Courtesy of Medha Kini
On the stage of Carnegie Hall, senior Medha Kini breathed in front of the piano as watchful eyes tracked her movements. The stress and trepidation that weighed heavy on her chest before the performance had dissipated and was replaced with the drive to play the instrument she had grown to love over the years.
On Oct. 26, 2019 Kini traveled to the other side of the country to play piano at a venue renowned for its musical excellence: Carnegie Hall.
Kini initially heard about the auditioning process from her friend, senior Brandon Yan, who also earned the same opportunity to play. According to Kini, she entered a competition called the American Fine Arts Festival, where musicians can audition live or via video for a chance to play in esteemed musical venues across the nation.
Kini sent her audition video last fall and was notified in Spring 2019 that she had been selected to play at Carnegie Hall. Kini was given the option to choose which day she wanted to perform a piece of interest. Upon seeing her acceptance, Kini said she was shocked and elated.
“When I found out it came as such a surprise. I literally almost cried,” Kini said.
Kini decided to play “The Lark” by Glinka for her performance after previously learning it for a recital, describing the piece as beautiful. She practiced the song for four months before playing it at Carnegie Hall.
Kini said the morning before the performance was stressful, but this feeling was eventually nulled when she met her fellow performers. According to her, they were amiable individuals, and she ended up befriending a few of them before she went on stage.
“Having friends to talk to really lowered my stress levels, so I was able to go into my performance with a clear head,” Kini said.
Kini has been playing piano for 12 years, seeing the art as a form of stress relief and an emotional outlet. She said playing music allows her creativity to flourish and is a way to cool down after a long day.
Kini attributes the majority of support she has received in her pursuit of music to her parents and piano instructor, who has helped her throughout her journey in finding pieces that best fit her playing style.
“(My biggest supporters) are definitely my parents,” Kini said. “They have supported me since day one and helped me get through times where I wanted to quit playing.”
Overall, her experience was eye-opening and gave her a chance to share her musical ability with a wider audience.
“Playing at Carnegie Hall was literally a dream come true,” Kini said. “I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to showcase one of my passions at a hall that I never thought I would be able to perform in.”