October 6 Orchestra Notes

October 09, 2012

Saturday's rehearsal was pretty good. We played all three movements of Brook Green Suite, Adagio for Strings, Saber Dance, and all three movements of An English Suite. (An English Suite actually has more then three movements, but the arrangement we are playing only has Prelude, Minuet, and Frolic.) I haven't been practicing English Suite much lately and it really showed. When I was active in martial arts we used to say that some things were perishable, and also that a pot of boiling water stops once you remove it from the heat. With 8 pieces and over 20 pages of material to learn, I feel like I've got eight pots of water and only 3 or 4 burners. Deciding what to focus on and what to try and keep simmering is one skill I am learning as a result of this experiment.

For example, I can play Over the Rainbow very well. I not only feel emotion when I play it, I'm able to display that emotion through my playing. David signed off on that piece weeks ago. However, if I don't play it once or twice a week I begin to lose the polish and grace it had when I was still working on it. That "dish" is done, but I need to keep it fresh until all the other "dishes" are ready to serve.

This was the first week where the cello section was seated in order as a result of our seating audition last week. Now, where our pieces have two lines, we know which cellos play the top part and which the bottom. As the ninth cellist in the section, and the only adult, I'm seated in the back and will play the bottom line.

The orchestra is really starting to sound good. There are parts of Adagio for Strings that give me goose bumps even while playing. And Saber Dance is coming along very nicely.

Our focus for next week is English Suite and Vier Kliene Stucke.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.