Well, this afternoon our Symphonic and Concert bands held the first concert of the semester. What follows are my thoughts on how we did. There are some questions in there, and you can read and answer if you feel, but I am mainly doing this to vent and put my thoughts down... For starters, I felt very unprepared. Maybe it was just my schedule, or maybe just my mentality (though that often ties into it), but I really felt unsure about one of our pieces, mostly wondering if I had the endurance to stick it out. Turns out that I barely did. As we played through our pieces, I was surprised to see how much of an effect this forum has had on me. I noticed a difference in the way that I looked at a piece, how I approached it. And also how I saw the guys in the Symphonic band (I'm in the concert). I was kinda envious, and yet, something else was there. I can't explain it. I guess you could call it a professional respect, but I also felt a slight annoyance at the fact that someone was better than me. Now, I know that is ridiculous, simply because I know that someone will always be better than me. But I want to be the best at least at Texas A&M, and there's one guy on Symphonic who has one of the purest and lyrical tones I've ever heard at our level, and even some other adults I know. I guess it's just a mixture of the perfectionist and the competitiveness of my nature. Any comments on what do on that? As far as playing goes, the only piece where I really suffered was Williams' Symphonic Suite. I was playing first part, and for some reason or other, hitting the C above the staff was quite a chore. Now, I know this is partially explainable, because I was having to use the alternate 2-3 fingering due to a rhythmic difficulty. Now, this actually seemed to help, as I was able to keep the C more in tune, however, my chops couldn't center the pitch. I could hit it, just not hold it. The rest of the concert went alright, except that we closed with a Sousa march, which really pushed my endurance to the breaking point. If anyone has any comments, go ahead, I won't be offended, or if you wanna rant, go ahead.