Archive for June, 2008

One of those weeks

June 15, 2008

Sometimes being an orchestra musician can feel like being a priest who has lost his faith in God. For me, this was one of those weeks.

It looked OK on paper – a subscription set with a young and promising guest conductor (assumed to be on our short list until Edo was appointed Music Director) and a piece that I’ve always enjoyed (Shostakovich 5). There was also a Mendelssohn piano concerto (which I thought would likely be tolerable) and Les Preludes. (more…)

Stormy weather

June 13, 2008

In the middle of yesterday afternoon’s rehearsal, our Personnel Manager, Linda Unkefer, came on stage, told us that there was a tornado warning in effect, and asked us to pack up our instruments and head for the basement. This was a first in my 20 years here. Unlike most tornado warnings, though, this one didn’t last very long; we got called up about 15 minutes later and finished the rehearsal.

Thanks to my iPhone, I found that there was indeed a cell with rotation headed our way, but apparently it didn’t actually result in a tornado. Sad to say, there would be some positives to serious tornado damage to our hall – but not while anyone was in the building, of course.

Earlier in the day I experienced a different kind of storm, having been approached at the break in the morning’s rehearsal by a colleague very unhappy with my performance as union representative. I was surprised to hear that his main gripe with me appeared to be that I didn’t come out on stage to warm up along with everyone else, which obviously meant that I thought I was better than everyone else. I’ll admit that I do think I’m better than people capable of that kind of pettiness. Unfortunately my response to him was not that considered. But then being called an asshole does push my buttons.

Anyone who wants to study the sociology of a small, isolated, inbred village could do worse than spend time with the average full-time professional orchestra.