Posts tagged ‘orchestra’

A Little Holiday Entertainment

"Cello" by Pixomar / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Cello” by Pixomar / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Today I decided to attend the Joliet Symphony Orchestra holiday concert.  I haven’t been into the “Ho Ho Ho!”s, the animated snowmen, and the glowing reindeer as much the last few years —  and I usually prefer to perform in concerts, rather than be performed to — but there is something to be said for the peace and joy that some holiday music can bring.   So, after being invited by a friend from the orchestra, and taking a peek at the program, I decided I to go.

I am so glad I went.  From the beginning, I was already tearing up during the Offenbach Intermezzo and Barcarolle.  Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker reminded me of my childhood, and I got excited with each piece I recognized; I remembered watching the ballet, and I also remembered being the little sugar-plum fairy, in her homemade ballerina costume, who used to spin around the house to the music of her parents’ old record.

The soloists were also a  fantastic touch.  The flautist’s runs during Chaminade were amazing, the baritone’s voice was rich and deep during Handel’s “The Trumpet Shall Sound” from Messiah, and the harp and percussion did an amazing job throughout.  As a clarinetist myself, I eagerly strained to hear the beautiful clarinet solos, and I melted every time the violins began to play.

I miss playing, but it was really a fascinating experience being on the other side.  I probably won’t be able to return the orchestra for some time, but I intend to continue coming to see them play.

So Happy


I cried on the drive home yesterday evening.  It was a happy cry.  It was the feeling that I wanted to be that happy forever.  I had a fantastic concert.  I played my best yet on all of the pieces, and I did a great job on my solo (despite being incredibly nervous!).  It was great getting all of the compliments.  I’d missed that.  Before I kept thinking: “I’m good at things!  I’m somebody!  Why don’t people realize it?”  I know it’s important what I think about myself.  I know I shouldn’t care what others think.  But, it is nice to be appreciated.

Brian and I decided to go the after party, and I’m glad we stopped by for a while.  We chatted a bit with the father of one of my good friends who got me involved in the orchestra in the first place.  He fascinated us with descriptions of the Southwest, the land, and the crystal clear sky.  (He said that from his land atop a mountain, you felt your head was in the Milky Way!)  And I especially perked up when he spoke of the Anasazi and how he’d explored their ancient dwellings.  He moaned about how his family wouldn’t go with him, and I cried: “We’ll be your family!!”

I know someday we’ll go there.  I hope to travel across the whole United States.  Brian and I have joked about getting an RV and wandering the U.S., but I think we secretly really want to.  We talk about our dreams of someday traveling all over, someday when our lives are more secure, and we’ve got more money in the bank.

And I’m beginning to believe that my dreams will come true.  I finally joined a musical, something that satisfies two pictures on my dream board: singing and acting.  (And I should have dancing up there, too!)  And with the work I’m doing in the rest of my life, I hope to fulfill my dreams of being a writer, traveling the world, and everything else!

Image: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Orchestra!

So, my clarinet case got bigger and my clarinet cloned itself. Well, not really. It’s taking a friend home for the weekend . . . Uh. . . I’ll explain in a bit.

Today was my first ever experience in orchestra, and it was awesome. First of all, the campus of St. Francis was even neat. It had a welcoming, open feeling, with decent facilities. I felt right at home. The white brick on the back of the stage was a bit odd, but still cool. Kinda castle-like. . .

It seems like we have less music in the orchestra. This is awesome. Though I get some good experience trying out a bunch of new pieces in band, we usually don’t have a final list of what we’re playing until we get close to the concert. This is problematic for me because . . . well. . . I don’t like to practice. I lost the desire some time in high school. In middle school I was this super enthusiastic little kid who thought playing an instrument was amazing, was determined to be first chair, and spent over a thousand dollars of my own savings to buy a nice clarinet. In high school I had first chair wrapped up, the clarinet was a little too comfy and normal, and I had other things I was doing (mostly school work, but also other things!) So, less music = less to practice (when I actually practice) AND more times practicing the same pieces in rehearsal.

And based on this first rehearsal, I think I’m going to like orchestra even better than band. It could be the newness feeling. It could be that this will wear off. But I like the director, and the instrumentalists around me are all about my age, but also young-like. Don’t get me wrong. I like older people. I will hang out with much people older than me most any day, compared to those who are much younger. But these people seem to be different. It could be our music bond. We’re all band dorks. Again, I could just be on a brand-new-activity high. . .

The craziest part of all is that one of the clarinetists gave me his A clarinet to borrow. Just let me take it home. A complete stranger! I don’t know if I seem that trustworthy or if he is that awesome, but I am now the borrower of a huge clarinet case that houses my Bb clarinet and his A, like two little. . . clarinets in a pod.

I already got a compliment from a flautist and the director, and he told me he hopes to see me at next rehearsal, so I am looking forward to next week. And this was only sectionals. . . I can’t wait to get the experience of being in the midst of a full orchestra!

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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