I hope that all of you are enjoying the snow that we’ve had lately. Although it cancelled our last rehearsal, I think we will still be in good shape for the Winter term if we adequately prepare the Beethoven and Shostakovich over the break. There will be a playing test in week 1:) All PDF parts are up on the website and some bowed physical parts to the Beethoven will be available before the end of finals. Any of those physical parts that aren’t bowed will be ready for our first rehearsal in January, and in the meanwhile you can print up your own practice part from the PDF over break.
I wanted to take a moment and reflect on some of our successes this term. You did an excellent job preparing the Bruckner and performed it for a practically full house at Beall. Congratulations on a great start. I received lots of positive reviews and feedback for that concert and we continue to impress the Eugene and University community with our work. For those involved in the newly formed Chamber Orchestra, you did a remarkable job preparing the Mozart in short order. My idea for that ensemble is to rehearse quickly and perform at the highest level – no “woodshedding” in rehearsal. You came through and I was very pleased with your performance of the Mozart. I also look forward to the upcoming Chamber Orchestra works such as David Crumb’s Vestiges in the winter, and Aaron Copland’s 13 instrument version of Appalachian Spring in the Spring. It’s a great opportunity for a more professional model within our normal schedule/workload.
We were able to read two additional major works (Berlioz and Shostakovich) and did so well that it made sense adding them to the Joe Alessi concert. Finally, we had an opportunity to inspire younger students from West Salem by playing the Bruckner and Berlioz with them last week. That experience was far more than good PR. We shared our artistry with younger students and opened up a new sound world to them. You never know what impression your words, actions, or music-making made. I’m sure some of them now love music even more, and some may even have been inspired to take their own music-making to the next level. From my perspective, you carried yourself with great professionalism and treated them with respect and kindness. I thank you so much.
During the Q&A session, I told the W. Salem students that if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. All of you make me love my job and I am so thankful that we get to do what we love at every rehearsal. I look forward to a tremendous winter term filled with awesome repertoire, a world-class guest artist, and spending time together loving the symphonic repertoire more every day.
Have a restful and fulfilling Winter Break!