My orchestra is playing the 1812 overture in a POPS concert in a few weeks. This is my first time playing it. It's harder than I would have expected, even in the shorter arrangement we are using.
The first thing my teacher said, when I brought the music to my lesson, was "wear earplugs." She should know; she's been playing this piece every year with the Boston Pops since 1977. She also mentioned a time when they were playing somewhere outdoors, on a lovely estate, and the cannons were pointed right towards the orchestra. "I thought Seiji Ozawa was going to have a heart attack."
She has an earplug routine that she follows, of which I didn't get the specifics, but it involves having them on the instrument down below the bridge where the mute is, and putting them in quickly and surreptitiously at some point during the piece before all he** breaks loose.
I don't know if I can pull that off. First of all, I'm a bit of a klutz. (My mute has been known to fly off if I put up my instrument too fast). Also, I'm sitting first chair. How will it look to the audience if the first chair violinist puts in earplugs in the middle of a piece??
We are playing indoors, in the Arlington Town Hall, so there won't be real cannons. Would you wear earplugs in this situation? If so, when? How?
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