Last night between measures of rest, I was thinking about my next blog post. “What have I done of interest lately?” I pondered, “What would make an interesting Musing?” Two years ago when I was sitting at my stand digging through the music from Saint-Saëns’ The Carnival of The Animals, I had an epiphany about the subject matter for my solo exhibition at the Maitland Art Center entitled Exquisite Harmony.
Many measures of rest for the second violin section have proven to be productive, at least in my case. If I were a first violin I’d never have so much thinking time. AND I’d never hit all the notes, either.
Then it came to me, why not talk about the Maitland Symphony Orchestra and invite locals to the Christmas Concert on December 15 at the Presbyterian Church of Maitland.
So there you have it.
Ok, let me back up. I have been playing the violin since the third grade, however I am not a great violin player by any means. Music is mathematical and requires strict concentration, of which I lack both. I do however, enjoy the camaraderie of our 100+ member symphony. Since I work from home, it is nice to get out to rehearsal on Thursday nights, meet new people and conspire with fellow musicians. Lisa, who sits behind me is also an artist. Robert, who sits next to me is a professor of physics at UCF. Jeff who sits in the viola section is a PhD chemist. Kris who sits in the flutes is a puppeteer. We have from very young faces to old, and everyone in this group has an interesting and unique back story. When we come together, it’s magical, you’ll find yourself singing out loud and swaying into the person on the pew next to you. Really.
For the Christmas Concert, we will have standing room only in the church, we always do. We prepare the show with a three-hour dress rehearsal (in addition to rehearsing for months and months every Thursday night) on that Saturday morning. Half way through the rehearsal we take a break and share a coffee and home-made treats, visiting for a few minutes with each other in the back stage area. Often times this is the only opportunity a second violin such as myself has to socialize with a cello or a brass player, since they sit far away on our huge stage. There really is not a lot of talking during rehearsal, risk it and suffer the wrath of the conductor!
Doors open at 7:00 to a crowd that may already be waiting for at least 20 minutes, it gets hot in there too! If you plan to attend this free concert sponsored by the Performing Arts of Maitland, and I hope you do, take some tips from someone who’s performed at least five of these concerts.
- Wear Layers, so you can strip down when you get hot
- Be prepared to wait, and arrive early
- Know that if you do not take the above advice, you may be sitting on the floor or standing in the lobby.
- If you can, make a donation to PAM when you leave (or online), as musicians we don’t have to pay to play in this Symphony, and the concerts are a wonderful community service.
Another reason I love playing concerts with this group is for the artistic inspiration. Over the years I’ve painted several violins and music inspired collages. The fashion opportunities (I love fashion almost as much as I love art) are limited when one is restricted to concert black, but I do tend to stretch the definition of black as far as I can. I mean really, how does someone who loves color stick with just one? There’s always my multicolored hair, and if you see me, check out my shoes!
See you at the concert!