Monday, September 04, 2006

Concert in the Park or Die, Demon, Die

Director Eric (actually from last year's park concert, but you get the idea).

I neglected to invite Officer Friendly to the orchestra concert at the park. It was a beautiful evening without him though (Officer Friendly being the policeman from all the Richard Scarry books--a friend to all).

It was cloudy here all day yesterday--dark, dense clouds that reflected off of the lake to give everything a steely kind of feel. By concert time, some of those clouds had opened up to give us just a little hint of sunset, but enough sunwarmth was blanketed out to give us just a little hint of fall. It couldn't have been more perfect for a Labor Day gig.

Hee hee. I said "gig." It took me quite a while to be able to say the word "gig" when referring to a musical performance that involved me. It has taken me over six years to even think of myself as a musician, and well, anyone who isn't a musician but still says "gig" just sounds silly.

Anyway, about this concert--it was a pops concert, which is the best kind for a park setting when admission is free. People who set out blankets and lawn chairs and let their little kids bobble up and down and giggle to the point of distraction aren't interested in a full symphony. They want Hollywood. So we played "Pirates of the Caribbean," which is always a treat for the horn section. We did a medly from "West Side Story," because Director Eric is a big fan of Leonard Bernstein. He once attended a conductor's session under Bernstein's direction. And we did some 60s stuff left over from a 60s concert last spring. We did a couple of incredibly beautiful string pieces--one from Mozart and one that nearly made me weep by Masacgni. And we did a piece from The Barber of Seville made famous by Bugs Bunny.

The highlight for me was the third movement of Brahm's Fourth, though. I am so excited to dig into the entire symphony for the October concert. I have no idea which part I'll be playing, but I'll bet it won't be the third part that I played just last night, the third part which I played well, I'll add with newfound confidence. I'll most likely be on fourth. Well, I keep telling myself, as least I have a seat at all.

Here is where I wring my hands and fret over the possibility that I will not be invited to play at all. What if the personnel director chooses a different fourth horn this year? What if she and Director Eric decide on a different player and send me a nice "thank you" letter in the mail. "Thank you for your service these past five years, but you suck."

These are the unwelcomed words of what I have come to call the "horn demon." As an exercise, more like an exorcism, I created a visual of this loud and tormenting demon who will not die. I will post his hideous image later today, after he has been bound and muzzled so as not to cause any harm.


Anonymous said...

You ARE a musician...a very dedicated one, and one who strives for excellence! Those are my favorite kind of musicians. Your horn demon is just like my performance demon. After 40+ years of performing (yes, really!), I still am plagued at times by NERVES.
I had the opportunity to complain to #1 violin player this morning about the absolutely crappy instrument I had to play on Sunday night. NO ONE ELSE is expected to play an instrument that is not in good repair. I was told about 15 min. before the concert by general manager friend that one of the keys was acting "funky". Oh joy...sure enough, it was playing badly. But, if this person knew the keyboard was playing improperly, WHY WASN'T IT FIXED?
Oh well...on to Oct. 7 concert. Actually, I don't think there is a keyboard part for this "gig".
Yes, I still say it!
Pianist friend

Rob said...

You know, I was listening to you play that night and wondering why they don't give you the Clavinova. I know it's a pain to transport, but it's worth it. And so are you, baby.