Recitals are not cheap. Especially when you’re not getting paid to do them.


On the other hand, how many people on the planet actually get paid to do a horn recital? Outside of a university setting? Maybe a handful. Maybe less than that.

So I thought it might be good for me and general populace (read: my school, financial aid people or anybody else getting ready to do this) to actually look at the cost breakdown, line by painful line.

Pianist – $250 (The ever-fabulous Michael Dauphinais. This included all of the rehearsal time and the actual recital.)

Venue – $125 (I chose an outside venue, but the is what is would have cost me to use one of the halls at the school of music.)

Dress – $91 (on sale from $300!)

Posters – $3.50

Programs – $11.50 (I made colour ones for my committee, my school portfolio and my own personal file; the rest were black and white.)

Gas – $40 (There were two occasions that I had to come up to school from where I live that weren’t my normal school days.)

Babysitter – $30

In ‘n’ Out Burger – $10 (I didn’t eat a lot before so I was pretty ravenous afterwards.)

TOTAL: $561

Holy cow! This is in addition to tuition and fees. In this economy.

Where could I have saved money? I could have done an entire recital without accompaniment. And it would have been depressing, awful, somewhat boring and really tiring. I also could have used a classroom at school instead of a hall or the church that I ended up using and that would have been free. And depressing, unprofessional and clinical. I could have skipped the posters. I could have gotten my husband to stay home with the little people instead having his presence and support. The programs are a part of my requirement (although not an official one, I might add) but I could have skipped the colour versions.

So now that I’m thoroughly depressed, let’s look on the bright side. This could have been a whole lot more expensive.  So, where did I save money? By having a fabulous pianist who was prepared and professional, as well as being someone that I musical “gel” with, I saved myself some rehearsal time. The dress, kind of. I wasn’t originally looking for a dress so I did overspend my shirt budget of about $50, but it was WORTH EVERY PENNY. So compared to the original price of the dress, yes I saved. I’m going to go with that. Other saving? My posters and the photography for them and my program. I wasn’t going to do any of it and then I got persuaded that it would a god idea. I took (or set up up) my own pictures and did my own editing. I had a sweet friend print my posters out for me at the Honors’ College on campus (it’s only for undergrads, but she bent the rules for me a bit) and it was only $0.25 for each colour page. I also borrowed a digital recording device from a friend, so I didn’t pay anyone to record the recital, which can get spendy, depending on who does it.

I think I was as “thrifty” as I could have been, with maybe one exception. But honestly, being thrifty wasn’t the point of the exercise. I’d anticipated the costs last spring and set aside some of my gig money for it. But it’s still a little ouchy, all things considered.

UPDATE: I forgot about the $100 worth of music that I bought for the occasion. That brings my total to $661. Zoinks.