In June of 2016, three of our leadership students were flown to Aspen, CO, to participate in the regional National Take A Stand Festival, an initiative of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bard College, and the Longy School of Music. All accepted students passed a rigorous audition and application process. Once in Colorado, they worked with some of the best teachers in the US and met students from around the country. Here is one student's reflection of her experience.
My name is Daniela. Going to Aspen was an amazing experience for me. I had the opportunity to get an idea of what it could be when I grow up and keep playing the cello. At first it was scary because I didn't know anyone but then I got to know them and they were really nice. The first thing we did when we got there was to eat and then move in. My roommates and I started talking and it wasn't so bad. There names were Gabriela and Samantha. Gabriela plays the cello and Samantha plays the bass. The next day when we started playing and went to the Aspen Music School they said that some of the rooms we were going to be working in were new. Hearing that some of the rooms were new felt cool because we were going to be the first ones to use them. Playing was a little hard because it was going faster than what we expected it to be. But it was still really fun. By the time for that concert I could play it a little better because it was still going really fast I got to learn a lot of new techniques like when you audition for programs like that you have to practice really fast and really slow because you don't know how fast or slow it's going. So it can be hard to catch up to speed. I also learned that if you want to speed up you play it slow and short so that then you can just remove the gaps and play it faster.
Other than the really fast parts it was really fun making new friend from all over and getting to play with them and know them more was really fun. And knowing that out of many people you were chosen was special. And at the end I didn't want to leave.