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The Gift. Tom Chambers stepped off the bus and immediately felt very alone. It had started to rain so hurriedly, with his flute in one hand and music in the other, he ran straight across the busy main road and arrived at Symphony Hall.

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Introduction

The Gift Tom Chambers stepped off the bus and immediately felt very alone. It had started to rain so hurriedly, with his flute in one hand and music in the other, he ran straight across the busy main road and arrived at Symphony Hall. The automatic doors slid smoothly open as he approached and Tom was overwhelmed at what he saw; a large, modern reception area greeted him and he stared at the impressionistic paintings that lined the walls. There was a tasteful rug on the floor just beyond the automatic doors and a large chandelier to provide light. Then Tom saw the staircase. It was huge with spotless glass sides and two silver banisters that gleamed and twinkled in the light. After spending several minutes absorbing what he had seen, Tom walked up to the glass fronted desk and asked where he needed to go for the Young Musician Competition. A tall, slim, efficient but friendly looking woman escorted him up to the third floor and wished him good luck. Unzipping his flute case in one of the practice rooms made Tom remember why he was here. ...read more.

Middle

That made Tom change his mind and he warmed up by playing scale after scale until his lips felt as though they were blocks of ice. A soft tap on the door by a steward alerted Tom to the fact that it was time to go and perform. He ran down the stairs keeping hold of the banister as he went and made his way to the stage. Standing by the stage door, he tuned in to the oboist performing and started doubting himself again. Why was it that everybody was so much better than him? Tom wished that they had never invited him and turned to leave when the oboist finished abruptly. Someone behind him called him back and ushered him. He walked on nervously: This was it. Tom put his flute to his lips and sensed the expectation on his shoulders from the waiting audience. He started playing and almost immediately went wrong. He saw the judges start writing and wanted to stop. Tom continued and eventually, after what seemed like a lifetime, he finished. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eventually, after giving out the second and third prizes, the hall went silent again. The judge started "The first prize goes to..." Would it be the trombonist, Tom wondered? "Thomas Chambers, playing flute." They had just read out his name - there must have been an error because he had made a mistake. They read out his name again and Tom was pushed forwards. The judges shook his hand heartily and he was presented with the cheque and certificate. It all had his name on. Was he in a dream or something? Tom pinched himself; no, he definitely wasn't in a dream. He was still puzzled by why he had been given first prize when he had made a mistake, so he asked the judge. The judge chuckled and said "Thomas, you made one minor mistake in a terribly difficult piece when others played much easier pieces. You have earned this and without doubt have the gift of music." The hall erupted, and Tom smiled for the first time that day. He had seriously overreacted about his mistake and now this was his reward. He could buy his new flute and become a professional musician after all. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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