and I'm glad I have it on video. But I want to remember more than that. I want to remember how it felt, how it sounded to me to have my flute echo throughout the auditorium, and the butterflies in my stomach. I want to remember what it was like to look out over those hundreds of people looking up at me expectantly. I want to remember the whispered "good luck's" from the guys and girls in my group as I left to play and the smiles, cheers, and high-fives when I got back. And I want to remember my parents proud eyes and hugs afterwards.

This is only some of us, but luv these guys! 

I owe a lot of my success to Adrian, Mr. H, and my family. Honestly, this was no easy song to learn. I think I cried almost every time I played it for the first week or two. I'm so thankful for the encouragement from my family when I didn't feel I could do it. I'm thankful for the assurance from Mr. H, that even though I couldn't play it perfectly, it was still impressive. And I'm thankful for the advice given to me by Adrian. Not only did she correct several of my mistakes, she gave me the courage that it didn't sound as bad as I thought. She probably doesn't realize it, but I'm confident that I could not have done half as well without her...mostly because of one thing she said. "loosen up. You're too tight" I know it sounds simple, but without her saying that I know that I would have tightened up when I got nervous and pinched my high notes until you could barely call them notes. Loosening up made all the difference in the world. :) :)

I would say that placing first with my drawing; placing first, getting best of show, and a scholarship with my flute made it a pretty amaaaaaazing day!! And all the tears and struggles made it just that much more of a beautiful and amazing victory.

More video's from the day can be found here and here.

I'm also really proud of the band! They went as a junior high band this year, and did great!! The junior high girls ensemble also did fantastic!! I'm also proud of all the individuals who played! Way to go guys!

Congratulations if you made it this far! You're a really amazing follower/friend!! :) :)


  1. Wow! What a day for you! Congrats on all of your hard work in music and art- definitely paid off. :-)

    xoxo Miss ALK

  2. Great job on getting bet of the show & first place on your drawing!! You are soooo talented:)

  3. Good job Sarah!!!! You ere amazing!!!!

  4. Hey Sarah,
    Congrats on winning the crochet patterns from my Etsy shop over at Endless Grace. I just need your email address and I'll get those right to you. You can either contact me through my Etsy shop ( - or you can email me at shanabananag (at) gmail (dot) com.

  5. Congratulations!! Sounds like you are very talented and had an amazing day!! I used to play an instrument and went to a few competitions, so I can relate... and I know just what you mean about being excited for like a second, then the nerves hitting. But the Lord always comes through in helping us through nerve-wracking things like that and turns them into the best things :)

    It was great reading about your amazing day!

    Blessings to you,

  6. Oh wow! You so good at drawing! I saw the picture of Lucille Ball that you drew on Kathryn's blog - You are so good!


  7. Congratulations on winning first place on your drawing and getting first place and a scholarship for your flute performance!!!! Your drawing is AMAZING and your solo sounded great. You are very talented. :)

  8. YAY!!!!! I told you that you would do great! I'm so proud of you Sarah! Good job! :D

  9. Hi Sarah,
    Congratulations on winning first place with your drawing and a scholarship for your flute performance! You have come along way :)

  10. Wow well done, Sarah!!! And that pencil sketch is amazing! :)

  11. That was beautiful! You definitely have a gift!!
    Love in Christ,