April 2008

Done with orchestra festivals forever

April 20, 2008 14:10

This weekend concluded my last PMEA festival (Districts, Regions, All-States), and as far as I can tell, my last festival of that nature EVER. It's somewhat of a relief, for the concerts are never as good as some of the rehearsal, and the music and conductors are of unpredictable quality, not to mention the food, rehearsal sites, and stand partners with whom you share long and arduous days.
I guess I've become a fan of efficiency. 2 weeks ago I sang Beethoven 9 with a community chorale and the local professional ensemble, the Harrisburg Symphony. The amazing thing about the rehearsals with the orchestra was how quickly the improvement occurred. Things that would take my youth orchestra/school orchestra/PMEA orchestra several tries took this ensemble only 1 reminder. It's an unreasonable expectation for high school students to have the same learning curve as conservatory-trained professionals, but so much time was wasted talking and doing other things during rehearsal that I began to wonder what business many of the kids I met had going into music.
I shouldn't say that; people, I imagine, outgrow this behavior. And, while I won't miss much of the unpleasantness and pettiness of these festivals (your skill on an instrument can scarcely be measured by a 2 minute audition after being starved of warm-up time for the preceding hour), I will miss the entertaining people I meet and the often high caliber of music performed (My favorites this year included Tchaikovsky's 5th symphony, Rachmaninov's symphonic dances, and Barber's Adagio for Strings). Now to go and practice other music...

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April 10, 2008 15:00

I'm bubbling with anticipation as to the deep and enlightening entries to which my name will be attached in the future. They will, not, however, start today...

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More entries: June 2008

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