As it turns out, I did go to my daughter's competition today. Her band director, upon learning that I was not planning to attend, flipped out because apparenly in the last four years he's come to depend on me as a chaperone if I'm not judging at an event. He told her point-blank that he needed me there whether she liked it or not.
She played a Grade 1 solo: 3 movements from Bach's Suite #2 in B minor. For those unfamiliar with these types of events, Grade 1 is the most difficult level and if the student plays one of these from memory and gets the highest rating, Division I, then they advance to the all-state solo and ensemble competition held in San Marcos at the end of May. As of this morning when I dropped her off at the band hall she was not going to attempt to perform the piece from memory, per the advice of her private flute teacher, who is a professional flutist and holds a doctorate in music, so her word is usually golden around here. Somewhere between the kiddo boarding the bus and my arrival at the place where the competition was held, she changed her mind and spent most of the day working on the memorization component. Since I stay out of her way, I wasn't even aware of it until it was time for her to play and I showed up at the room where she was to perform to find her bug-eyed and blowing across the headjoint while fingering madly through the piece with no sheet music in sight. It was her gig so I didn't even think to try to talk her out of it. Kids have to learn by the consequences of their actions, right?
So I waited outside the room and listened through the door instead of going in like I've always done in the past. Toward the end of the last movement she froze but recovered and came in at an appropriate spot, keeping up with the accompanist. My heart sank. She's been working on that piece for nearly a year. She came out of the room dog-faced and said, "Guess what? (long pause...looking at floor...) I'M GOING TO STATE!!" Apparently the judge took a liking to her and told her that if she performed like that at the state competition she would probably receive a Division IV, but that she had plenty of time to finish polishing it between now and then and deserved another shot (maybe she's related to Paula &/or Randy?). She gave my daughter the Division I rating anyway and told her that she's looking forward to hearing her play again. The kid has the most amazing luck.
Oh, and now that it's all said and done, my sweet girl just told me that she's really happy I was there to share it with her after all.