I was reading David Thomas’ “My Concert Preparation” and I thought is was very apropos as I prepare for the Woodinville Community Band Spring concert “American Remembrances” scheduled for this afternoon at 3 PM at the Redmond High School Performance Center. David talks about simple practice that is stated thusly, “In general I try to keep the day stress free, and my mind calm.”
Soloists can be the folks with the most stress. Today they don’t have enough time to read "The Inner Game of Tennis" by Gallwey but I strongly recommend it. As an emergency stop gap, just listen to the beautiful sound you are making and concentrate on the vibrations in your fingers as you play and how wonderful that feels! Pavaroti spoke of how nervous he got before going on stage to the point where he thought he would be completely incapacitated. After hearing the first few notes he sang on stage, all of that stress melted away and he was perfectly comfortable.
Gallway talks about playing out of your game, out of your mind, seemingly effortlessly. If you’ve practice your music for the months leading up to the concert, strive to relax and enjoy the experience. Make sure you play some scales and that your instrument and reeds are ready early in the day. As David sez, listen to some nice music and arrive early enough for the performance so that you can get comfortable with the venue. All of this kind of preparation can improve the experience on concert day.