Ten years ago, I received an e-mail that changed my life.
I had been anxiously awaiting this date for months, knowing that a very important decision would be handed down. However, the business day came and went, and the message I had been expecting did not materialize. I was puzzled, if not a little dejected.
I went to my usual weekly taiko drumming practice, putting the fact that I hadn’t heard anything out of my mind. Around 8 p.m., while I was swapping out one kind of bachi (drumsticks) for another, I felt an odd tingle ripple through my body, and found myself strangely reaching for my phone, which was nestled deep in my bag. I realized what I was doing, and quickly admonished myself to snap out of it; I was there for taiko, and my phone could wait. I’ll tell you, it took every ounce of discipline to remain present during the remainder of our rehearsal.
Of course, after our practice had concluded half an hour later, I raced for my phone and saw that there was a new e-mail waiting for me — with a timestamp of 8:01.
From: Berklee College of Music, Valencia Campus
Subject: Your Admission Decision
“On behalf of the President and Board of Trustees of Berklee College of Music, I’m very pleased to inform you…”
I had to read the message three times, read it out loud to the others in the room, and pass my phone around to show them the e-mail just to make sure that I wasn’t hallucinating.
It took me about 20 minutes to come down from the joyous freakout born of receiving this incredible news. It was real. This was happening. In little more than three short months, I would be winging my way to Spain to give my career as a screen composer a much-needed boost.
Even though I certainly feel the distance of the intervening years (especially the haze of the last four), my heart still flutters to think back on that day, as well as to all of the memories I made during my year as a Master’s student at Berklee in Valencia. I remain grateful to have received that opportunity and all of the training that has since stood me in good stead since then.