Sunday, May 22, 2011

smiting, frogs, lice, more smiting

I was busy yesterday with not one, but two rehearsals in preparation for our concert this afternoon:

Sunday May 22, 4:00 pm
Persons Auditorium, Marlboro College, Marlboro, Vermont

An extraordinary feast for the ears, Handel's Israel in Egypt is a riveting story of human passion and determination in the face of overwhelming odds. Plagues, flies and locusts, and the Red Sea crossing: this is the story of the Exodus writ large. Featuring some of the most dazzling orchestral writing in the choral repertoire, the Brattleboro Concert Choir is accompanied by a stellar festival orchestra and features outstanding soloists Junko Watanabe, soprano, Christopher Dudley, countertenor, and Peter Shea, tenor.


Setting up for rehearsal Friday night. (Yes, Mom, this is where you and I went to that concert last summer.)


I happen to be in the front row, all the way over on stage right (audience’s left) – right behind the guy with the timpani. Two ginormous copper drums. It takes a fair amount of self-discipline for me to keep my hands off them. That’s his score, above.  It turns out that often, orchestra members don’t bother to learn a thing about the words that their chorus is singing. And why should they? It’s not in their score. Even other people’s parts are not in their score.

They have whole chunks of the music excised from their own instrument’s sheet music, and replaced with a number to tell them how many measures are going to go by before their part comes in.


Like so – 9 measures missing. In rehearsal, the brass and wind section members are all naughty: reading, doing the crossword puzzle, texting, waiting for their turn to play.

Our choir director wrote up a cheat sheet for the orchestra members so they’d know what we’re blathering on and on about behind them, on our risers:





I’ll be back tomorrow with more Nature Pitchers.

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