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September 30, 2004

yesterday in orchestra, I experienced a most amazing sensation.

First, let me give you some background. In case you didn’t know, I was crazy serious about orchestra in h.s. I performed something like a dozen times senior year, and absolutely loved it. The more music I had and the more time I spent practicing, the happier I was. As senior year went by, I came to the amazing realization that I would no longer be involved in orchestra after h.s. unless I did something. This is what caused the “I want to be a music teacher” phase, which is over. (although, if I was at a different school, that might be a different story. I really do like to conduct.) I went here and joined Campus Philharmonia, and decided to be happy with that.
As time went by, I’ve realized that I’ve practically stagnated as a musician. I don’t practice enough to get better, and, in fact, I feel I’ve regressed since h.s. because I’m constantly rusty. Also, only being involved in one group (since I’ve stopped doing Siena Heights Youth Symphony), I’m just not learning much new music. Overall, during the summer, I felt an immense dissatisfaction with the musician in me, and even started to not like to play.
I didn’t think campus phil would help. See, for a number of reasons, I wanted to be placed in campus symphony. Katie’s there, and they don’t have to play a stupid whale song, and it’s a bigger group, and I just wanted to know I’ve gotten better. When I found out I was in philharmonia, I was really quite angry.
That was last week.

This week rehersal went very well. There was one moment that still sticks out. We were playing Farandole (Bizet, possibly? I keep mixing up our composers) in one of the places where the first violins have a shifted melody. It’s not crazy high, but higher than I’m completly comfortable playing (i.e. somewhere above third position). My stand partner and the whole stand behind me were gone. I managed to hit the shift just right, and, for the first time since h.s., could hear myself playing. Not only that, but I was playing a somewhat challenging part correctly, and loud! I’d forgotten how it felt to be confidently playing stuff others couldn’t. Last year I always seemed behind. For a few moments there was the swirl of sound around me that was the orchestra playing, and then a space of clear air, and my sound confidently radiating outward to broach that empty area, and for once I felt like I was really an important part of the group. Perhaps that’s what I was missing last year.
Our music is definatly easier this year. It’s all romantic era garbage. I still wonder about being in the other orchestra. At the same time, our conductors are excellent, our music is suprisingly good for romantic era garbage, and perhaps it’s good for me to play phil for one more year. Well see next year how I feel about where I get placed, but for the moment I’m suprisingly happy with being in the lower orchestra. (people from home can imagine the ego issues I have with this)
It’s nice to be happier with playing. I don’t like not liking my violin. It’s such a refreshing counterpoint to math&science all day. Still the same, I’d like to be doing more musically. A chamber or a duet or something. Or, like I told Katie, I do like to conduct. I’d really like to run a chamber some day. Anyone (in A2) interested in some sort of group?

Finally, our concert dates. Campus Philharmonia (the orchestra I’m in) plays Thursday, November 18, at 8pm in McIntosh Theatre. That’s on north campus; I can give you simple directions. We’ll be playing “Eine Steppenskizze” by Borodin, a suite of music from Peer Gynt by Grieg, “Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte” by Ravel, the Farandole from “L’Arlesienne” by Bizet, and some absurd whale song that we haven’t gotten yet. Probably an update on that when we finally get the music.
Campus Symphony (The orchestra Katie is in) is playing in Hill Auditorium on Tuesday November 23 at 8pm. I don’t know what all they’re playing, ‘cept Tchikovsky’s (sp?) fourth symphony. They’ll be absolutely fantastic, and Hill is amazing, so I highly reccommed this concert.
I’d sure like to see you at my concert, and will be attending Katie’s if you want someone to go with, so I hope you keep these dates in mind. Anyay I’ve gotta run – homework due before my next class.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 2, 2004 12:09 am

    I know how egos feel to be in a lower orchestra. I went back to concert one year after being in symphonic. *roar!*
    I’d like to hear you play again, I’ve always loved listening to you play. You’re one of the best musicians I’ve heard in my life, always so confident and talented.
    … makes me want to dig out my viola again.

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