April 3, 2007 at 6:15 AMIt must have been a hold-over from April fools day, but tonight's orchestra rehearsal was funny with musical practical jokes. Our principal violist (aka "mom") wasn't at rehearsal tonight to keep us in-line. It started with our "principal for the night" (who is also an engineer) trying to get me to sit the principal seat, which he would normally do as 2nd. I managed to wiggle out of that responsibility by arguing that I was a better page turner than he was. When we played Wagner, our conductor asked for the two of us to play the English Horn part. I did NOT play the first round of the english horn part with him as a bit of retribution for trying to put me in the principal chair... giving him several measures of an un-expected solo. He later re-named the composer Luigini to "Linguini". We then degraded to playing most of the Ballet Egyption No. 3 entirely on the G string and later on the A string with the first finger only (it has that soppy romantic melody). I must say that it was more entertaining than Yost shifting exercises and I got to practice vibrato with my first finger alot during those measures :) Luckily our conductor has a great sense of humor and allowed us our few measures of fun. She instructed the rest of the strings to sound as "sickenly romantic as the viola section".
Our conductor is thinking of holding off performing Moldau until the fall concert to give us more time to practice it (7 pieces to learn in 6 weeks). I overheard our concertmistress talking with the conductor about Moldau when the conductor said "just be glad you aren't a violist! You ought to see what they are trying to play!" Such encouragement!!!
We have 2 new violists in our section - one who got her degree in viola performance (now working at the VA hospital), and a current PSU student (majoring in Math). So far, our conductor likes having us where the celli normally sit. It is nice being able to hear my fellow violists (and amature comics) over the celli, winds and brass. Who would have thought that 6 violists could play in tune not only with each other, but also with the rest of the orchestra!
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