Sunday, 14 December 2008

Crowthorne Symphony Orchestra

Our concert went very well. It was all a bit touch and go, though. One of the viola players cried off at the last minute with flu, and even the piano soloist was feeling too ill to come to the afternoon rehearsal, so the conductor had to rehearse the orchestra without the soloist, which is not easy in a piano concerto. In fact, it is unheard of! To deal with this strange situation, the conductor and soloist agreed that for once, the soloist would follow the conductor, rather than the other way around. We rehearsed the whole programme from 1:30 until 5:30, which was quite am exhausting to do immediately before a concert. But all the brass, the basses, the harp and a large proportion of the violins were brought in just for the day, because we seem to be low on string players these days. It would be unusual to have many brass for all the weekly rehearsals, as there is generally not enough for them to do to keep them occupied. So the rehearsal on the afternoon of the concert is the first time we have played together, and for some instruments, the first time they have seen the pieces. Normally we would not have this many extras on the day, though. My new trumpet was excellent. I played set it up as a D Trumpet for the Cimarosa overture, and as an E flat for the Liszt piano concerto. It sounded good in the acoustic of the hall. The first half went off without mishap, and most people in the audience seemed to enjoy it a lot. After the break came the Symphony, the big piece we had really focused most of our attention on for the preceding 12 weeks. It is a huge and demanding piece, but very absorbing and great fun. It went very well indeed, and was a real success. I'd sold tickets to 23 adults and 6 children for this concert, an unusually large contingent. Although half a dozen of them were unable to attend due to flu or unexpected guests, I still had 24 people in the audience, which made it a very special concert for me. We're all looking forward to the March concert now. I wonder what we'll be playing?

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Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom

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