Honored with a National Gold Medal!

I wanted to share with you a very special blog post.  A lot of you know I play the guitar and this past Saturday night I had one of the biggest moments of my life.  I was invited to play in the Festival of Excellence concert at USC because I was being honored as the winner of the National Gold Medal from the Royal Conservatory of Music.

max with sign

If you play classical music, you can participate in the program offered by the Royal Conservatory.  You take an assessment at each level and when you pass you move to the next level.  Each time, you receive a score between 1 and 100.  60 or higher is pass; 70 or higher is honors; 80 or higher is first class honors; and 90 or higher is first class honors with distinction.  The concert this past weekend was for students who got 90% or higher and you get to play for the President of the organization and you also receive a certificate.  They also acknowledge students who received the highest scores in their state or the country.  I got the highest score in the COUNTRY for Level One Guitar.  I earned a 93.  

max award

When I found out I got the highest score in the country. I learned it in a game called two truths and a lie.  The game works where you share two truths and a lie about what happened during your day and the people you are with try to guess which one is the lie.  We played this at dinner and when it was my mom’s turn she said “Number 1, I got a letter today from the Royal Conservatory saying Max got the highest score in his region.  Number 2, the letter said Max got the highest score in the state. And number 3 it said Max got the highest score in the whole country.”  I thought one of these had to be the lie so I guessed the country was the lie.  I was excited and nervous.  Then my mom said “The lie is that none of them are lies.  They are all true!”  I jumped out of my chair with joy and pranced around the room freaking out just like Grandpa Joe does in the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when Charlie finds the last golden ticket.

Anyway, at the concert, the president of the organization gave a speech, and a few people who worked in the USC music department talked a little bit too.  Each child had too choose one song, with a time limit of five minutes.  I played a song called “Semplice” which is Italian for the word simple.  I was really nervous but once I was on stage I didn’t mind a bit.  It was fun and I liked how I ended my song.  I was really proud of myself.

max playing

Before the concert my guitar teacher Eric and I were reviewing my song in a hidden side room (he went to college here so he knows a bunch of secret rooms) and they had put one of the cakes there that everybody was going to eat as a celebration after the concert.  My teacher lifted the top off and we peered down at the cake.  It was a big cake with icing and big black letters spelled out The Royal Conservatory.

Unfortunately we couldn’t eat the cake because of allergies but we did a big celebration of our own.  We went to Kay N Daves for dinner with my grandparents (of course it would be Mexican) and then had vanilla ice cream afterwards as a dessert.  

I really liked the USC campus and I am considering it for college. Though don’t tell my mom because she thinks I’m growing up too fast (only eight more years!).

max waiting

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  • Adele Beim
    January 17, 2017 8:37 pm

    Congrats Max!!! That’s so awesome you won a gold medal! Especially at your young age.
    Are you going to be a professional guitarist?
    Where is the royal conservatory located?
    Please drop me an email.
    Love, aunt Adele

    • Max
      January 27, 2017 6:58 am

      I am not sure if I am going to be a professional guitarist. I am also thinking of being a basketball manager or a restaurant critic.

  • Myriam-Rose Kohn
    January 18, 2017 1:29 am

    Congratulations, Max! Great stuff.

    • Max
      January 27, 2017 6:59 am

      Thank you so much!

  • Pamela J Kingsley
    January 18, 2017 7:11 am

    This is AMAZING!!!!!!!
    Congratulations on your fabulous achievement!!!!!!!
    There are not enough exclamation marks for how happy I am for you!!!!!!!!!!

    • Max
      January 27, 2017 7:00 am

      Thank you so much for that wonderful comment!!!!!

  • Papa and Grandma Nancy
    January 18, 2017 11:37 am

    We Eastcoast Grandparents didn’t get a chance to hear you play live OR to eat that Mexican food…………..but you can be sure that we’re just as proud of you as the Westcoast GPs who did!!

    • Max
      January 27, 2017 7:00 am

      Yep,I can believe that.

  • Kitaka
    January 18, 2017 9:04 pm

    Absolutely amazing Max! Congratulations!

    • Max
      January 27, 2017 7:02 am

      Thank you so much, some day I can bring my guitar to school and play for you.

  • Michael Yuda
    January 19, 2017 10:31 pm

    Wow Max, that is really fantastic. The country is a huge place, and it is hard to imagine what it would be like to get the highest score in the entire country! I know you must have worked extremely hard!! Congratulations!!!

    • Max
      January 27, 2017 7:03 am

      Yes, the country is a very big place. And I am very proud of myself.

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