I found out today that 9th/10th grade all-state audition requirements include a chunk of Mazas 18, at 118. About 70% of it is doable by me right this minute, but if I had all summer I could learn it. How can 9th and 10th graders do it, all of it, in tune, at tempo, nicely? The trills and downshifts in that one slurred run, argh.
Anyway, I could conceivably audition for all-state and reasonably hope for a spot, except for the little matter of my age. You might say, "so what, Joe Positive, you don't have to actually earn a place in a kid's orchestra to prove to yourself that you're learning. Just keep on learning, enjoy the journey..." But it's not that I want to get into all-state. I want the experience of auditioning, I want the audition hanging over my head to make me learn and polish a piece. I want to finish something I start. The process of preparing for all-state auditions gives kids something important and intangible. I get that once a year at most, at recital time. It would be nice to have more of that.