Soul Focus Photography, used with permission from Merran Cooke
Background photo found here
Playing classical music can take your mind away from “worrying about niggly little issues” and allow you to come back to work with a fresh perspective, says Crown Law Assistant Crown Counsel Merran Cooke, a member of the Vector Wellington Orchestra and organiser of the recently held ‘Counsel in Concert’ choral and orchestral performance. “I really enjoy the lawyers’ music group,” says Cooke. “It brings me back to when I was doing music as a teenager, and didn’t expect to get paid, just doing it for the pleasure of it.”
Cooke fell in love with music as a youngster. She played piano, recorder, and harp, but it “was the oboe that won out”. She started playing the “lovely” and relatively “rare” instrument as a 10 year old thanks to the encouragement of her music-loving parents, and fell completely in love with it when she made the Wellington Youth Orchestra four years later. “I really enjoy orchestral playing,” she says. “That was what I really loved, playing in a big group with lots of people. The teamwork aspect is what really appealed, and being part of a really big sound as well.”
Crazy to read about Lynn Harrell‘s experience with Delta. (I think I’ll avoid Delta from here on out. But then I rarely fly so they won’t miss me.)
Rejection is a powerful feeling and one we have all experienced in one form or another but I have to say that I was dumbfounded when I received a Dear John letter from Delta Airlines at the beginning of 2012. Like most rejection letters, it started off with such a polite tone I thought it was going to be good news but it turned ugly in short order and by the end, it seemed as though they were trying to make me feel like some sort of master criminal. And it seems my offense was nothing more than accruing miles for the full fare tickets purchased for my cello.
One of the realities of a career as a cello soloist is lots of flying and since trusting airlines with a multi-million dollar instrument as checked baggage is enough to trigger a fight-or-flight response, cellists have to suck it up and simply buy a second ticket for the instrument. After all, it’s not as though you can simply borrow the local Stradivari or Montagnana! Over the course of my entire career, I’ve been building miles under the cello’s account and in turn, those miles help reduce the costs of flights for the cello in future trips.
I understand why airlines force musicians to purchase an extra seat if we insist on taking large instruments on board rather than allowing them to throw them into the luggage area (although watching them attempt to destroy luggage as they load things makes me want to carry even my luggage on board with me!), but if some musicians have to pay for a seat, it only seems fair that they get those miles. Sigh.