Our one-sentence lesson came quite unexpectedly at Tanglewood one summer as we were all set to perform Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. The occasion was Tanglewood on Parade, and in the audience were many well-known music icons. The pressure was on us big time!
The great Roger Voisin was conducting us as we awaited our moment in the spotlight. Leonard Bernstein and his entourage were finding their places in the box seats. Next, we heard from our maestro, "Ok, boys, we're going to play it twice."
We tried to hide our panic and quickly steady our breathing. We made our way through the fanfare heroically yet very carefully. Then, as we were catching our breath and trying to restart our embouchures for the second time, Mr. Voisin slyly smiled and whispered, "That'll be all, boys. Good job."
Lesson: plan to play everything twice. Live for the next moment, the next piece, the next day. Accuracy and drama for sure, but without wasting precious energy.