Congratulations to Sarah Motawi on her successful audition for the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra! Sarah started at CMA in the Suzuki violin program at 9 years old and has been a student of Greg Noland for 4 years. We asked her to describe her audition experience:
What made you want to audition for CSYO?
I wanted to have an experience that was different than my school orchestra. I wanted to be surrounded by people that had similar skill levels and were just as passionate about playing their instrument. When I found out about CSYO, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to have just what I wanted.
What was it like to prepare for the audition?
It was very difficult. I had to prepare excerpts, scales, and a solo. I had to put in a lot of time and effort over the summer in order to get the pieces to the level I needed them to be at.
What surprised you about the preparation process?
What surprised me most were the excerpts and how I had to prepare them. When I first saw them I was overwhelmed and relieved at the same time. They were all very short but they seemed so difficult compared to what I usually do. However, over time they became easier and I got to learn some new concepts.
What did the lead up, the day of the audition and the audition itself feel like?
The couple of days before my audition were very stressful. I was practicing a lot and I was trying to get the pieces as good as I possibly could. On the day of the audition I tried to be as calm as possible. I learned that being nervous would make me play worse, so I took the pressure off of myself and reminded myself that it would be ok, no matter what the results were.
How do you think your playing has changed since the audition process?
I think that I have definitely improved since the process began. The excerpts that they provide are much more difficult than anything I play on a regular basis, so I got to improve my abilities that I don’t always get to practice during my lessons or at my school orchestra. Overall, this process has been so helpful in letting me grow as a musician and I hope to continue growing at CSYO.