It will probably come as no surprise that I passed my concert. Although it was a rocky road getting there, I was happy with the result. I programmed some fairly challenging music, and we all performed it very well. However, my primary feeling about the whole matter is relief that it's over!
The other major event that passed since my last post was the Westminster Choir's tour to England. This was not a particularly happy event. I did appreciate the chance to get to know the choir better, and feel that the group is a remarkably positive, energetic, and generally nice group of people. However, there were problems with the schedule, which was far too busy, and left us all exhausted and unable to fully appreciate the experience. There were also problems with the leadership. Due to these factors, our musical performance was not nearly what it could have and should have been.
This whole event brings up a very pertinent question about blogging, which is how to address negative issues. Obviously, saying bad things about people, especially personal acquaintances, can lead to problems. I know that certain of my readers who care about me get very concerned when I say anything that might offend someone. However, I also don't want to present a picture of my life, and especially my musical experiences, that is utterly skewed towards sunshine and roses. Sometimes things may be really, really hard. In the musical world, especially, I have already come into contact with a profound amount of drama and unprofessional behavior, and I'm young yet! I don't think it's to my benefit or anyone else's if I pretend those problems don't exist - I want this blog to tackle a wide variety of issues, and sometimes that will mean the problems I encounter. Another aspect of this question is that I feel society in general views musical careers through an extremely romanticized lens. Conductors, especially, are often viewed as a breed apart. One of the purposes of this blog is to chronicle the passage of one conductor in a realistic and down-to-earth manner.
Wil Wheaton (formerly Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, now a writer, actor, poker-player, and well-known blogger) addresses this question in his book Just a Geek. He chronicles the history of his blog (which is now hugely popular) and explains that in the beginning, he used it as a front, only saying positive things, and pretending things were going smoothly when they weren't. It was when he started honestly confessing that things weren't going well for him, and writing deeply about the issues that he was facing (at that time, as a struggling actor) that his blog really took root, and his readership expanded.
Obviously, being honest with the struggles one may be facing is quite different from publishing negative remarks about people, or being insulting. Every blog must find its own point of balance about such matters. I try not to write anything in an entry that I would not say to anyone who might possibly read this blog (and to me, that means anyone alive on the planet.) Sometimes, no doubt, I will cross the line. Feel free to weigh in - what do you think about being honest with negative experiences when blogging?