This afternoon we had our first semester's concert for PYMO. It was a great first concert - nothing catastropic happened, and the few unnoticible (mostly) messups were not from the violins. With the exception of the last movement of the Polevetsian Dances--we completely screwed the ending by rushing and SOMEHOW botching up the second ending. So half the section was lost, half (myself included) was rushing, and *I* should have been leading and couldn't quite salvage it. I think my conductor was a bit annoyed at me. Oh well--I know what to work on for next concert!
Along with the Polevetsian Dances (the entire suite) we played Dvorak Slavonic Dance No. 2, H. Owen Reid's La Fiesta Mexicana (just one movement), Bach's Concerto for Violin but played on Marimba (now that, was funny. I never knew there was an arrangement for marimba until now--it went quite well), a concerto for Clarinet, and Tchaikowsky's Walzer (strings only).
Last night I dreamt I was teaching this guy, a beginner, I would guess 35+ years old. I came to his house for some reason (I hate going to other people's houses to teach, you just never know what you might be walking into), and we talked a lot. I can't remember what about. I met his wife, and friends of his, etc etc. For whatever reason possessed me to do this, I decided to give him my violin (he didn't have one!) in exchange for something of his in his house (I have NO recollection of what anymore, nor can I imagine what in the world I was thinking giving up my violin). I figured, I have another. I have two others, actually, but they're Chinese and have limited volume/depth capabilities. Anyway, like I said, whatever possessed me! So the dream progresses, I can't remember much now but the part I do remember... was seeing my violin placed on an iron rod like contraption, with a fountain underneath it, and water coming up THROUGH the violin somehow and spilling out over the f holes! I look over, trying to calm myself, but it doesn't work and my head simply screams STUPID IDIOT WHAT IS HIS PROBLEM WHY IS HE DOING THAT HE'S RUINING IT?!?!!?!?!?!?!!? And what am I thinking?!?!? I love this violin.
I go talk to him. Telling him with amazing calm (not sure why I was calm) that I just bought this violin a little over a year ago and I'm not ready to part with it.
I'm not sure when I woke up, but I remember looking at my violin in dismay, thinking that it wasn't a pretty dark brown color anymore and it was a faded (all the gloss was basically gone) reddish and orange salmony color. What a nightmare!!
Sunday night, I arrive at my orchestra practice, intentionally early, and walk around listening to people sight read in their chamber music groups. Weeks before, I had told the assistant conductor (who is a passionate Romanian violinist) that being the concert mistress, I expected (not just would like to) hold sectionals at times--namely, before our concert now in two weeks. I want to be a teacher, and I need as much experience as possible. Plus, I thought, It'd be all the less stress dumped on him and the other coaches. So, the board that night showed sectionals in their respective rooms, 1st violins, 2nd violins, viola, cello. Brass and woodwinds in our main room. I ask, so who is doing the sectional for the 1sts? Well... you? HAHA alright, sounds great, I'm up to it. So I take charge. In the wrong room. yay me! so we move to the right room so the rest of the section doesn't get mixed up, and begin setting up again. I face the lovely dilemma of taking a teacher position or fellow student; in front of class or beside class, talking from my seat? Well, the correct position became very obvious as I realized I would have absolutely no control if I sat with them, because they were already hoping for an easy night - having a sectional with their concert mistress leading. No such luck for them. I had specific things in mind that needed to be worked on. So, time passed, there was laughter, not in a good way, some students who respected me enough not to and some who didn't--but a couple stood up for me (which was ever so nice of them to go easy on me, I appreciated that), saying hey guys we should be quiet. Now, see, I didn't know quite what to expect. I'm very glad I did it, and I think I did relatively well. I TA a fifth grade string orchestra. And you know, they're not so different from fifth graders. A couple attitude adjustments on my part, and we're good to go.
I rushed to my concert on Sunday, only to have the pianist be late -- as mentioned earlier, I'd never heard the accompianment for Barber 3rd movement and I was DYING with nervousness that it was going to be awful. So, since I didn't get to run it through with him, I pull out my music (it was a laid back recital) and figure, at least I'll have it to count the rests should I mess up. I stick it on a low stand, smile, and bow. He starts. I come in... 1 bar too early. I try to keep going but, decided, you know what, I didn't like the tempo he chose anyway, so I said screw the mentality of always keep going, I was never going to get through the piece like that, so I asked to start over. My shoulder rest almost falls off, and thinking my pianist would notice my fixing it, I say nothing, since I'm taking one tenth of a second to fix it and assume he'll wait for my nod (since he was looking at me). No such thing happened. He started, I didn't have my violin up, he was looking at me like 'why didn't you come in?' and I'm looking at him like, how can you possibly start without the violinist being ready?! You're professional. We've played millions of times together. Anyway. We start again, this time I count the two bars and come in at the right time, and we're off to the only thing I can define as not a completely-disastrous-performance because I kept my cool and not only got through the piece, but did it well. But all my rests throughout the piece were definitely not fun, since he skipped measures at random and gave me no chance to even try to count them. Piece over, didn't get that high A, but smiled, bowed, thanked the pianist, and returned to my seat as if I was Heifetz.
More entries: December 2004 October 2004