Performing a Seitz violin concerto in Carnegie Hall


Credit: Lauren Adams

Lauren Adams, in her seventh grade year, plays the violin at Carnegie Hall, New York City. She was 13 years old when she played there.

Lauren Adams, Staff Writer

Lights beaming, stuffy air, fingers on the strings, shoes clicking on the stage, and thunderous applause. 

I spot my family in the crowd, wait for my pianist to cue that he’s ready, and start the piece, “Concerto No. 5 in D Major, Op. 22, 1st Mvt.” by Friedrich Seitz, a violin and chamber music composer of the Romantic era.  

I started strong, as my private teacher, Erin Butler-Thomas, says is the best way to catch your judges’ attention.

As I finished the eighth note section, I moved onto the slow, half-note section.  I played with an abundance of vibrato and full bows.  

As the sixteenth-note section came up, I try my hardest not to tense up.  I needed to be loose so I could hit all of the notes.  I played forte, or loud, so I could reach everyone who has ever supported me.  

The last chord rang out into the audience, and I left my bow hanging in the air.  Perspiring a little, but smiling hugely, I took a bow, and left the stage.

I began this journey in seventh grade learning this very challenging piece of music, but it was worth it because it led me to Carnegie Hall.

I practiced the song over and over on the day of the concert.  I had prepared and perfected it to the best of my ability long before coming to New York City, but this was my first big competition.  

To think that I was playing in one of the most prestigious concert halls in the world definitely scared me more than my biannual Marshall Music recitals.

My first violin teacher was Tomio Anderson, who passed away just around six months prior to the concert.  This led me to start lessons with Erin Butler-Thomas soon after because I didn’t want to disappoint Tomio by quitting or putting off my violin. Erin started playing the violin when she was three years-old.  She traveled the world to play the violin in different competitions and concerts.  Now, she is a teacher, but she still plays in different gigs when she’s called.

In the spring of 2019, I was notified that I made second place for my age group.  My mom came into my room to tell me in the middle of the night, and I was filled with joy.  My family was so proud of me and wanted to attend the Little Mozart’s Competition.  I had a big entourage: three sets of grandparents, my aunt, cousin, and my immediate family.