BSUVC Concert

I've been feeling overwhelmed lately. In addition to regular teaching, I have big concerts coming up for which I am underprepared, AND my viola is in the shop for repairs. It's stressful, and I'm not sleeping well. On top of all that, last night when I was cooking, the knife slipped and I cut a big gash in my left middle finger. Today it hurts to play. Fantastic.

Needless to say, I wasn't in the best of moods today. I didn't sleep well because my finger was throbbing all night (literally throbbing-- it was awful!), and I had to wake up early to drive my viola down to the shop (50 minutes away), and I was late getting back to Muncie to teach. Argh! 

But then 2 PM rolled around, and time for the Ball State University Viola Choir rehearsal. It was the dress rehearsal to the concert that happened this evening at 5:30. As I sat in the audience, listening to the sound of these 8 violas, my very bad mood swept away. I was transformed from the grumpy, stressed out meanie that I was back to myself. My stress crept back as I taught another 2 lessons, but when 5:30 rolled around, I simply enjoyed the concert. There were no more corrections to be made (Balance! Dynamics! Cue!), and only music to be enjoyed.

And I really, really enjoyed.

One well-played viola sounds wonderful. EIGHT well-played violas sound glorious! No viola jokes present, this evening's concert honestly made my day. It helped me remember why I do everything that I do-- because I truly love music, and more than any other medium for it's communication, the viola posses the sound that I love most.

Though today started out very poorly, it ended very very well. I am so proud of this ensemble. So very very proud.

Happy practicing!

All in a month.

Phew, it's been a really busy couple of weeks! Last week I played with Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and next week I'll join the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra again, so things aren't letting up yet. Before then, though, I am joining the Anderson Symphony Orchestra and Sandi Patty for a Valentine's Day Pops concert this Saturday. It should be fun!

Playing with all of these different orchestras is very rewarding. It's great to play so much repertoire in such a consolidated amount of time, especially because a lot of it is new to me! Last week with Fort Wayne, we performed Listz's Les Preludes, Hanson's Symphony No. 2, and Bruch's Scottish Fantasy (with violinist Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker)-- all works I'd never played before! A few weeks ago with ISO, I played Strauss' Alpine Symphony, which I had never played either. It's great expanding my orchestral repertoire, meeting local musicians, and getting to hear soloists with whom I was not yet familiar... though, I must admit, it has been hard to make time to practice my recital repertoire. Eek! I'll have to put into better practice the time-management skills I encourage my students to adopt.

Another exciting performance happened this past Monday, when the Ball State University Viola Choir had it's inaugural performance during general recital hour (every Monday, the School of Music has a recital hour, either general or area, during which students can perform). I am so proud of my students! Viola Choir is fun. =) It's my favorite hour of the week, because we all get together and make awesome viola sounds without the stress that can sometimes accompany solo repertoire. It's great to see my students in a less formal setting than their lessons, and to give them another venue to incorporate musical ideas along with the technical changes I ask of them. Plus, we often have at least one other faculty member join us, so the group has a real sense of community. We are working on more repertoire and I hope that next year we'll be ready for a full concert. 

Happy practicing!