Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 2 - More Gothic-ness

The first official rehearsal for the Gothic Symphony commenced today. Unfortunately there was only a smattering more bodies to boost the orchestra's volume from the previous rehearsal. This increase was almost negated by some absentees. Pity, but there was a notable difference in sound and actual "hearing" of this work.

This extra colour came from an influx of wind performers, literally quadroupling the wind section from the previous day. Also, and more importantly, tuba number 2 was in attendance. Elise Mills, conservatorium student and tuba talent. Hearing the 2nd tuba part, mostly written an octave below the 1st tuba part, was reassuring for my own pitching ability. Despite never having played together before, our intonation and technical abilities merged well as a "tuba section". Outside wind and brass bands, that's not a term used too often in an orchestral setting!

The trombone section was still missing a number of performers as the trumpets. But, and a big but (so to speak) Geoff Payne with his wife will be performing this symphony with us. Geoff is principle trumpet with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and an Aussie trumpet legend. I can't wait for this.

Some interesting trivia about the "experience" so far.

Graham Evans
Graham Evans, with his strong pommie accent, is performing on the basset horn (Clarinet in F). A little known fact is that he performed in the very first performance of this very symphony, back in merry old England. He played 2nd Eb clarinet in the debut perfomance.

Even more trivial is the connection between the Gothic orchestra leader, Sarah Curro and the 1st tuba player (me). In 1987, I was accepted into the Third QLD Youth Orchestra as its tuba player. Sarah Curro was the orchestra leader at the time. True story!

More useless stuff. Coffee mugs! It might seem an inane subject but it's interesting none the less, going by so many laughing reactions during todays proceedings. Every performer and volunteer receives a "Gothic" coffee mug. For some reason, I received a very "special" mug. After taking it home after the very first reheasal and making a coffee that afternoon, I noticed a "printing error" on it. "Gothic Orchestra" is part of the text stamped onto the mug. But mine said I was a memeber of the "Go thic Orchestra".

I honestly thought that this misprint was a screw up from the promotion company that provided these mugs and that all of them would have this error. I checked almost every mug I could find, used, being used and unused... NUH, I must be "special"!!! I'm the only one with this unique-unique mug. Maybe a small batch was printed like this, I couldn't find any evidence of this.

This might become an ongoing saga until all coffee mugs have been checked. Time will tell as to how special my coffee mug really is. Why has it been bestowed upon myself? Maybe I'm special too! I'll leave that to time and the universe to let me know.

For the muso's and tuba geeks out there, here are some excerpts from the tuba 1 part, showing you the "tuba concerto" and 4th french horn like part that I have to deal with. These are from the first 3 movements. I hope I don't get issued with a copyright warning for doing this.

The mind is now fuzzy after a full day of rehearsal and sectionals. Stay tuned with the Gothic Tuba Experience.

John Szkutko

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