Dr. Mayron Tsong, Storyteller
DR. MAYRON TSONG, Associate Professor, Artist Teacher, Piano, UMD School of Music
Some years ago, I gave concert at an Arts College in Yunnan province, China. Because there was no heat and the concert was in December, it was terribly cold in the hall. My parents were with me and my mother insisted that I wear sweaters underneath my concert dress, so I looked quite huge, but at least I was warm enough, or so I hoped! My hands and fingers were cold and stiff and I feared the concert would not go well.
They were draped with blankets and they wore big coats, hats and gloves, yet the mood was good, even excited…They were all freezing but everyone stayed until the end of the concert.
When I looked out into the audience, not only was it full, but people were standing around the entire perimeter of the hall. They were draped with blankets and they wore big coats, hats and gloves, yet the mood was good, even excited. I was really moved because their interest — their most sincere interest – was so clear. They were all freezing but everyone stayed until the end of the concert.
This experience ignited a change me because it was the first time I became aware of the audience, and I realized how that mutual appreciation and communication between artist and audience is at the heart of any performance art. Honestly, I probably could have played better because it was just so cold and uncomfortable but I was so moved by the experience as a whole, and when it came together the way it did, it turned out I wanted to communicate with the audience just as much as they wanted to hear me play.