Done with orchestra festivals forever
April 20, 2008 at 9:10 PM
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...
From Kim Vawter
Posted on April 21, 2008 at 3:19 PM
Each time you do something like this the memory of the bad stuff, food, nervousness, etc. will fade and you will be able to recall the fact that you did play. Every chance you have to play is another wonderful treasure.
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