Monday, April 14, 2008
Yeah, it's like that...
We did good on our three pieces; we started together; we arrived at the end of the phrases together; we finished together; we had no obvious stumbles or misplays; we were in tune; our chords sounded sweet. I played the right notes, mostly (although there was that opening C on the Matz piece that somehow I played as a D...???), and my bowing was good. The audience was appreciative, and we got several nice compliments afterwards.
We had arrived at the church hall an hour and a half early to help with the setup and then we took the opportunity to run through our pieces a few times, trying to get past the distraction of hearing all those wonderful cello echoes and reverberations. Our last run-through was the best. A few hours later, we finally went on. Our three pieces lasted less than 10 minutes. I felt good. We all felt good. We sounded good. What else matters?
At the conclusion of several more individual performances, our orchestra then gathered to played our five pieces. This too was good. We'd been working on these since Christmas, so I didn't miss any notes, although I did slip out of tempo momentarily at one point and I heard a few squeals on some of my open As (I forced myself not to cringe - I think it's time to replace that string).
The orchestra has been invited to play at a dance troupe performance in mid-May.
Cellocracy has been rehearsing weekly for the last year or so. We meet at Cello3's house and we mutually talk our way through each piece. We have worked well together this way and we have enjoyed it. The challenge has been that it's so hard to hear ourselves in combination, and harder still to figure out what and how to improve. While we eventually get "there", we've talked about getting some outside assistance. So, Saturday we found a coach who will meet with us (at her new studio) on a monthly basis. She teaches piano and is quite an accomplished performer; she also plays viola and violin - although she reminded us that she does not play (or teach) the cello. But she has played with so many different performers - including lots of cellists - both locally and across the country. We're excited to be working with her. Our next scheduled gig is at the end of July.
Today, I returned to my lessons after a week devoted mainly to rehearsing for this concert. I'm afraid I won't be able to show much progress at my next lesson.
And I agree, working with a coach will be a good experience for you all.
We are really excited to be working with our area's most accomplished and most dedicated musician. We're lucky she agreed to take us on. It seems there's quite a waiting list of new students for her piano lessons.
My group had a coaching session with our conductor (who is not a cellist) right before our first performance and it was extremely helpful. He made a few suggestions that really helped us to sound better. I think it will really help your group play better together!
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