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Rehearsals Are Good




Recently I was preparing for an orchestral concert as the only rehearsal I was going to have was on the day. Being a percussionist this is quite often the case and can be scary if you haven't done any preparation.


Knowing a piece from listening to it in the background is not the same as knowing what I was going to be playing. Richard Strauss' Eine Alpensinfonie is a big piece and being able to place my occasional (but highly visible / audible) notes was essential.


Being a percussionist is not for the faint-hearted: we're usually placed at the back of the orchestra, raised up, we stand up to play and we're both very visible and (more often than not) very audible. Any percussionist has a horror story or two; I've certainly been in the position where I've stood up, picked up a pair of cymbals, prepared to play and then I've realised that I've missed the cue completely or I'm in totally the wrong place, so I put the cymbals back (unplayed) and sit down. It's not so much the :blushing: factor as the :stupid: feeling - the rest of the section thinking you've lost the plot and the conductor wondering what the 'loose cannon' will do next ...


So, rehearsals are good. I rolled up to this particular rehearsal having done some work on the Strauss, only for my section principal to announce that I was needed for another piece as well. I had played Tintagel (Arnold Bax) before but not for some time. So, not quite sight reading ... We started the play-through and I messed up my first entry (slightly too early) but that's what rehearsals are for - so you do it then and not in the performance (or so the theory goes) ... :rolleyes:


GA members who are testing the new site might recognise where this blog originated. It probably would have stayed there had not glitteryantlers gently reminded me the other day that she was waiting for another entry. So, this is for you, glittery!

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