Thursday, July 1, 2010


Last Sunday, I played in my second concert with the Royal Orchestral Society (that's me with the stand obscuring my face), which was fun and exciting because we played Sibelius's Finlandia, Dvorak's 8th Symphony and a Dvorak Slavonic Dance (#2) as an encore (yes, I purposely failed to mention the Scriabin Piano Concerto in that line-up because I was not a fan) but even more fun and exciting because I had friends in the audience (this is a big deal because 3 years ago, I had zero friends in London ... and even even more fun and exciting was a special surprise appearance by Alison at the very end, though she appeared and disappeared as quickly as a fairy godmother).  It was a sweaty (literally - especially as the stage lights were atrociously bright) performance, as the concert fell on one of the hottest days of the week (30 degrees Celsius, or 86 degrees Fahrenheit), but nevertheless enjoyable - and I only had to fake my way through 25% of it (the key is to just make sure your bow is going the same direction as your stand partner's - especially if your stand partner happens to be the principal second violinist - even if your fingers can't move as fast).

Dress rehearsal was a different story, however.  I was pretty annoyed to miss the England World Cup game (where I wanted to see England pummelled by the Germans - revenge for all the anti-American/patronizing comments the commentators and the British peanut gallery made during every game the USA played in) and even more annoyed at being simply unable to decipher what the hell the conductor was saying (you'd think I'd learn my lesson from last time).  "Cellos, you're coming off too early on that dotted minon." Minon.  Minon.  WHAT THE £$%& IS A MINON?  Next time, I'm bringing a cheat-sheet to rehearsal and placing it at my feet.  Honestly. 

I'm looking forward to the next rehearsal in September already ... even though I'm not a fan of the Verdi Requiem.  It was a year ago that I saw that girl on the tube with a violin case - an observation that caused me to pluck up my courage and join this orchestra.  I wistfully imagined the day I'd walk around with random fragments of pieces drifting through my head, leftover from a previous rehearsal - and now I do.  I've made some great friends through the experience as well and am just thankful for it all.

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