25. October 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

For those of you who wonder what a busy musical day might be like, here goes …

Not included in the musical part of the day is waking at 6:30 to take Jameson to school. (Thankfully Dan gets up earlier to get lunches made and all. Whew!) When I got home I went over all that I had to bring to rehearsal with me. (As I have told many students, I do my “idiot check”—thanks, Pam, for that term!—before leaving for work. Forgetting something is not an option.) Then it was shower time; there’s nothing worse than sitting in close proximity to a stinky musician. Trust me, I know. ;-)

I began work yesterday at 10:00 in the morning. This doesn’t mean that’s when I start to play of course; I usually get to a hall 45 minutes to an hour ahead of time to set up and warm up. When I’m doing a show that includes a double (meaning I play both oboe and English horn) it takes a bit of time to get everything set and get comfortable. I don’t travel light. Coming along with me are instruments (of course!), reeds, music, reed making tools, tuner, chair pad, music tray, water, music glasses, and of course personal items like my toothbrush. (Gotta brush those teeth after eating.) (Stupid me, I forgot my toothpaste, but I can always find someone who has some.) This was a “double service” which meant that I had two three hour rehearsals with an hour break for lunch.

I brought “Oboe A” rather than “Oboe 1″ and it decided to punish me a bit. I’m not sure why, as I have been giving it attention recently … it even was the chosen oboe for the last symphony set. Silly instrument! But something was out of adjustment through the first rehearsal and I had to keep fiddling with it. Then my English horn reeds, which really liked the room at home, thank you very much, decided that the barn of a room we were playing in was not a room in which they preferred to cooperate. Silly reeds. I finally wound up going back to my old reed, which I really had hoped to avoid, as I need to be breaking in new reeds for the next symphony concert; we’ll be playing Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin and there are some nice little EH parts, but they require a reed that I know and trust. Ah well. It’s always best to have these things happen at a first rehearsal. It gives me a chance to fix instruments, select different reeds and (I hope!) redeem myself in the eyes (and ears) of my colleagues.

By the time we broke for lunch my body was ready for that break; the chairs we were using were those old metal folding chairs. You know the kind, right? Cold. Hard. Uncomfortable. They are far too low to the ground, hard on the rear end (even with my chair pad!) and offer no back support at all. Sigh. In addition, our first rehearsals take place in a big rehearsal hall which only has fluorescent lights. Double sigh. My eyes don’t react well to that sort of light. I go into zombie mode.

But so it goes.

In this musical theatre company the first three hours are spent running through the music without singers, making sure cuts are correct and, this time anyway, we also were checking the transposed parts we were just given, to make sure they would work. Second rehearsal adds singers and is much more fun. I’m not the biggest fan of The King & I, but some of the music is pretty, and there’s more playing than I had remembered from the last time (was it really 1986? The old poster on the company’s wall had that date, I think.) Some of the tunes from K&I kind of get to me, actually (am I a sucker or what?!). I think it’s because I remember them from when I was young. Funny how that can tug at one’s heart.

After the musical rehearsal I sped (hah!) home (through awful commuter traffic there really was no speeding involved), dropped off instruments, picked up Jameson, raced back home, made dinner, crammed food down my throat, and took off for Symphony Silicon Valley, with a cup ‘o coffee in my hand (a necessity for a day like this).

The program for symphony—Bizet’s Symphony in C, Fauré’s Suite from Peleas and Melisande and Cello Concerto No. 1 by Shostakovich (which we’ve yet to get to) is deceptively difficult. There aren’t hard notes. For me thee aren’t even very many notes. But putting it all together is just not as easy as it might seem. The program is a great one, though, and I’m looking forward to it! (Students, if you don’t have tickets yet, get some! There’s a great solo in the Bizet and Pam Hakl sounds lovely!)

In any case, I was finished with work at 10:00 PM. That was one long day. Today it’s a double service day, but I only wear the symphony hat of second oboist. I’m hoping that makes for a less crazy time.

Now I’m going to “veg out” for a time. I do that so well I don’t really need practice, but I’m going to practice “vegging” just the same!

And no, vegging out doesn’t require a single vegetable. Other than yours truly. ;-)
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