Seven years later I went into MacGregor State High School, again with a fantastic music program and music teachers. I met more people, and I also got introduced to more music. I clearly remember watching the Percussion Ensemble 1 directed by David Adelt, I was immediately inspired with excitement. I thought that's what I want to do, and that's the music I want to play. Soon I joined the Percussion Ensemble 2, as well as still juggling violin. I dropped dance ages ago and began piano lessons for a while. In my last year of high school I did drama, and participated in choir again. Career wasn't my focus yet, but short term goals within school became very important to me. I set out to become Percussion Ensemble 1 Captain, Albinoni (Senior String Ensemble) Captain, Instrumental Captain, and School Cultural Captain - all of which I achieved. However, the main reason I wanted to pursue music in the end was because of the percussion ensemble.
Percussion Ensemble 1 had a reputation at MacGregor State High School when I first started. They won Australian National Fanfare, beating all music ensembles in participating Australian schools and were highly praised for their achievement and talent. They would always place first at Australian Percussion Eisteddfod and often played exterior gigs representing the school at functions or concerts. All of this under the one and only David Adelt, a very intelligent and fine percussion teacher within school music programs. His ensembles were taken seriously, and music was more than just 'extra curriculum'. I started dedicating most of my school time to this program and my music within percussion. In my second last year of high school our Percussion Ensemble 1, which became Mac-Cussion, were asked to be on television for Channel 7's Australia's Got Talent. An absolutely amazing opportunity, which brings me to the moment where I decided music could become my career path. At our first round at the Gold Coast Arts Centre, we were immediately responded with a standing ovation. As a school ensemble, I've never seen that before. Also the fact that most of the people in the crowd were strangers and not parents or family members, and really enjoyed the performance. I can't explain the feeling, but it was like for a few seconds the whole room connected in a way and celebrated that moment together. To see a musical piece move an audience like that, I was just amazed at how powerful music can be and the response people can express towards such a thing too. I thought if something I loved could bring happiness to people's lives, then that's something I definitely wanted to pursue.
I'll be honest. I'm not a naturally talented person, I wasn't a child prodigy, and I never had someone say to me in confidence that I should pursue music. I just consider myself a hard working person with goals and a dream. Similar to a neglected ballerina that was never fully supported due to her slightly rounder shape compared to the other pretty ballet dancers, which funnily enough was a chapter of my childhood - haha! I was ready to receive a letter saying that I didn't get in, and I was prepared to do a year of an education degree and then try auditioning again. To my surprise I received an e-mail notifying me that I was accepted into the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University for Classical Percussion and Jazz Vibraphone - the choice was mine. You can imagine the unlimited amount of emotions I was feeling at the time, and hoping I never woke up from a dream. I swear a couple of weeks after I received it, I would check it every now and then just to make sure it was real. Sometimes I would read them back with a smile on my face.
When I started university, I was certain that this was my dream and this goal was unstoppable. I had all the support I needed, and all I had to do was work hard. However, down the track I encountered negativity much bigger than myself. Someone I respected in music, told me that I was incapable of music and the dreams I set out to achieve. It was hard to hear that, and for once I felt music wasn't my path. I am a very self-conscious person, and to hear that from a mentor just crushed me. For a while I had no belief and went into a dark world, and I started becoming illiterate to music to the point I couldn't play a single note correctly. Practice would always result in anger and tears, and I almost just gave up on music entirely. Luckily, I met a beautiful person in my life. Someone perhaps at the time didn't know that his encouraging words would change my life for the better. I expressed my fear over the person who gave me negativity, and he said, 'just keep doing what you're doing, because you work harder than anyone else'. A few simple words, but enough to pick me back up again. Those words made me sit back and think about how much work I've put into this dream, and how much I've fought to get where I am today. I could never just let it go due to one negative experience or even many more to come. However, I don't regret the negative experience or any that have happened. They've all made me stronger and shaped me to the musician and person that I am today. Everyone in my life have influenced me whether it was negative or positive, and I will constantly learn new things as I grow.
Laugh, Love, Live Education!