Printer-friendly version
Mendy Smith

Summer of '09

August 11, 2009 at 5:39 AM

Most summers for me are a time to relax and spend time on solo works, etudes and technical exercises.  Not this summer.  I had thought that moving across country would have given me ample time during the summer months to work on these things, but that did not happen.  Instead, when orchestra season came to a close, I made a new viola friend and became involved (via him) in what seems to be every single musical activity available for an amature violist in the greater Houston Metro Area.  

This has included so far playing in two pit orchestras, subbing for another community orchestra north of here, performing an entire Sonata at the church, preparing two more pieces for the church, and weekend "classical music jams".  Tomorrow I fly out for the long anticipated Interlochen Adult Chamber Music Camp.  After the camp, orchestra season starts once again.

Though my private practice time has dimished to nothing, I have grown in many ways musically over the past few months.  Playing in a pit was an experience in and of itself.  Subbing with only two rehearsals was a test of my sight reading ability.  Performing the Handel was a lesson in balance, musicality and overcoming stage fright in a profound way.  Preparing for performing Bach Brandenburg #6 and Bridge's Lament is shaping up to be a larger challenge than the Bloch audition.  What I thought I knew about music and performance seems so one-dimensional now - the equivelent of going from B&W to High-Def.  

As gratifying as this all has been, there have been moments of pure frustration that I've had to deal with - frustration with my body not being as flexible as it once was, short term memory and concentration issues, and a lack of music theory that would have enable me to understand what I'm playing better and communicate with those who I'm playing with more effectively.  

However at the end of the day, it is all about being able to pick up the viola and play something that touches a heart or two of those who happen to be listening.  In that, I succeeded.  And to top things off, I made a new best friend.  How much better can that be!

From Bart Meijer
Posted on August 11, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Congratulations, Mendy!

From Terez Mertes
Posted on August 16, 2009 at 7:28 PM

 Glad to hear you're adjusting so well after the move! (And think of the smoke you're missing here in the Santa Cruz Mountains...)

This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine