Concert 2009

12 03 2008

Forgive me if my posts have been somewhat predictable as of late – but this is really how I work; as soon (even long before) as one concert is finished, I’m already planning for the next one. Ideas of all sorts are jumbled-up in my head, and it’s getting hard to flesh one out before another one bellows for my attention.

I do realize I’m planning for Concert 2009 – what to play, where to play it, how to play it. I’ve been able to get my hands on a fully-orchestrated score for Elgar’s Nimrod – I’ll have to get that into Sibelius and then start to arrange it. I’ve been listening to a lot of Eminence Orchestra – especially their chamber music. They play such amazing arrangements – I am green with envy.

Running parallel to those thoughts are ideas as to how to prepare The Orchestra for so ambitious an undertaking. For one, it will have to be a tighter ensemble – the unspoken motto for us is that our last performance, no matter how good, should be our worst performance – which means the next one should be better.

But what does better mean? More performers? Sure, I’d love to conduct a 130-piece orchestra (Can you imagine the sheer power such an orchestra can produce?), but we don’t have that many players yet. How about playing more in tune and blending together better? That’s not something you can expect from beginners. As such, that will mean having to eventually do away with our policy of allowing absolute beginners to play with us right away. Do I dare jeopardize our recruitment program that way? 31 only sounds like a lot of people – it’s not.

Nevertheless, the principals can expect more opportunities to perform chamber music together, while the more veteran section players can expect to be herded (what a word – “herded”) into small groups and be asked to play short pieces during several small events next school year. Beginners who would like to play in The Orchestra can expect at least 6 months of probationary training before being allowed to audition. That way, we prevent the unfortunate but all-too-common occurence of beginners learning to play the songs instead of their instruments. Maybe we will keep the 3rd Violins. Maybe we will redo the patterns for the ties of the violin sections. We need winds! We need brass! We need dedicated percussionists!

So many ideas…my head’s going to explode…

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