In my freshman year, I auditioned and got a solo descant part in one of the songs my choir was singing. The song was "We Shall Not Give Up the Fight", an African freedom song sung during non-violent protests. Listen to a choir sing it here. The piece really struck me and I wanted my solo part to be perfect. I went in every week and worked on it with my choir director, but for some reason I could't seem to get it down perfect. I was close, but not all the way there.
That year we were singing at Disney World. It was a big trip for us. At our school, we only did choir and band trips every other year. Of course, we were singing "We Shall Not Give Up the Fight." I got up on the stage with my choir family, dressed in what we liked to call "pilgrim dresses". I went up to do my solo and did alright, but it wasn't perfect. My musicians out there know that feeling you get when you know you can do better in a performance, but don't quite get there. I was pretty upset about it, even though it wasn't noticeable to the audience.
I had a couple more weeks until our spring concert, which would be the last time that I would sing that piece. I went in every week as usual, and hammered it out in my free time. The day of the concert, I had a soccer game. I was going to leave the game at halftime to go sing at the concert. Well, those of you that know me know that I am a rough soccer player. I am not good, but I will get all up in your business to get the ball (I trip people a lot on accident...). Anyways, sometime in the middle of the first half, I wound up falling backwards on the ground. I don't actually remember what happened; all I can remember is getting back up and continuing the game. What I assume happened was that I collided with someone and fell backwards, snapping my head backwards on the ground.
To be honest, I didn't feel anything. I left at halftime for the concert as planned, got ready, and headed over to the high school. It was one of the longest choir concerts that I have ever sung, and easily my favorite. I had an excellent choir teacher at the time; everyone loved him. We truly sang for him that day. Anyways, I went up for my solo and nailed it. It was perfect, or at least as perfect as I could sing it. The syncopation was right on and my voice rang throughout the auditorium. I was truly proud of that performance and all the work that I had put into it.
The next day, I woke up with a splitting headache. I went to the doctor and found that I had sung a full concert after receiving a full concussion that took me out of school (and basically life in general) for three months. If you have ever had a severe concussion, you would understand how frustrating it was. I was in pain all the time, had to nap all day in complete darkness, and watch my muscle tone melt away (I had lost 15 pounds that year... gained a lot of it back during that period). I couldn't read, couldn't watch TV, couldn't do anything but sit, sleep, and eat. It was awful.
But, man, did I nail that solo.
Moral of the story: life can hit you hard sometimes. It is determination and hard work that will get you through it. Not to mention the fact that music has power!
Have you ever overcome failure? Tell me about it!