at his desk. He asked my age,
school, and what piece I would play.
“My piano teacher and my fam-
Lincoln. He says he will be watching
almost hear him cheering from sixty
and began to play. Easy, so easy! Fun
I suddenly realized I should not be at the
end! My heart jumped to my mouth. I had
skipped a part. A huge part. How did that
Somehow my brain went to work. I visu-
alized the music. Ah, yes, page two. How
could I get smoothly back and fill in those
measures? There were eight or more.
Ididn’t.Icouldn’tfigurea bridge fast
timesinadiminuendo,making it fade—
and just stopped playing. My performance
had probably lasted barely a minute.
At least I had the presence of mind
to smile at the camera before its red light
Three sisters in cute white cowgirl outfits
followed with a song-and-dance routine to
“Buttons and Bows.”
Their act won. We remaining contestants
I waited for the bus and thought about
it all. I surprised myself by feeling more
relieved than disappointed. I could not pre-
tend that my performance was best. In truth,
the other three were far superior.
A CODA IS A CONCLUDING PASSAGE
AT THE END OF A COMPOSITION.
ADIMINUENDO IS A GRADUAL REDUCTION
IN FORCE OR LOUDNESS. “BUTTONS AND
BOWS” WON THE ACADEMY AWARD FOR
BEST SONG IN 1947. 7