Building right onto my last post, may I say that I am thrilled and slightly intimidated by the amount of exciting, terrific, and difficult repertoire I have coming up in the next few weeks?
This Monday we in the South Bend Symphony are presenting our annual tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, over at the campus of IUSB, and because we try to feature the work of African-American composers and because African-American composers are by definition not nineteenth-century European composers, we get to play new music! This year I am most excited about Adolphus Hailstork’s An American Port of Call. It uses the orchestra to portray the sounds of a busy harbor city, and the licks in my part are tricky and rhythmic and fun. I can’t wait to start rehearsals tomorrow.
Next weekend we’ve got a Chamber concert, featuring our outstanding principal clarinetist in the Copland Concerto, and although I am not playing that work I do get to do Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony. Not hard, exactly, but a serious blow and way more PIECE than I’ve played in what feels like months, and one of my favorites, too.
The following week we have a huge Masterworks concert, with Kodaly’s Dances of Galanta which is a technical showpiece for the orchestra – HARD fast playing – and the Lutoslawski Concerto for Orchestra. This is a huge and complex piece which I have only played once, as a student, on a different part, and without apparently learning a single thing about it. I’m eager to dive into studying and practicing.
One week later I am scheduled to play Daphnis and Chloe (among other challenging works) with the Northwest Indiana Symphony. Two weeks after that Martha Councell-Vargas and I start our recital set. (We met for a rehearsal yesterday and oh my gosh this is going to be great! If I can play my solo piece, that is…)
IN OTHER WORDS, I have a ton of notes to play in the next 4 to 6 weeks, and it’s not at all clear when I’ll find the time to prepare all of them. I don’t know – I really don’t know – why the beginning of this semester feels so much harder than usual. I have the same twenty or so students, the same reed business that is always busiest when I am, the same monthly board meetings and occasional coaching gigs. For some reason I can’t seem to get my head properly above water. Zoe’s in this phase – for the past month, really – which is really mommy-focused. She wants to be on me every minute that we’re at home together, and it’s truly difficult to get any serious work or even thinking done when she’s there, and she’s always there. Even that is not the whole problem, I am sure. I started this marathon training program… which is only going to get harder…
All of these paragraphs and points will turn into new blog posts of their own, I imagine. But what I’m trying to say right now is that I feel overwhelmed. I’m not quite sure I deserve the awesomeness of my life, and I’m not feeling on top of my game. I would like to not suck.