May 2008

Music in the Mountains

May 20, 2008 16:08

The North Georgia Chamber Music Retreat was terrific. Nearly 60 musicians played tons of music with varying instrumentation nonstop for the weekend. Everyone brought music to share and I would guess there were 20 bins of chamber music to browse through. The event ran itself - you just picked something you wanted to play and then recruited the required instrmentalists to a cabin front porch, living area, conference center room or sitting room to read through as much or as little of the piece as the group chose. It was a chance to play new music for nearly everyone. I particularly enjoyed the one session of large group music. We played the Tchaikovsky Seranade and several other string orchestra pieces.

I surprised myself with my ability to keep up. Many folks were conservatory or graduate students with outstanding musical skills. Each person had a list of all musicians in attendance and you marked a person off when you played in a group with them. This encouraged mingling and not sticking with friends you already knew plus there was a nice prize for the person who played with the most musicians. I definitely recommend the experience.

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May 4, 2008 07:04

The last SCSO concert of the season was, hmmmmmm.... OK at best. The theme was Orchestral Blockbusters and we played 6 pieces. Three of the 6 were too hard for me and over half of this community orchestra - it showed. We only had 5 weeks to prepare for this concert and I don't know what the conductors were thinking when they chose the music for this program. I gave myself a C- for my performance. The best news is that they took a new group picture and will update the website this summer. Yea!

I am looking forward to the North Georgia Chamber Music Retreat later in May. It is my first time to attend and it sounds like so much fun. We are meeting at a resort in the mountains and will play music in groups all weekend. Everyone brings whatever chamber music they can get their hands on and just have at it. It sounds very informal and there is a concert Sunday afternoon for friends and family. I think 50 plus musicians are attending this year. Good sight reading skills are a must, so I've been playing through everything I have in my library. Hope this link works:

http://www.peterwh.com/gcmr/

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