I'm the newest violinist of an orchestra. I'm not with the first or second violins though. There's a secret third violins hidden behind the stage. It's for violinists who are good but have major anxiety playing in front of people OR in training to be in second, which is my case. I'm currently the worst player and have absolutely no idea how I made it in there. I mean I'm still in Suzuki 1! Looks like I have a very lonnngggg training to go.
There's about 10 of us in that hidden room. The room is large and can easily fit up to 20. Everyone is calm and relaxed and just chatting.
The performance is still an hour away. There are several people practicing either standing, sitting, or even while walking around. I was told we can be in whatever position we want during a performance since no one is really going to see us. It's also ok if I don't know how to play the pieces. I can play just the parts I'm comfortable with whenever I want as long as I don't hit the wrong note. No one will judge us. Besides, we're just the muted background extra sound for added "effects". Interestingly, we have our own separate conductor who is also in training.
I think I got accepted for presence. It helps with the atmosphere to have many people in the room instead of just a few good violinists. Our numbers make everyone else more relaxed and not feel secluded.
After talking to several of them, I went to my position and I start practicing. Just barely into my playing, somehow the A string peg breaks off... completely detaching the string from the peg and now the string is loosely dangling from the tailpiece. Panicking, I ask if anyone has a spare peg. No one does! Not surprising. I mean does any really carry around spare pegs? Someone took a few boxes from a room at the back. It contains a lot of random pieces for violin that I have never seen before -- likely experimental parts. I spill the box on the ground, but still could not find any pegs. I decide to go in that back room as I frantically continue my search.
The room is a small violin workshop. There are tools around, but no peg or spare violin to be seen. There are locked cabinets and drawers, but I was told that the luthier is out of town (wow that orchestra have their own private workshop and luthier). I am screwed!
Well... not that screwed. Yay for third violin! I still don't want to miss out on my first session though.
As I walk back to the main room, I notice a commotion going on. Other members from the main orchestra are in the room. The door to the main stage is wide open and there is a lot of traffic. People going in and out. There is a separate hallway to get in to the stage, so it's not necessary for the main members to pass by the hidden room (not that I don't want them to), yet somehow many of them are here. There is a lot of conversation happening. The room that was calm just a moment ago is now in a bit of chaos.
It turns out that a very well known member has unexpectedly passed away just moments ago. He was murdered on his way to our performance. Eyewitnesses said a man attempted to steal a case from him, but he fought back and got shot. He held hard on this case and won't let go, so the suspect gave up and hastily sprinted away from the scene. He died there before help could arrive :(
Growing up, my mom told me never to fight back when being robbed if it ever happens. "Life is more important and we can just earn and buy again," she told me. This man, however and for a reason no one will never know, died protecting an object. I don't want to call him dumb for not just letting it go. It's definitely something that means a lot to him and I will respect that.
The principal conductor is looking for me. Apparently it has been tradition to pass down the violin, which he is holding, to the newest violinist of the orchestra.
I look to the ex-newest member who joined just right before me. Surprisingly, she doesn't look unhappy at all. I have been feeling guilty that I just robbed her off the opportunity. Judging the facial expression she just gave me, it looks like she actually feels relieved.
The principal conductor retells me what I heard just minutes ago. He says the violin is currently worth $40k though it's always been passed down and was never sold in its history. I could care less about the price tag since I am still very shocked from everything that just happened and is happening. Not only I'm being handed down a violin worth more than my entire savings, someone just died and I also now have to carry on the tradition. All of them have become talented players and each even have portrait paintings in the building. I don't think I can live up to any of them.
Now I understand why she looked relieved.
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