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Performing with a Symphony

My eleven year old grandson sang a solo with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra on Sunday. In a previous blog I wrote a blog-letter to him on how to handle the stress.

His Mom and Dad are musicians and gave him several opportunities to perform Walking on Air from The Snowman. This was so helpful. His first opportunity was at school in front of his classmates. He burst into tears before and after singing it. He was picked for this because he reacts to music larger than life (as well as being a wonderful singer). Mom and Dad went with it and asked if he was OK to do a few more trial runs. He did and each one was easier.

Singing Walking On Air at age 11
William singing with Victoria Symphony

When he walked on stage in front of 1,200 people he told me he felt like screaming. He bravely stood in front of the symphony, faced the audience and listened to the introduction. A smile came across his face as he could feel the orchestra's sound surround him. He sang like an angel. The first few lines had some long notes which he fought to hold onto (nerves can cause shortness of breath) but after he pushed through he settled in and said he really enjoyed it.

William sang Walking on Air with the Victoria Symphony
William with his Dad (holding the violin) and Victoria Symphony conductor Joey Pietraroia.

I, being the grandma, was fighting back tears through the whole performance. He received thunderous applause and his younger brother said "I guess William is famous now" :-)

Bringing William back to earth...

We had the after party at my house. Friends, family and lots of snowman cookies, making marshmallow snowman and hot chocolate. An abundance of energy was dissipated with play fights and running around. The next night he was one of many singers in a choir concert and feeling like his old self.

Alan Alda said in his book 'Things I Overheard While Talking To Myself ',

The performer is a raw open wound after a performance. You hug them and say "You were wonderful " You have to say YOU, you have to say WERE, and you have to say WONDERFUL. After William sang I hugged him and said " You were wonderful, and I am so proud of you!"

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