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France Experience-Tina algeri

France experience -

Paris is a city people dream to travel to. To be given the opportunity to compete in the

Gagny Concours international Piano competition was truly extraordinary. With no

hesitation, we immediately booked the tickets to Paris as I believe that going overseas for a

purpose is far better than going without a purpose. The airplane flight was rather difficult to

endure, 19 hours with an infant sitting behind you isn’t the most luxurious plane flight.

As we arrived in Paris, we immediately called a taxi to take us to our hotel. We were rather

cautious in the car ride as the people in poverty were heading towards cars and peaking into

windows disregarding who was in the car. By this time, my family were quite frightened as

we weren’t expecting this occurrence. We had finally arrived at the Hotel Du Pre, we had

received warm welcomes and were delighted by the antique rooms and furniture items. We

headed towards the breakfast room in the morning and was thrilled by the scent of freshly

baked croissants coming out of the oven. Sitting in the antique-themed breakfast bar with a

hot chocolate and warm croissants was truly iconic in the setting of Paris.

The first two days in Paris was rather relaxing for my family however was quite stressful for

me. I was drilling my competition pieces non-stop in preparation for the competition. I was

very determined. We were lucky enough to have a piano practice room nearby allowing us

to practice with two grand pianos at our own convenience. Just the day before the

competition, all the competitors from Perth, including myself, went as a group to Gagny to

discover the journey by train. We had realized that the train was the most convenient way

to travel to Gagny. Our Perth group had went into the Gagny music practice rooms which

was nearby the competition venue and this allowed us to practice in the rooms for a few

hours and then have a delicious lunch in Gagny afterwards. However, our Perth group did

have some difficulty on the way home as we had forgotten the exit way in the train station

and could not find our hotel, however, lucky for our navigation on our phones, we found our

hotel after an hour of walking in circles.

The competition day had come upon us and my family was very excited to travel to Gagny

again, however, this time for me to perform in the competition. My performance time was

1745 which allowed us to have a delicious breakfast and lunch at our own pace and a

relaxing rest. As we prepared to leave to Gagny, I put on my dress, applied makeup and my

whole family headed off to the competition by train. This time, we were aware of the

entrance and took note of the exit so that we will not have a mislead at night after the

competition. On the way to Gagny, I began to listen to the podcasts of my pieces that I was

competing for and held my hand warmers tightly. Once we arrived in Gagny, we walked

straight over to the competition venue and observed the first two competitors in the 12-15

years old category. The competition was organized in a very professional manner, providing

us 10 minutes each to have a practice on the Steinway and Sons Concert Grand Piano just

before the competition had begun. We then were allocated into different practice rooms,

30 minutes before we were on stage to begin warming up. At this point of time, my body

consisted of goosebumps all over and I was beginning to shake in coldness as the

temperature has dropped all so suddenly. I gripped my hand warmers even tighter and

began to head over to the stage. I walked amongst the cold air with my extensive dress

while hopping my way through the rain puddles. I dropped my hand warmers on the side of

the stage and walked up to the stage. I bowed to the audience with confidence and smiled

as I began to perform my competition pieces. I was very determined to perform the best I

can. Performing on the stage is truly a wonderful opportunity and it feels as if it is home to

me. When the competition had ended, we remained in Gagny and went to have some Pizza

for dinner as we awaited for the results. When the results and prize winners were

announced, we were called into the competition venue foyer and waited nervously in hope

for first prize. In the end, with all the hard work I had put into this competition, I received

first prize as well as the young soloists prize. My family was delighted by these results and

we were very grateful towards the adjudicators for giving me these prizes. Hearing some of

the adjudicators feedbacks however also made me realize that music is very subjective, and

is judged on a personal level, however, I am appreciative to hear everyone’s opinions in

hope for further improvements.

The day after my competition was the day that we began to go sightseeing. We visited the

Louvre museum in which we saw the Mona Lisa along with hundreds of tourists crowding

around it taking photos, I would have at least been in 100 photos. We then went to visit

Eiffel Tower, and it is quite large compared to the television at home. We didn’t go up the

Eiffel Tower as it was rather windy and chilly. There was, however, thousands of people

walking around the pathways so we decided to hire an electric scooter and ride along the

roads. In my opinion, the electric scooters are truly the best way to get around and are the

best method of transportation.

Regarding my winning prize, I was also given the opportunity to perform in the winners’

concert of the competition in which I was to perform Hungarian Rhapsody no.2 and receive

my prizes. The night of the winners concert was spectacular, I had received my prizes on

stage in which I also received a warm handshake from the Gagny Mayor. There was quite an

incident however as while I was performing the piece, one of my contacts had become very

dry and fell out of my pupil. It was rather disruptive however did not affect the joyful

sensation I had while I was performing. Once I went backstage, luckily, one of the

competitors had many bottles of contact cleansers, allowing me to readjust the contact

back into the pupil. It was a rather an eventful night. After that,the Perth competitors

travelled home together from the late night and began to prepare for the Paris conservatory

diploma exam for the following day.

The day of the piano exam could be described as superb and delightful. I had performed my

5 exam pieces with confidence and enjoyment and received a high distinction from the

examiners. My family and I were truly grateful towards this as we had worked really hard in

preparation for this.

Paris can be described in two words; peaceful and romantic. It was a great experience to

travel to the other side of the world and perform in such a marvelous competition. I would

like to give my gratitude towards Antoine Bouvy, who gave us the opportunity to visit such a

wonderful city and perform in this competition. He also organized the lovely hotel for us in a

terrific location and supplied us such a wonderful piano practice room nearby and took us to

a delicious lunch in Gagny. I would finally like to thank Mr Lee, who put so much effort in

making me succeed and has given me this opportunity to perform in competitions and win

prizes, I couldn’t have done it without him. The experience was truly unforgettable.

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