Last Wednesday, the Spring Concert was held in the auditorium. The theme was “Blossoming Strings” for HS orchestra, and included classic pieces as well as jazz pieces. I believe the concert went well and we were able to play well as a group. I especially liked this concert as playing as a symphony orchestra was always something I wanted from when I was in 6th grade.
The repertoire started off with Brandenburg Concerto, a classical piece which I think the ensemble performed best, because we had especially worked on keeping a stable rhythm as a group and keeping together. As always, we tend to rush because we do not listen enough to other sections because we are so preoccupied with the music in front us. However, I believe that we were able to improve a lot throughout our practice.
Personally, I think I performed best in Bacchanale. As I was given the music about a week before the performance, I did not have much time to rehearse with the group so I had to depend on the recording and practice by myself. I was slightly apprehensive about this piece not only because I didn’t have much practice but also because the castanet was such a crucial part, setting the rhythm for the entire piece and I knew that I had to pay attention at all times and ensure that my counting was accurate, so as not to mess up and confuse the others. In the video, it seems as if I am unsure and playing randomly, but I payed attention at all times, counting accurately and listening to certain parts where some instruments enter, which I had previously noted down during rehearsal and I believe I was able to play confidently and without mistakes. I was also relieved to hear from my brother, who is dead honest, that my part stood out a lot and that it matched with the other sections.
Concerto for Timpani was most technically challenging because our part often included notes that were in a rather high range, which we as whole did not have much practice in, and good intonation was essential. We also had to ensure that we were listening to other parts because the melody would often alternate within the different sections.
A String of Pearls, although was not one of the pieces that I had performed best, was my favourite because I am focusing on jazz improv for this unit and I was able to listen to fellow students doing improv for a few measures, as opposed to professional jazz artists. Before the concert, I had listened to the original song, played by Glenn Miller Orchestra and there was a lot of swing to the song, which us amateurs can never exactly imitate as we are perhaps afraid of being flexible regarding rhythm because we often play pieces that have a set rhythm, but it is for sure one of the characteristics of the song which I love so much. I also loved how the trumpeter’s improv was so simple, without complicated rhythms and simply using the scale yet so put together.