Daily Archives: January 19, 2004

O Frabjous Day!

I just got a parcel from my parents in the mail. In it was the manual that goes with my printer.

Now that I know what all the buttons mean, I can photocopy. Thank you, gods!

And thank you, Mum, for the January treat!

Update: Aha. If I don’t click on the black & white button, the copier assumes it’s in colour – even if the original is b&w. And I end up with green music to practice with. Well, it’s, um… different.

From the “It’s A Small World” File

Yesterday was the first rehearsal for Beethoven’s Ninth. Walked in, sat down, smiled at the bassist, said hello to the cellists I played with last November, and set up. The conductor (who’s a riot) announced that just for kicks, we’d start off with the fourth movement.

Yes. The movement. It’s what the Ninth Symphony is all about, really.

Me: Erk! Gulp!

(You see, the cellos figure prominently in the forth movement. Erk, indeed.)

And then the conductor lifted his head from his score and said, “Is that good for you, Brad? Can you do half a rehearsal here, then half off wherever else you need to be?”

Naturally, not knowing everyone in this symphony orchestra, I turned my head to follow his line of sight. As I did, a voice said, “No, I’m all yours today. It’s good.”

I blinked. I know Brad. Last time I saw him was, oh, seven years ago.

So we played (and what a ride, to sight-read the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Ninth – I mean, really), the cellos got lots of compliments, and eventually we took a break. I put away my cello and got my water bottle, then picked a path through the chaos of instruments and strangers wandering around playing random bits of music to themselves all the way to the back where Brad sat with his trumpet on his lap, talking with someone else who was, oh my gods, the music teacher from my old high school.

I waited politely until they’d finished their topic of conversation, and when Brad turned to me, I said, “Last time I saw you, you were standing in the doorway to my apartment, holding out a bottle of IBC root beer and telling me that you couldn’t stay for my housewarming.”

We exclaimed and laughed a bit and caught up on the past seven years. He’s married, too. He complimented me on having reached a level of ability equivalent to playing with this symphony (and ooh, didn’t my ego need that bit of bolstering, although I admitted I was an emergency fill-in). Then he turned to introduce me to his friend Murray. I smiled and say, “Yes, Murray Rosenhek. You taught music at Mac High while I was there.”

He charmingly admitted that he didn’t remember me, which was highly amusing since, as I quickly assured him, I never took one of his classes. All my friends took music, but as our school didn’t teach strings, I took drama instead. When he asked with whom, and I told him Elaine Evans, he said, “Oh, that was twenty years ago!” as if that explained his memory lapse. Brad got a good laugh out of it.

It was good to share memories with someone who had been instrumental (if you’ll pardon the pun) in getting me into orchestra. It all began rather oddly. Brad, having access to Concordia’s database of students, contacted me via e-mail with compliments after he’d seen me sing in LLO’s production of The Pirates of Penzance. We started messaging, got to know one another, hung out a bit, and then one day he proposed an interesting gig: his wind orchestra was performing a really modern symphony by Johan de Meij called Lord of the Rings, and they had the idea of writing a dramatic narrative to introduce the symphony as a whole, as well as the individual movements. Would I be interested in performing something like that? And did I know someone with a good deep voice who could co-narrate with me?

Heck, yes!

Thus it was that Tal and I were guest performers with the Lakeshore Concert Band in May of 1998. (Okay, so Brad and I haven’t seen one another in six years. Feels like longer.) One of the last times I saw Brad was when he invited me along with some of the concert band to attend a Canada Day chamber orchestra concert in Pointe-Claire village. They all urged me to talk to the conductor and ask about joining. As secure as I was in my dramatic abilities, I was just as insecure about my cellistic talents, and as much as I wanted to play with an ensemble the level of technique displayed in the concert scared the hell out of me.

Has anyone made the connection yet?

Yes. I eventually managed to screw up the courage to call that conductor and inquire about a place for a cellist in the Lakeshore Chamber Orchestra. It’s now my third season with them.

And now Brad and I are playing together in Cantabile. Small world, indeed.