June 7, 2019
"Probably the best thing about getting a role in [The Piano Cottage Rocks No. 3, 4 and 5] was that I felt I was really valued and important as a musician at every rehearsal. I knew I was valued at home and school, but being pretty much a "music geek" and introvert, I wasn't all that cool or popular. My ideas and skills though were immediately appreciated and needed by our cast and team when I came to rehearse with The Piano Cottage. This environment helped build my confidence and I started to see myself as a leader with valuable ideas, in a way that I just couldn't at school.
The concerts we put on were not like a high school or college production led by adults. It really was created and led by us; the kids and students. By comparison, my younger sister and I used to put on a horrible (really it was) summer backyard/garage "rock concert" for any patient neighbors and grandparents willing to endure it back when I was in 5th grade. Joyous and so much fun to create and we would put any kids in the neighborhood and their dogs in to our show. No role too small. Every show ended with us singing a Disney epic ballade badly with way too many verses. TPCR sort of captures that joyous childhood feeling though, but runs with it.. and runs and runs! At the first rehearsal - I remember being terrified. It was overwhelming- crazy, chaotic, loud, messy and exciting, everyone nervous, struggling to get through every piece together and learn each others' names. But then we learned to work together as musicians; with kids from other parts of town I had never met, all different ages.
I came into rehearsals expecting my vocal solo would be the most unforgettable and life changing 36 bars in the show but realized quickly... "Not". There was a much bigger goal to pursue than my own. We had 4 weeks to put together a serious high quality concert that would exceed expectations on every number, not just my small role. As students, we all wanted the same thing but at first, didn't know how to get it there. The production team taught us how to solve problems, think on our feet, listen critically to ourselves and others and to work together to turn my childhood backyard/garage dream into a really impressive show. I learned to perform and connect with the people in our audience, not just stand and sing. I was really proud of the concerts we created and never imagined I could contribute to something so polished and rewarding not only for me, but for my family, friends and our audience.
It is one of my favorite high school memories, one of my family's favorite summer memories each summer and I can't wait to come cheer on the TPCR8 cast this summer!
Also to answer the question "Why would someone want to attend your concert?"
To people who have never seen The Piano Cottage Rocks: this show is like the most refreshingly cool and sweet piece of watermelon in the middle of an oppressive and hot summer day; its a light and joyous fun gift to the community and GR families. Just go and enjoy yourself and smile until your face hurts!
Break Legs "8"!"
TPCR3, 4 5 alumn Maddy (now age 19)