In October, Jerica and other members of her High School orchestra received study guides and CDs for the Minnesota High School Music Listening Contest. The teams of three then competed at Regionals at the end of January. After feisty test questions, their team managed to get second place at the AA Metro Regional contest, with a total score of 86. Look here for a list of all the teams that went to state. So they got out of there with a trophy and were on their way to State in two weeks!
Jerica and her team studied real hard those next few weeks. They spent time together listening to lovely Schubert Lieds and a few parts of Wagner's "musical dramas" (NOT Operas). They made "mock quizzes" for each other based on the information in the book. They also quizzed each other on the Mystery Round (other pieces by composers in the study guide).
Now that they knew everything, and time moved closer to the contest date, things got exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. Not to mention the communication problem related to transpiration. We won't get into that embarrassing, lengthy story. But, that contributed more to the "nerve explosives" embedded in Jerica's team. "I don't think I ate as much pizza as I usually can," noted Jerica about the luncheon for the participants. "In fact, I don't think I ate very much at all that day."
The contest started with the team now there and ready to go. Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, and Round 5. It is almost done, and that Trophy is getting closer and closer. A Henry Percel organ piece was played, "I guess to calm down nerves," decides Jerica. "But it got me more interested. Henry Percel? What are his dates? What piece is that? etc, etc. I just got me more excited." The tests were distributed back again, Jerica's team ended up with a 87. No chance they'll get out of there with the trophy. Alas, the scores of all the teams were read. 94, 92, 88, 87, etc. Fourth place! A couple more point would get them into third place, the last place to receive a trophy. Jerica called her team "the silent winners," because they had the highest score that wasn't announced. Her team was devastated. But, they did go to have fun, and they ended up having fun, so they were winners at heart.
The aftermath of this year was much more magnified than from last year. "I went through it last year, but I wasn't prepared for the devastation it brought again. I don't think anyone can [be prepared]. It is so unpredictable," confessed Jerica. But since this is her last year of high school, that means no more Music Listening, . . . EVER! It was definitely a depressing experience to end the greatest part of Jerica's high school career. "I guess on the bright side, I can listen to the radio more, now that I don't have to listen my CDs." But it ends up not making-up for the loss.
She is planning, however, to have some sort of career relating to music history. She wants to be a radio announcer for a classical music station, and is hoping to find some sort of was to get an internship or job-shadow or anything like unto it at Minnesota Public Radio, her favorite.