Tell us about the most significant challenge you've faced or something important that didn't go according to plan. How did you manage the situation?(*) (200-250 words)
My fingers stiffened and my throat ran dry. Sweat tricked down the back of my neck. In front of me lied the sight-reading piece, Quiet Night of Quiet Stars, with a "tenor solo" at measure 107. With but two minutes to look over, the motionless black dots were meaningless and my mind was bogged down with questions like "How does this rhythm sound? What if I mess up? What do I do?" As measure 107 approached, the sound of the bass drum amplified and I panicked more than ever before. With my eyes closed, I stood up. Taking a deep breath, I opened my eyes and blew air through the horn. The first three measures were fine. But about the four measure into the solo, the notes became blurry and my fingers refused to move. Silence. My mind was again in emergency mode. Unable to accurately play the notes and rhythm, my only tool now was improvisation. Though uneasy about my improvisation skills, I had to somehow redeem myself. Feeling the beat of the drums and the moving bass line, I played what came to mind-rhythms I remembered from solos by Louis Armstrong and Kenny G. Towards the end of my solo, I looked up and caught a glimpse of my teacher swaying his body back and forth, moving his shoulders up and down. "Yes!" I thought to myself. I turned a challenge that could have ended in complete failure into a victorious test of my improvisation skills.