We had our concert last Saturday night and it went quite well. My dad was in the back taking pictures a few times after the end of Eine Kliene and the final piece - the Merry Widow. I knew it was him - and thought to myself at first "I am WAY to old for my dad to be taking pictures of me in a concert". But then I thought that this was the first time in 25 years he heard me play and he will probably never see me play again since he is moving out of the area. So, click away dad!
At the end of the Merry Widow, where it ends in 3 chords for the strings, and single notes for the brass - well, to say the orchestra was horrified was an understatement. The brass jumped the gun and just blew through the ending without waiting for the conductor's que. You've heard before to "keep on playing and DO NOT STOP even if a frieght train runs through the concert hall!" Well, it is sooooo true. One of my collegues, my father, and everyone I spoke with NEVER EVEN NOTICED our fatal flaw in the end! I guess we all learned that lesson well.
We are on break until the end of summer to prepare for the next concert in November. I'm really looking forward to it! Even though I had some difficult times with what we were playing, my ability got better and re-learned how to play with others.
Here is a pic of the concert.
I'm on the far right looking at the camera viola on my knee.
Tonight was our orchestra's dress rehearsal before concert time. I can only count my blessings that the concert is on a Saturday and not the normal Friday nights. When I rush from work to home, scarf down a quick meal, then rush to rehearsal - well, my playing is definitely NOT the best it could be. The tension from a hectic day destroys my ability to relax within a 15 minute warm-up time to play anything properly. A Saturday concert gives me the time I need to totally wind down from work mode to music mode and provide enough warm-up time to get the tempo and dynamics down right.
At the start of rehearsal tonight, the celli couldn't see their music due to the lighting being set-up for a choir concert sometime this week. Talk about playing from memory!!! After rehearsal, you could really see where the brass sat - there were little puddles to the left of each chair. YUK! Aren't there the equivalent of spittoons for brass instruments? The woodwinds didn't seem to have the same problem, except for the English basoon. (Reminder to self, do NOT wear the black shoes with slick soles!)
So, the concert is this comming Saturday evening. I plan on practicing in little spurts throughout the day and giving my father and step-mother a small private concert on some solo pieces I've been working on. My dad hasn't seen the new viola yet, so I'm just dying to show her off. Then we go for a late lunch, then off to set-up and (TG!) a longer warm-up time before showtime. The orchestra puts out CD's of the concert a week or so afterwards. So far, I have requests to order about a dozen from family and friends.
It is now T-9 days and counting until my orchestra has our concert the Saturday after this one. Dress rehearsal is this coming Tuesday. I haven't played a concert in a very long time and I must admit I am getting a bit nervous. There are still some parts that I have a difficult time with at concert tempo, but I'm almost there. I've been practicing about 2 hours each day after work to get it down. So that means no dinner until after 8pm. Practice, practice, practice!
My father will be coming over from Washington and staying over the weekend to hear me play in the concert. The last time he heard me play in a concert was :::clearing the cobwebs of my memory::: almost 25 years ago. This almost makes me feel like I'm 12 years old again. He is still a bit supprised that I've kept this up for so long, but I am so happy that I did. It is the main reason why I don't lose arguments with myself when I'm talking to myself :P
I have also discovered that my little sister (younger but taller), has now joined v-com to lurk in the background heckle me! :) Ok, so the heckling hasn't started yet, but the potential is there. Maybe, just maybe, by reading everyone's posts she will take on violin/viola as well as horseback riding and stable managing. (probably not!)
Tonight I was feeling a bit "home sick" for Malaysia where I spent the past 3 years of my life. It started in the grocery store when I found these little hot chili peppers that were used alot in cooking and some Chines BBQ sauce (it became part of my Asian dinner tonight). I was cruzing through my pics from from time there and found one of my team, so I sent it to them. Next thing I knew, I started getting e-mails from every one of them all at one time. So, what the heck I thought! I gave them a call and had a really good time talking to most of them for about 30 minutes. It almost made me feel like I was back in Malaysia for a few minutes. I really miss the place and the people. Those were some of the happiest memories I've ever had.
On to music - the concert is in 2 1/2 weeks. I have alot of practicing to do between now and then. I've moved through the rougher spots of what we are going to be performing and I'm now comfortable playing it very close to concert tempo. Time will tell tomorrow during rehearsal if what I think is indeed reality or just me deluding myself. My new teacher and I are getting along well, although I'm pessimistic with her praise in my playing. She thinks I'm doing wonderfully, but I see flaws in most every note that I play. This is most likely due to one of three things - her expectations from teaching intermediate instead advanced players (in her own admission)- OR - I'm really that good (which I'm not believing) - OR - her way of giving her student confidence (most likely). In any case, it DID make me feel more confident and I found myself playing those sections better than before. Gotta love psychology!
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