My former student Nick is a talented actor. He performed in several plays growing up, and he knows how to improvise his way through onstage catastrophes such as missed lines, malfunctioning props and wardrobe, and unexpected disasters.
For Listening House Studios' third annual Next Big Thing event, we're changing the requirements a little. For the last two years, students could play any genre, including classical and popular. This year, we're asking for popular only. We're also encouraging creativity.
Most contests ask students to play exactly what's written. Judges hold a copy of the music and scrupulously compare what they see to what they hear.
This contest is different because we'd like our students to think outside the box: to arrange the chording on a piece, to improvise, to play an original composition, to exercise their creativity in some way.
Creativity is not required, but for those who'll take the challenge, we think it will make the NBT more fun.