Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First rehearsal with the Rice Symphony

Hello everyone!

After doing a week of injury prevention workshops and another week of auditions, 
the Rice Symphony Orchestra had its first rehearsal of the year today!

It was an incredibly exciting, yet nerve-racking day leading up to the rehearsal for me;
I had had so many 'Rice orchestra' talks with former Rice students who told me horror stories of what happened to students who were not prepared for the first rehearsal, 
and how intense Mr. Rachleff is.
(it was the strangest thing, everyone seemed to love him,
 yet be rather terrified of him at the same time)
and everyone always ended with,
"just make sure to be really prepared for the first rehearsal!"

I did my best to be 'really prepared' for the rehearsal, 
though I was a bit worried that my definition of 'really prepared' wouldn't be intense enough.
Once we started rehearsing, however, there wasn't really time to be having any misgivings.
Mr. Rachleff got on the podium, welcomed us, cracked a few jokes, 
and began running the piece right away!

I couldn't believe how good everyone sounded!
Definitely a jaw-dropping moment for me...
I mean, it was our very first time reading the piece together!

I think every section of the orchestra is really strong, 
but I was especially blown away by the bass section.
Perhaps because in the orchestras I've played in, there was always a bit of a bass-shortage.
But here, I think there were 9 (or 10) incredibly strong bassists!!
Consequently, the amount of the bass that resonated through the orchestra...
wow... it really makes a huge difference!  
And when they had their solo in the 2nd movement of the Sibelius Symphony?
There was much feet shuffling throughout the orchestra, showing our support of their rocking their solo.

And now I also see what all of my Rice friends have been trying to tell me about Mr. Rachleff.
I can't yet put words to his mannerisms yet, but there's definitely something really wonderful 
about the way he interacts with us;  
part joking, part stern (this part is a bit scary), part making fun, part complimentary...
It's difficult to see how one can NOT like the guy.
and it's really incredible what he can lead the orchestra to achieve in a single rehearsal.

Our next rehearsal is going to be on Bolcom's 9th symphony, which was written for us!
We'll be giving the world premiere performance of it in October, which is super exciting!
Oh, and our orchestra is giving 3 (THREE) performances of this program!
3?!   =O
I think this is pretty unheard of in terms of student orchestras...  no?
Well, I guess it definitely gives us enough chances to perform the repertoire  =)

With the orchestra rehearsals under way, it finally feels like school has really started here.
I'm excited for our next orchestra rehearsal (did I really just say that?  haha),
and I hope you are all enjoying your week as much as I am!  

Thanks for stopping by!

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