I recently participated in the last concert for the Pride of the Prairie Orchestra’s 2010-2011 season. We had three concerts this year–the programs for our last two concerts are shown in the picture for this entry. I guess I lost the program from our first concert!
It’s been fun being involved with the orchestra again. I played the violin in the orchestra when I was in high school, but drifted away from it after going to college. About a year ago, an orchestra member asked me to fill in for a member who was in the hospital–on the clarinet (which I had not played in 20+ years). That one concert gave me the orchestra bug again, but our crazy family schedule really made the chances of being a regular participant look pretty grim.
I have a wonderful husband, though, who tries to be as flexible as possible. Our biggest scheduling conflict is with scouts. The orchestra rehearses on Monday evenings which is the same time that John and Brock have their Scout meetings. Dan usually goes with them, and that leaves me with the younger three kids–not an optimal situation for an orchestra rehearsal. So, I just kind of put the plan on hold until the kids are older. Then the orchestra members started calling me at the beginning of the school year about playing in the first violin section. I explained our scheduling conflict, but told them that if they were willing to work with me, we’d see what we could do. We came to the agreement that they’d get me the music ahead of time and I’d try to make the last 3-4 rehearsals for each concert. This isn’t ideal because I felt like I was always playing “catch-up,” but it was really the only way that I could participate at all. There were several times that I actually ended up bringing the younger three kids with me to the rehearsals, but they were always very well-behaved and caused no problems at all.
Speaking of the kids, they have all enjoyed the concerts too! Cosette can hardly wait until she can be in the orchestra with me. I told her that when that time comes, I will try to move down to the second violin section so I can help her along the way. I mentioned that to one of the other first violinists, and she wasn’t too pleased with that plan–I guess we’ll have to see what happens when the time gets here.
This last concert was especially challenging. We had a couple of songs by Dmitri Shostakovich that were just really difficult to play or understand. Fortunately, we had some fun big band songs too which helped us get through these other songs. It’s strange, though, because the one I really did not care for, the Finale from the Symphony No. 5 in G Minor, really did grow on me at the end. (More like during the last couple of rehearsals). Several orchestra members expressed the same thing, and we were all really kind of sad to put it away! Our conductor made the comment that that is indicative of a great piece. (i.e. going from disliking to not wanting to quit the song). Another funny thing about that song: my kids all thought it was the best song of the season! 🙂
I don’t have a recording of our orchestra playing this song, but I did find a video on You Tube of a more, um……professional….orchestra playing it. I’m sure it sounds better than our performance did anyway! 🙂