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Mendy Smith

Going Gutless

April 26, 2007 at 4:59 AM

My experiment using wound guts failed after a few months of valiant effort. I was unable to produce a ringing tone like I could on Dominants. The increased tension caused my G string to continuously slip out of tune. Re-tuning halfway through orchestra practice, home practice, ensembles, and lessons started to become such a distraction that my intonation ended up taking a turn for the worse. My vibrato that was under development would not advance at all.

Back to Dominants. After 3 days, intonation is back to my pre-gut days, the vibrato took a huge advancing leap. The ring is back. Live and learn! Maybe I will try some un-wound guts next year to see if the experience is any different.

Our orchestra's concert is coming up (May 18th). We have quite a concert coming up: www.hillsborosymphony.org/ currentflyer.pdf

Die Moldau is coming along quite nicely! After the few weeks or so of having my left hand fall to pieces on the 7th page of continuous 16th note runs, I have built up my stamina (so has th erest of the viola secion, 2nd violins and cellos) to be able to go from start to end without faltering. Moldau is NOT dead! We are playing a Corelli piece in a very baroque style. Rather than the entire string section going out and purchasing baroque bows, we are holding the bows higher up on the stick. What an amazing difference it makes in the sound!!! All in all, I'm very excited about this next concert. We've been having a photographer take pictures before, during and after our concerts which are now being posted on our website:
http://www.hillsborosymphony.org/gallery.html

Lessons are still going great! After only a few months of taking lessons with my current teacher, I have learned so much and my technique is improving at a phenominal pace - or at least it seems that way to me. I have one more page to learn on the Bruch Romanze, then this summer I'll be moving on to Hoffmeister Viola Concerto in D Major. A different set of challenges in this piece. With summer break coming for the orchestra, I will be able to put some more time into pieces for myself and the trio group.

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on April 26, 2007 at 7:17 AM
It's heartening to hear that you're having so many good experiences. I hope you continue to do so well.

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