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September 11, 2013

turn around

There were times during this evening's string orchestra rehearsal I wanted to get up and walk out. Even though it was only our second rehearsal, our numbers have fluctuated and tonight there was one fewer cellist and a couple new violinists; I was the entire viola section. My cellist friend and I got there about an hour early and worked on some of the pieces, which was very helpful. But the conductor spent much of the first hour talking about Baroque music and why we were going to double-dot a whole bunch of stuff in one piece, and I wanted to say "please sir, can we PLAY something before my aged and bloodless hands get too cold?" As the only violist, I felt very LOUD and simultaneously self-conscious about it, so I started playing with a wispy wimpy right arm and learned that my viola does not like that at all, and will make unpredictably awful noises. For a while the conductor was going over rough spots with every section except me, and I wondered if he had decided that I would freak out at being singled out (nope, that assumption is incorrect). I was frustrated. I was tired. My day had started at 5:15am and I could think of many better uses for my time.

And then it all changed somehow - we actually started playing, and I got a couple of decent-sounding notes out of the instrument, which was like the sun coming out, ahh. I stopped worrying I was too loud and just let the sound happen, and tried to do whatever was called for at the moment. I couldn't always get it the first time, but I could always get it by the 3rd or 4th time. And some of the music sounded really good when we played it. By the time rehearsal ended I could have gone another two hours.

Posted by joe positive at September 11, 2013 10:43 PM

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