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I have never worked harder on music since high school piano guild auditions. For the first time since I started playing with our symphony, I feel like I will be contributing more than just taking up a chair. The theme of the concert is featuring all the different instrument categories, including voice. I thought I'd mention progress I've made on specific songs:
March of the Meistersingers: I can now play it up to speed except for the runs, which I skip to the last note. Sorry, that's as good as it's gonna get before Sunday. I know this is not considered a difficult piece, we played it in high school. (arranged by Herfurth) I feel very confident playing this now. I don't do the double bowing on the last 8 measures, just single, but it lets me stay with it and enjoy it.
Holiday for Strings and Holiday for Trombones, both arranged by David Rose. I can't say I adore either of these. They were written when I was just a baby, in the Big Band Era. There are a lot of style and melody similarities between the two. I'm most proud of the work I've done on the chromatics, all the half steps, and key changes into 3-5 flats. I've concentrated hard on listening, and the 5th position parts I played down an octave or two to get what it's supposed to sound like. Tonight I'm able to hit the high A on the E string way way way up the fingerboard! I had felt very un-confident about the intonation, now I'm feeling much better. I figured out that when I can play an open string, it's a place to quickly check if my intonation has started "creeping" up and correct it. This is huge for me.
A Trumpeter's Lullaby, by Leroy Anderson. This may be one of the first pieces of music I listened to and memorized (in my head) from hearing it on the radio. Kindergarten, maybe. Still love it. No real difficult parts for me here.
Je veux vivre from Romeo and Juliet, C. Gounod. Only a couple difficult measures for me; we're accompanying this woman with a gorgeous voice! I got a kick out of looking this up on YouTube. She will be in costume, too.
Overture to Candide, Leonard Bernstein. Reading about the history of this piece helped me understand its' quirky wackyness but has not helped me play it. "Allegro con molto brio," sorry, I'm not there yet. Lots of 5th position and higher, changes between 3/2 and 2/2 time every other measure, violin effects that sound like bird chirping to me, oh my. At least it stays in E flat throughout. I tried. I'm nowhere technically ready for this. I'll be playing this one softly.
Glorious Is Thy Name, by Mozart. One of our members transcribed this for our orchestra from a recording and the sheet music for the french horn. With permission. This is so much fun to play, and beautiful. If I get the last note right, as I mentioned in another thread, all the time I have put in to this will have paid off.
A Somerset Rhapsody by Gustav Holst. I am so in love with this music. It's been a big challenge but I can hold my own in most places now. Eerie transition key changes, lots of accidentals that have made me work harder on intonation and shifting. Part of this reminded me of parts of Ralph Vaughn Williams' English Folksong Suite, and as I read about this, I learn that Holst and Vaughn Williams were friends throughout their lives. I was kind of jazzed that I made that connection before I found that out. Parts of this make me begin to cry. Seriously. A lot of music affects me that way.
Our encore will be Let There Be Peace On Earth. Sorry, I've heard this one way too many times, but it's easy to play and the audience will love it, and that matters a lot.
I'm eager for this concert to be over, now that I have carved out a practice plan to focus on. I also want to submit some video for critique here. If you're still reading this, thanks for bearing with me. I hope I didn't bore you.