It's time for another update in my grad recital scheduling saga. Yes, I know that "recitalment" isn't technically a word, but it rhymes with "entitlement," and that's always fun......Anyway, I thought it was all over and done with, good to go for March 11th, and that was that. It worked for me, for "Jill" (my accompanist), and "Claire," my clarinet teacher, and my parents just told me to keep it as it was, because their hearing could change at the last minute. So, everything was fine, and proceeding as usual, until Kingpiano (husband of Queensoprano, department head this year, and he also plays the--surprise, surprise--piano), put up notices on Monday about a meeting to take place on Friday, for everyone who was planning to do a recital, to either confirm or re-schedule their date, since there were people who hadn't confirmed theirs yet, and they needed to know so they could schedule outside jurors. He said that anyone who didn't come, and didn't tell him or King Historygeek, the other full-time music prof (Flaky's on sabbatical this semester) would run the risk of losing their time slot. Fine, I figured I'd go, confirm March 11th, and that would be that. Only, it didn't quite work that way.
Fast-forward to Friday at meeting time.....King Historygeek had to get things started, because Kingpiano was about 15 minutes late, because he'd been held up at another meeting. When Kingpiano arrived, he announced that, since we "had a lot of people doing recitals this year" (eleven or so, but a lot of those people are doing shared recitals, so it's not actually that many), then he wanted to schedule them all in blocks to accommodate the outside jurors who were coming in.......except, what about the people who'd planned their recitals in the fall, or even at the end of last school year? He just said that that was too bad. So, it didn't matter that my parents would be coming from (at least) nine hours away, or that I'd been yanked around a great deal already, or anything. No, he wants me to move my recital to April 13th, which is a Friday, during finals. This is a problem for the following reasons:
1. Because of the timing, everyone will likely be too wrapped up in studying to come to my recital, so I'll end up preparing a big special performance for an empty hall.
2. I'm ALWAYS sick at the end of each semester, so there's a good chance I won't be in any condition to play when April 13th rolls around.
3. Two other people (let's call them Lisa and Megan) have had a shared recital planned for that same evening since last spring. I can't do mine in the afternoon because Claire has rehearsals and things every Friday during the daytime, so she'd be unavailable all day, until the evening (which is fine with me, I think evening recitals are nicer anyway), and it wouldn't be fair to either of them to ask them to move their recital, or go directly before or after them, because if I went after them, it'd mean rushing them out of the hall and denying them the chance to put on a proper reception, and if I went before, then if my recital ran long, it would delay the beginning of their recital, which wouldn't be fair either. Also, it wouldn't be less trouble for the jurors, because Lisa and Megan both play the piano, so they'd have to schedule piano jurors and woodwind jurors for the same evening, but at different times, for one recital each, which isn't any less complicated logistics-wise, and might even be MORE complicated.
4. In the past, recitals have always been a big deal around here. I mean, sure, technically, it's a performance exam, but also, it's a celebration of the performer(s) and all the effort that they've put into preparing all the music for their recital. People get really dressed up to perform (formal dresses for girls, suits for guys), there's almost always a reception afterwards, people's families and friends come from quite a distance away to be there, and basically, it's an excuse to have a bit of a party......because, after the performance, everyone's in a celebratory mood. Just to give you the basic idea, everyone here looks forward more to attending their colleagues' performances than the professional concert series. So, if there were recitals scheduled back-to-back, then that wouldn't exist anymore, because instead of enjoying the moment, it'd be all about just getting on to the next person.....which is a real shame, especially since this will be my last big performance here.....my last hurrah, if you will. I don't want to share it, I don't want it to be lost in the shuffle, I just want to do the best performance I can, on an evening when everyone who matters to me and wants to be there can be there, and afterwards, I want to put on a nice reception for all the people who cared enough to come and watch me play.....just like it's always been.
So, I wrote to Kingpiano and explained to him about the conflict with Lisa and Megan's recital, and I guess I'll probably have to talk to him at some point, either by e-mail or in person. I'm going to tell him that, even if I can't get March 11th, I want to have my recital on a weekend evening (which will probably have to be Sunday, since Jill works at her second job on Saturdays, and Fridays are taken by the professional concert series). Of course, this meeting HAD to happen after my mom talked to the judge, who actually told her that she'd try to schedule the hearing for the END of the week of March 12th, just so she and my dad could come to my recital, which might not actually be on March 11th anymore. So anyway.....maybe I am being an entitled brat, but I think that for something as big as this, that requires so much time and effort to prepare for, it HAS to be at least partly about me. Right now, it feels like it's about Jill, and Claire, and the jurors, and my parents, and my mom's clients (my dad's just acting as co-counsel), and the judge.....basically, everyone BUT me. My mom basically told me that my feelings on the matter are irrelevant, but Claire told me to talk to Kingpiano. She said I should be willing to be flexible (and I am, I realize that I can't keep my Vulcan Death Grip on March 11th), but I should still talk to him.....so I am. I'm going to be nice about it, because he's writing me grad-school references, but if this year has taught me anything, it's that I should advocate for myself as a musician and as a person, or else I'll just keep getting screwed over, again and again.