We’re getting through the thick of the heat of summer! If you’ve read my blog in the past, you know July is always exciting for me for the start of the BBC Proms British classical music festival in London. I’ve been enjoying the start of the BBC Proms with as many concerts as I can listen to on walks - it’s been really nice hearing the packed Hall coming through from the BBC Sounds app I use, with the concerts back to normal after the pandemic, reminding me of when I enjoyed them in the latter half of last decade! I’m sure I’ll do a more detailed concert review of some or all of the ones I listened to sometime next month, but for now I’m going to leave it at that.
Also on this blog, I've mentioned participating in my high school's summer orchestra program as a violinist. One of my current projects as a private teacher is to start a similar program at the school I teach. Yesterday, I had my first proper rehearsal with a group of five students where I conducted them in a couple arrangements of Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance and the fifth movement (The Fairy Garden) of Ravel's Ma Mere l'Oye (a bit of a selfish pick, but hey, I think I'm allowed when I'm the leader, right...?). I had three violins and two cellos that afternoon. We had an hour time slot for both pieces, so I roughly split up our time for half an hour each, of course including tuning at the beginning (using the piano in the room to tune to) and helping out younger students. That as well as being asked questions and going over passages in the music after rehearsal ended made me really feel like an orchestra director! I’ve learned a lot through teaching about how to give concise and clear feedback, and I tried my best to incorporate that into speaking points in-between each take. The students were sight-reading the music, so it made it tricky, but focusing on coming together as a group helped us sound more together as we went on. It was fun to see the different violins and cellos, too - some rented, one fiddle was an old instrument with an old case! - and being able to help out with technique regarding fingerings and bows having played both instruments. I hope this program will only grow in the coming months!
I will soon have some violin recording projects to share as well! I think I'm in the final stages of releasing an album I've had basically finished since the end of last year, so that will be a great release! More soon.
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