Dec. 10 was an eventful day for a select few musicians in the Decatur band. Eleven freshmen and sophomores made District Band, as did six upperclassmen. For senior Eron Smith, the audition was just another to add to the many she has participated in. She made third chair oboe in the District Band, and she will audition for All State on Jan. 7.Her preparation was fairly simple – she ran through her scales and etude to practice for her audition. But she didn’t want to let her hard work go to waste when the big day came. “I made it a point to keep my morale up on audition day and be extra encouraging of others,” Smith said. “After all, they were probably just as nervous as I was!”Until Jan. 7, Smith has a strategy for her practice. “[I’ll] try to work out any kinks that may have happened in the last audition,” she said. But her practicing methods don’t change drastically with upcoming auditions – she practices the same amount, but she dedicates all of her practice to the audition repertoire.At District Band in February, Smith is excited about being around other people who care about music as much as she does. But if all goes well, she will spend the next four years around people who care about music as much as she does. Smith’s college auditions – on both oboe and piano – take place in January and February.
Although Smith has been an avid piano player since she started taking lessons at age eight, she hasn’t always had the same approach with oboe. Smith began playing oboe in seventh grade, but she credits Decatur band director Megan Williams with providing the experience that began her growth on the instrument.
In tenth grade, Smith went to weekend-long “Janfest” at University of Georgia, where she was inspired by the other talented musicians. When she came back, she began taking lessons. “[Before that], I was stagnant in my progress,” Smith said. “Since then, I like to believe I’m improving.”
Her recent accomplishments support that belief. She played with the Metro Atlanta Youth Wind Ensemble (MAYWE) during her junior year, and she went to Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) this past summer for oboe. Though Smith loves playing music, she doesn’t enjoy the pressure that results. “I wish music [was not] so competition-focused,” she said.