Orchestra: Starting from Scratch


I had my first orchestra rehearsal today!- It’s actually pretty quick considering that we only had auditions Monday…

But wow. Let me just say, it’s like I’m literally starting from scratch.

First off, these are legit music students. The first violins are all graduate students and have the infamous violin hickey mark on their necks. And jeepers, how were they able to sight read the pieces so well?!

Now I get why I’m in seconds (oh geez, that sounded super obnoxious…). Let me explain. The orchestras I’ve been in before have been mostly composed of students, so the levels of skill are different and I was considered pretty good. But in the Iowa Symphony Orchestra, I’m starting from scratch. EVERYONE’S good here; heck, they’re studying music!- So it’s not like I all of a sudden lost my ability, just now I’m in a new field and it’s something fresh and new.

And at first it was weird, but I like it. It’s like they’re my senpais or sunbaes. (yes, Marissa, I just used a Japanese phrase. You guise say it so many times that it was the first word I thought of XD). Like they’re so…good! Now I get what someone said to me; it is an honor to be able to play with such excellent musicians.

I could even tell the difference in our first run through of the piece. The conductor was professional and still was laid back but he was serious when he looked at the second violin section and sternly said “You guys will have to practice hard on your parts.” And holy cow, forget doing a more held back version of the pieces; we were doing it at the actual concert tempo. And mind you, we’re playing Carnival Overture by Dvarak which is quite fast. As we’d say in my orchestra in Westmount, it was like going at Peter speed. …yeah X).

But it was exhilarating. And the whole time I was just excited to be a part of something this good. Ah, I wish I had a better word than just ‘good’ to explain it but I can’t think of anything else. I mean, geez, we’re going to tour to Kansas City as an orchestra! That’s exciting! And just the opportunity to play with sunbaes who are so much older and more experienced than me is awesome and inspiring.

Okay, I’m going to stop fawning over my orchestra now X). But I’m excited to see how the season will go and anticipating the beautiful music I get to make with such talented people~


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