Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's Orchestra Season Again!

Tonight I resumed playing with the Castro Valley Chamber Orchestra--my musical pals since the beginning of 2007. Each year, from September to June, we gather on Tuesday nights at the middle school and rehearse for two hours each week, preparing for our three concerts per session.

Tonight we played a Mozart Double Piano Concerto that featured one of the most out-of-tune pianos I've ever heard. It made the great composer sound like the entertainment in a honky tonk bar despite fine playing by Tom. We also went through a piece this same fine piano player composed that will be a treat for anyone attending the upcoming concert on Sunday, October 23.

We tackled another Mozart piece, Symphony No. 31, which, unlike the Double Piano Concerto, I had never laid eyes on before. I was gratified at the amount of notes I was able to play on the first time through, sightreading. Part of the reward of playing in a community orchestra, besides the beauty and the camaraderie, is seeing yourself grow and improve over time.

Josh, our beloved and very hard working conductor, recommended playing chamber music to improve your sensitivity to other players, and I couldn't agree more. I belong to the Chamber Musicians of Northern California, which puts on three weekend workshops a year for players with at least some experience playing. I've attended about a dozen so far. The next workshop is the weekend of October 15-16, but you should join the group and apply now if you're interested.

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