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Hilarious rehearsal quotes
Ah, the life of a musician...
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (19 votes) 
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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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October 17, 2021 - 6:41 am
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University orchestra, short program (new piece and Sibelius violin concerto):

 

(lights go out)
"Nightclub!"
(starts disco dancing)
(to stage manager)
"Dave, are you trying to save money in the middle of our rehearsal?"

"And very erratically, we arrive at letter E."

"Can you give more on the forte, trumpets? I never thought I'd say this."

(on missing parts for the following concert being distributed)
"Anyone else missing something? It's all for the same price. . . . This is like when you go to a really good restaurant and the waiter remembers everything. Just write it down, man! When I'm in Buenos Aires, I go to restaurants and there are groups of 20 or more people all ordering different things, and the waiters insist on remembering everything. Anyway, I digress."

"I'm pretty sure that's just a missing plus sign. Play it pizz, if she [the composer] doesn't like it she can sue me... all the way from Paris!"

"It reminds me of my chickens. I love my chickens, so it's a nice memory. . . . Don't let your phobia of chickens get in the way, play the part."

"That was nice, but I need more craziness in the cellos. Like... AAAAAAAUGH, the water's too hot in the shower!"

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ELCBK
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October 17, 2021 - 8:42 am
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@AndrewH -

So much fun! 

Are all Orchestra's this much fun?

...reminds me of the guys I worked with in the Military - always cracked me up. 🥰

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AndrewH
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October 19, 2021 - 5:46 pm
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Well, both of the orchestras I'm playing in this year have the same conductor...

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Gordon Shumway
London, England
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October 22, 2021 - 9:52 am
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Today: "First violins, why do you keep messing up that rhythm? Oh, I know - it's because you haven't seen a quaver [eighth note] for half an hour"

To principal cello: "Please don't tap your foot - it's offputting when it's out of time with me."

Re Dall'Abaco parts full of hairpins. "I just want louds and softs. Ignore all the Wagner rubbish" (hairpins and clutter are 19th century editorial additions)

Andrew

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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November 11, 2021 - 6:34 pm
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Another concert done, which means another set of rehearsal quotes.

The program:

Laura Schwartz, Figment (new piece)
Carl Nielsen, Violin Concerto
Jean Sibelius, Symphony No. 2

 

"It's all syncopated. You're a goat! Put your antlers there, you're chasing the whole orchestra! . . . From L again. Syncopation goat!"

"Let's do that and add a bit more to the confusion."

"Life's not fair, you know? It may be your B-flat, but it may not be somebody else's. You'll need to negotiate and agree on something."

"It should not be together... no, it should be together, just not at the same time!"

"This reminds me of a joke I've heard about Finns. I suppose it could also apply to Swedes, but anyway: when you meet them in the street, what's the difference between a Finnish introvert and a Finnish extrovert? The Finnish introvert, when he's talking to you, looks straight down at his own feet. The Finnish extrovert also looks straight down, but looks at your feet. That's how this needs to sound. Even though it's really special, it needs to be in the background. If Sibelius were Italian, he'd be shouting it all over."

"Brass, at letter T: bells up, triple f, burn it."

"This reminds me of the show with the dolphin -- was it called Flipper? The violas ending: it's just Flipper. I can't think of anything else now."

"Before we start the scherzo, I just want to say the most important thing is to relax. You know how to play it. When you get nervous, that's when things happen like rushing and forgetting the dynamics. The best thing to do, where we are now, is to have a glass of wine and relax--DON'T have a glass of wine, just relax!"

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ELCBK
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November 11, 2021 - 8:48 pm
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@AndrewH -

Do you take notes, or record all these? 

They're HILARIOUS! 

...scary too, because I understand them.

Thanks for all these quotes! 

 

https://i1.treknature.com/photos/3964/dolphin.jpg

 

...they call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning,
No-one you see, is smarter than he,
And we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder,
Flying there-under, under the sea! 
 
- Emily
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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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November 11, 2021 - 9:27 pm
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I try to type as many quotes as I can remember into my phone both at the mid-rehearsal break and at the end of rehearsal. I forget some, but I remember most of the good ones because I don't have to remember them for very long.

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Gordon Shumway
London, England
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November 12, 2021 - 2:45 am
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Unfortunately I have a terrible memory and no smartphone.

My conductor Julian Williamson is very jovial, but he's less about jokes and more about historical anecdotes (he's approaching 80). "I’d studied piano and conducting" (quote from the link). He's also a violist.

The thing about Julian's humour is the context and his way of expressing himsef.

t=2439s

Today we played the first 4 bars (@40:39 - the link should go straight there, but it doesn't) and he stopped us and said, with a very slight hint of sarcasm, "this movement is an excellent example of when not to make any noise during a rest."

which was both witty and wise.

In a different movement where we had 8 D's followed by 8 Eb's, "it helps here if you wait for everyone to finish with their D's before you begin on your Eb's"

Andrew

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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November 21, 2021 - 8:20 pm
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Now that the UCDSO concert has taken place... more conductor quotes!
 
Program:
Mathilde Wantenaar, Prélude à une nuit américaine
Colin McPhee, Tabuh-Tabuhan
Jean Sibelius, Symphony No. 2
 
"This is not Flight of the Bumblebee. This is sempre forte... sempre annoying."
 
"Brass, where are you? I can't hear you!" (pause) "Have you ever heard that before?"
 
(orchestra had been asked to continue playing unconducted)
Conductor (from offstage): Where are the trumpets?
Trumpeter: Sir, we thought you stopped conducting.
Conductor (still offstage): The conductor is dead, keep playing!
 
"Unless you can play with your eyebrows, I can tell you're not playing."
 
"The tam-tam, we really need to show off. Right now it's OK if it's hiding back there, but for the concert... it needs to look expensive. Maybe I'll bring some metal polish."
 
"With... a lot of vodka. This is music that stinks of vodka. When you play... it sounds like mineral water from the Alps. This has nothing to do with it."
 
"How can we make our section gain 85 pounds per person in five minutes? We need a lot of Chipotle here. Not the good kind -- there is a good kind, but that's not what we need."
 
"I hear a sense of optimism from some of the first violins playing a C-sharp. That happens later. This is Finland. You are depressed by default. But the optimism is appreciated!"
 
"N as in Not Mahler."
 
"When we get to this part, we need you to be a barbershop quartet."
 
"Letter N comes like a punch in the face from Rocky Balboa."
 
"See, listen to the trumpets. They don't bother to ask, they just--"
 
"Replace the sandpaper with anything you have in your wallet. Credit card, Apple Pay, we accept all methods!"
 
"Composers aren't known for writing fortissimo in trumpet parts, but here we are."
 
"It's a Cuban triplet. I love Cuban food, don't get me started... when you play this, think of Cuba, even though the guy had nothing to do with Cuba."
 
"The pianissimo should be very relaxed, like a dance... and then TAKATAKATAKA! Here comes the bouncer to throw you out of the club. It's quite shocking and a little scary."
 
"Think of the worst movie you've ever seen. And replicate it."
 
"It's a singing-in-the-shower moment." (sings melody, mimes shampooing hair) "A little more gel and it will work."
 
"Don't play so normal!"
 
"Who's enjoying the little gong? -- who's on the gong?"
 
"This opening is like an offering: it's like you're offering someone... something."
 
"Sibelius, Mendelssohn, what's the difference?"
 
"The audience has to be overcome with emotion! This is the greatest ending to a symphony ever -- except for Sibelius's 7th. You can tell I like the guy."
 
"All of you stand up at T -- even the tuba. We'll get you a U-Haul truck or something."
 
"Stand up gradually so people don't think it's an emergency and run for the exits. Gradually, like you meant it and it was planned. Put on your dark shades and all."
 
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ELCBK
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November 21, 2021 - 11:40 pm
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Laughing So Hard Smiley

 

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