I don’t remember too much from my childhood. However, I do distinctively remember the exact moment when I knew I wanted to become a musician. That moment of self-realization was one of the most incredible things I have ever experienced within my own heart. The dream that I created for myself that day would drive me to begin my own musical journey just three short years later. What is even more astonishing to me is just how far things have come and played out since then.
I don’t remember how old I was when I had my epiphany, but I believe I was in the third grade at the time. I went with my family to see a Dallas Symphony Orchestra concert for the first time. I was beyond ecstatic to be there in the great Myerson Symphony Center seeing such a prestigious orchestra! Our seats were pretty good. We were on the terrace that was a little ways off the ground but at the same time not up in the stratosphere. As a result, I had a pretty good view of all the different instruments. To my regret, I do not remember what was being performed that night. What I do remember was being especially attracted to one instrument in particular. The bassoon. I didn’t know what it was and I certainly didn’t know what it was called at the time. I just remember being fascinated by its appearance and its dark warm sound. It echoed all around me and within me. It was a very magical and special moment that left me simply in wonder. Hours later after the concert had ended; we got up and made our way out of the hall, into the main lobby and eventually into the lower floor of the lobby near the doors for the garage. Along the right wall of the lower lobby are many larger than life sized portraits of several members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The one I immediately noticed was a portrait of Principal Bassoonist Wilfred Roberts standing and holding his bassoon in a playing stance. In that moment, I guess you could say I saw into the future. I remember looking up in sheer wonder, imagining myself in his place holding a bassoon of my own. I imagined myself sitting where he was performing great works of classical literature to vast audiences in gorgeous concert halls like the Myerson. I remember thinking this exact thought to myself: “One day, I will be just like him. I will learn to play that instrument. I don’t know how or where to start. But one day, that is what I want to do with my life” That moment lasted only ten seconds at the most before my parents ushered me on my way, but it was all that I needed to imagine a great life in music for myself.
Three years later I entered Middle School. I was given the opportunity to enter in band, string orchestra, or choir as part of the required curriculum. I read somewhere that bassoon was one of the instruments you could choose in the band program, so naturally I chose band. I remember showing up to the “instrument tryout” day that was put on in order to help kids figure out which instrument to choose. There were stations set up for each instrument where you played with the help of a private teacher who would give you a score based off of how well you played. I ended up getting a three on bassoon and a two on euphonium. I actually did like the euphonium as well as the bassoon and had a very difficult time choosing between the two. Thankfully, I ended up choosing bassoon. Every day, I thank God for my decision, because I know for a fact that every aspect of my life would be different if I chose euphonium. Friends, relationships, and my experience in band would all be different. I know I probably wouldn’t have gone to All State twice, gotten into the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, or earned a spot in the bassoon studio at SMU. It is terrifying to imagine my life without the great people and wonderful experiences that playing the bassoon brought me. The scariest without a doubt is thinking about not being in the bassoon studio at SMU. I love it here, I love what I do, and it is impossible to think about what it would be like without bassoon or music in my life. Now that I am here at SMU, I am quickly realizing just how fortunate I am. I am also amazed daily at how much of my childhood dream has become reality. I am now lucky enough to be taking private lessons from Wilfred Roberts himself, the man in the portrait that spurred my desire to make music my life. Life is but a Dream.
In short, my life has become music. I love everything about it and I love to perform. It has always been what I wanted to do. Now that I have the chance to go one step further with my dream here at SMU, I plan to work hard, practice hard, and run with it as long as I am able to.