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Orchestra notes

October 29, 2009

Attendance at rehearsal last night felt rather sparse.  Our conductor mentioned that several people were out with swine flu, and he was actually glad they stayed away so the rest of the orchestra wouldn’t be wiped out the week before the concert. 

He also conducts the orchestras at the University and he said that the University Health Clinic swabbed all over campus and concluded that the most germ-ridden place was the School of Music.  He said that sure made for an interesting faculty meeting.  “So when you come up to Libby Gardner (concert hall) next week, just don’t touch anything!”  Thanks for the advice, I think.  It sure makes me glad I’m not in college at the moment and using those practice rooms everyday–all that spit from the wind players, pianists sneezing and then continuing to play.  Then the next person comes in… And to think I survived four years at BYU, locked in a practice room on a daily basis and only very rarely did I get sick.

Right now my biggest concern is getting in enough practice time before our concert next weekend.  We’re playing Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony, as 2009 is the 200th anniversary of Mendelssohn’s birth.  I wish we were doing the Italian Symphony instead, but the Scottish is a great piece too and has one of those heroic cello melodies you live for in the third movement.  It almost makes up for the second movement, which can only be described as fiendish. 

We’re also playing Elgar’s cello concerto (not my favorite) and overture to The Wasps by Vaughan Williams. 

I’ve officially hit the point where my cello rests on my belly.  I always wondered how I’d play the cello pregnant, but I’ve never gotten so big that it impedes my playing.  I just have to start lengthening my endpin and playing more horizontally than usual.  I just seem to have hit that point earlier this time around and I still have to play in church a month from now.

It’s probably good this is the last concert I’ll play this year though.  I am so tired of sitting up straight by the end of a three-hour rehearsal and I’m not functioning my best at 10 p.m. anyway, no matter what I’m doing.  I’ve practiced so little in the past six months and my endurance is shot.  But one good thing about a concert is you get one chance to play it.  No multiple takes on difficult passages as you get more and more tired.

Practicing will definitely be a priority in the next ten days.

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