The Piano

"A picture is worth a thousand words" as the adage goes. (You're limited to the space provided, however.) Attach a photograph (either online or hard copy with the paper application) no larger than 5 x 7 inches that represents something important to you, and explain its significance.


The announcer called my name.

I walked up to the stage towards the piano. My footsteps echoed like a metronome through the grand performance hall at the University of Georgia. I had woken up early that morning in January 2002 to spend a couple of hours warming up ahead of a competition for which I had spent the last six months preparing and dreading. I was representing the State of Virginia at the Southern Division of the National Baldwin Piano Competition. This was my first regional piano competition since I started playing the instrument at age three. I felt all of my life's work in music culminating in this defining moment. Such a burden rested heavily on my shoulders as I made my way across the large stage, feeling not ready at all, wishing I had more time to practice.

I felt the impatient stares and heard the obligatory clapping of the audience, and responded with a feigned smile and bow. I sat down on the uncomfortably hard bench and rubbed my sweat-drenched hands against my pants which made it even worse. My heart was beating audibly and my mind raced through all the piano lessons and all the hours of practice in a desperate attempt to remember everything. I noted how ridiculously cumbersome and restrictive my tuxedo...

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