Ups and Downs

I’m lucky to be alive right now. But I’ll get to that a little later. Settle in, boys and girls…this is gonna be a long one!

So I’ll start by telling you about Premiere Day, December 17. It was seriously one of the best days ever! I woke up so happy, even though I had to get up to an alarm (at least it was set to one of my favorite Christmas songs!), then headed over to the Clarke band’s rehearsal to hear them run through my piece. My mom had my favorite morning meal, a fresh-from-the-oven homemade breakfast pizza, ready for me when I got home, and we eagerly devoured it! The rest of the morning and early afternoon was the perfect end to my much-needed three-day weekend. Getting ready for the event was less than peaceful, but my family and I made it there with plenty of time to spare. (Which, of course, my mom used for her usual photo session…)

I can’t really explain it, but somehow I get super nervous for the “composer’s bow” after one of my pieces is performed. Not to mention that I’m usually also nervous while the piece is being played because I know it so well and am so invested in it, but I never know how the audience will react. Add some four-inch heels to the mix…well, you get the picture. But the band sounded great, and my bow was fine, too. It’s always so different to hear a live performance of one of my compositions after hearing the Finale MIDI version of it for so long, but as I told Mr. Lampe, the director, it’s a “good kind of different.” I really appreciate how hard the band worked on it, and I’m thankful to have gotten the commission in the first place! I also received many positive comments afterwards. It’s always encouraging when I feel my vision has been communicated to and enjoyed by an audience! Below is a picture of me with Mr. Lampe after the concert, and you can watch a video of the performance here.

Brad Lampe, director, and Melody Dawning, composer, after the world premiere of “Unexpected Connections” on December 17, 2012.

I knew that sometimes after such a “high,” it’s easy to go to the other end of the emotional spectrum really fast, so I told myself I needed to guard against that. And I did, for the most part. Tuesday was a great day at work, largely because I had the attitude that it would be. The next day was a bit more stressful, but I still did my best of maintain a good attitude.

Then came the snowstorm. I really love snow, but I’ve always been pretty bad at driving in it. The storm was so bad that all the schools were closing, and even the mall where my brother and I both work didn’t open until noon! We both stayed home on Thursday. I should’ve stayed home on Friday, too, but I figured I couldn’t let the snow keep me from working all winter. Sooner or later I would have to face it. So I did. At first, everything was fine. The interstate was clear, and I was going slower than normal, having left in plenty of time to do so. About 25 miles later, however, the roads became increasingly icier, and after an unresponsive brake and a failed attempt at changing lanes, I lost control, slid sideways with the passenger side facing forward, and collided with the pick-up truck in front of me. No one was hurt, thank God! My car took quite the beating, though, and there’s a good possibility it’ll be totaled, but I’m so thankful it slid sideways the way it did – things could’ve been a whole lot worse if it hadn’t! Most of all, I’m thankful for God’s protection over my life. Apparently He’s not finished with me here yet…I guess that means I’ve got a lot more music to write for His glory! Bring it on!

[December 23, 2012]

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