Stand Sharing - from Happiness to War!

April 17, 2012 at 08:01 PM · I'm concertmaster of a small community orchestra. The seating is constantly rotated keeping in spirit of the community feel. My stand partner for this concert is a junior in high school, fabulous player, and a sweetheart of a girl.

She pulled the music in front of her. I pulled it back. She asked to have the music closer. I told her we had to share. The rest of the rehearsal was a silent pulling - inch to the left - her score - inch to the right - my score!

My inner teacher wants to give her a lesson. My inner concertmaster wants her to simply obey. My inner diplomatic style wants to negotiate. My age compared to hers should be respected.

I have until next Sunday to figure out my tactic!

Smiles! Diane

Replies (20)

April 17, 2012 at 09:39 PM · First thing to ask her: "How long has it been since you've had your eyes checked, Honey?" If she's an otherwise nice kid, it seems like the power imbalance- age, experience, concertmaster- would keep her from doing this, especially if she has shared music before. If not, I wonder if she just plain can't see.

April 18, 2012 at 01:50 AM · Yeah, bad vision is the first thing that comes to mind. I have bad eyes and I would have been doing the exact same thing.

April 18, 2012 at 02:51 AM · If it was her eyes and everything else was normal, I think she would have explained or asked, or apologized, or....

There's more to the story...

April 18, 2012 at 01:56 PM · Bad eyes are some kind of weakness,a sometimes, you don't want people to know about them…

April 18, 2012 at 02:08 PM · ...and that is why we don't share stands in our community orchestra.

So it's a bit crowded...who cares...

April 18, 2012 at 06:27 PM · She might not even know if her vision is off. One of my kids was about 15 when we found out he was terribly near-sighted.

April 18, 2012 at 08:00 PM · If vision is the problem (or maybe she doesn't know the part well) try moving the stand itself toward her, since she's on the inside. Then you can always turn the way it faces to yourself. It will be close enough for her to see the notes, and you can have a reminder also.

P.S. fill in any bow markings or dynamics with a really dark pencil, you could have a mess in concert!

April 18, 2012 at 09:01 PM · That is a tough situation. Just let her know tha you need to see the music too...maybe raise the stand and angle your chairs so you both can be closer to the music.

April 18, 2012 at 11:07 PM · John, you have an interesting mind, full of synapses. and that was one clever parrot.

Can you use two stands?

she may be inexperienced in orchestra - I know when I first started I had a devil of a time reading from the outside stand when I had become used to the inside stand, or v v if we had practised the other way around. I still have to make a point of copying the copy we perfrom from, so I get used tor reading that one, not mine.

Then again, I was never rude about it.

April 19, 2012 at 01:34 AM · Just tell her do you need help? And if she says yes try to help her, but if she's being rude to you then tell her there is no "I" in orchestra ;)

April 19, 2012 at 03:24 AM · You can be quite nice about it. Bring up the obvious: "We clearly disagree about where we would like this to go. Show me your ideal setup, I'll show you mine, and let's put it halfway between the two preferences--and leave it there."

April 19, 2012 at 03:49 AM · I suspect the girl is using Vision Solo strings, kindly ask her to change to Vision Orchestra strings. ;-)

April 19, 2012 at 05:32 AM · Lisa, Emily - Hmmm...eyesight

Lisa - me be the one to reveal her poor vision?

Pirisino - hiding weakness?

Elise - More to the story...like a soap opera!

N.A. & Sharelle - The single standedness got soooo out of hand in our orchestra that the conductor had to put an end to it!

Katrina - clever! Diagonal music stand and heavy on the pencil!

John - I have a tuning app on my itouch I use to tune the orchestra. How about I "mistakenly" touch the camera button and switch the lense so it's facing us!

Angelica - Sweet - ask to help, Sour - no "I" in orchestra! Perhaps a taste of her own medicine is what you suggest?

Casey - Your suspicions may be accurate (based on the kinds of boo boos she was making.)

I decided to explain to her that if she puts the stand where she wants it, then my eyes look away from the conductor. I like the diagonal idea...

Smiles! Diane

April 19, 2012 at 10:46 AM · In principle, I'll go with N.A. and Sharelle: two single stands beside each other. This is the solution which I use at a good amateur orchestra, for sight reasons. I realize that it was eventually prohibited by the conductor of Diane's orchestra, but to others in the same situation I'd say 'at least do it until further notice'. Another solution, albeit perhaps demeaning, is to sit alone at the back desk if there's an odd number of people in the section.

April 19, 2012 at 04:52 PM · Separate stands for each at the front of a section is no solution. Young orchestra players simply need to learn orchestra etiquette.

April 20, 2012 at 10:46 AM · Do you still see all those deformed pigeons in Bath and Trafalgar Sq. I was used to australian pigeons and seagulls, perfect lithe bodies and all that, then confronted by all these wonky birds in the UK in the 1980's.

April 20, 2012 at 02:14 PM · Etiquette and good manners should always be at the forefront...

...but I assure you, separate stands can't be beat...

April 20, 2012 at 02:59 PM · Especially for the concertmaster, separate stands are not good. Part of the inside person's job is to turn pages. The concertmaster, of all people, should be able to keep playing across quick page turns without interruption.

April 20, 2012 at 03:17 PM · Because of age-related eye-sight problems several of us in my chamber orchestra prefer to use individual stands. The only thing that needs to be done is to photocopy the occasional page or two in order to avoid difficult turn-overs. I use a stand that I've modified to comfortably take 3 A4 sheets side by side when required.

April 20, 2012 at 04:27 PM · Given the age of the original poster's stand partner, if she has not already had her eyes tested for driver's ed classes, she probably will soon. So if it's a vision problem, it may get taken care of without intervention by the OP.

I started wearing glasses at 15 when I couldn't pass the eye test for driver's ed. I think my distance vision had gradually been getting worse for some time, but I didn't realize just how bad it had gotten until that test.

I suppose the original poster could try asking the stand partner if she has trouble seeing the blackboard at school. I know that before I got glasses, I had to sit near the front of the class to be able to read the blackboard.

(edited to correct typo)

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