Day 83: Easter Fever: My piano duet performance

Because I am such a generous and giving person (hahaha), I decided that today I would surprise my family’s Easter company (and most of my family) with an Easter gift: a piano duet with my sister, Bec.

Well, actually, if I’m going to be honest with you, it was really Bec’s idea for me to play a duet with her and it was also Bec’s idea that we play it not only to serenade my mom’s Easter cooking in the kitchen, but that we perform it for our Easter company later on. So I guess I’m not very generous and giving. Or maybe I’m just not when it comes to being generous and giving with something that you know no one really cares to receive:) Either way, Bec and I were on the program for the post-Easter dinner entertainment alongside my nephew Jake and his buddy, Dylan, playing with… well, just playing. Yes, we were now as equally entertaining as toddlers.

I was excited. I love playing the piano, but am not very accomplished at it. I took lessons for years long ago, but can no longer read music and now have to memorize a piece using the “F-A-C-E and Every-Good-Boy-Deserves-Fudge” method. So playing the piano is not new to me, however playing a duet is, and playing it in front of an audience is an added bonus. I also have never played with Bec, but seeing how wonderful a piano player she is, it should be no surprise that I have been trying to avoid playing with her my entire life. Anyways, you could basically say that I had my first piano concerto tonight… basically. (Ok, so there was no orchestra… and I wasn’t soloing on the piano either…)

Bec and I- well really she demanded that I pick the song- chose to play an Easter song that we both love: See, What A Morning (a.k.a. Resurrection Hymn). Before our company arrived, and while my mom was cooking, we took some time to practice the duet. Bec made a super arrangement- I played a higher melody (simple) and she, being a very accomplished pianist, added beautiful, improvised accompaniment on the lower half of the keys (I have no idea what the full set of piano keys is called or what the ‘not melody’ part is called… anyone? Bec?).

To make things easier, she wrote out the melody for me so it wouldn’t take me 15 minutes to slowly sight-read the piece. As it turns out, her hand writing was so sloppy I felt like I was trying to sight read that anyways. A few times through and I could play it decent enough and so she asked me if I wanted to take over the pedal. “Sure, I can do that”, I said. “Just as long as you mark where I should hold it and where to stop.” With my new promotion to pedal pusher, we started the piece from the top, and wouldn’t you know… the next 5 seconds of music resembled a rumbling train falling of its track more than it did music! I couldn’t read my notes and make sure I was getting my fingers on the right keys while also trying to keep track of that dang pedal!  We were dying of laughter and in the same second that we caught our breath, I announced I was demoting myself and she announced I sucked. Forget it! No way was I going to take over the pedal!

We practiced the song a few more times, and unless you consider the fact that I kept crushing Bec’s foot with my own heeled one while subconsciously moving it towards the pedal a problem, we soon played it without a hitch! We were ready to hit the road.

Hours later, after my mom had made sure everyone was in a food-coma (she was the only one who had heard us practicing), Bec and I made our way to the piano. All of the sudden I was hit with a case of nerves! I’m not too sure why, because the majority of the audience was family and they have no choice but to be in my life, whether or not I was about to kill their ear drums, so it wasn’t like I was going to be losing anything other than my own dignity. And let’s be honest, any dignity I had left after cross-country skiing on day 1 was obliterated on day 7 when I “learned” how to knit.

As it was, there was no backing down now and so I reluctantly moved toward my doom. I should’ve known, though, that there was nothing to fear. Music is just fun and beautiful no matter what happens, and even though I messed up 2 seconds in, and then again 5 seconds later, and oh yea, right at the end (so pretty much throughout the entire song, but I swear I could do it perfectly when we practiced;), I had a great time and Bec and I, and everyone else, ended up laughing the whole way through.

But, I can confidently say that I am a wonderful pianist and a great entertainer, because at the end of the piece, 2 year-old Dylan said one word: “Again.”

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3 Comments on “Day 83: Easter Fever: My piano duet performance”

  1. Jessie Grider Says:

    LOVE this song!!! I think you should have recorded it and uploaded it here…or to youtube. Either way, I’d love to hear Bec’s arrangement – I’m sure it was beautiful.

  2. rachel Says:

    i know this is sarah’s blog…but i’m not going to lie, bec’s facial expressions made this entry. classic.


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