It’s late on Friday night and I’m still aiming to write a short post. The day has flown. I had hoped to write about swimming in the deep end. Maybe next week. Tonight, I’m humming tunes from Candide and chasing rambling, pleasant thoughts.
I finally did finish the Candide program notes. Definitely worth writing. Definitely a challenge. Now, the programs are printed, the concert is Sunday, and tonight was our first rehearsal with the soloists. We have world-class soloists. One of them even sang in productions of Candide with Bernstein himself! I love the rehearsals right before the concert, everything starts to come together: the music jumps into focus, the soloists bring such excitement, the percussion section arrives! As the musicians begin to understand the piece as a whole, everyone listens more carefully, plays better – closer to the music and farther from the page. Tonight, rehearsing in a school hall, with the full orchestra, the entire chorus, and these incredible soloists, I was struck, again, by how lucky I am to play in this orchestra. This is my favourite orchestra, ever.
Other things I did today:
- Enjoyed an assembly about Pirates from Juni’s reception class (ages 4-5)
- Took both kids for haircuts. Nick got a spiky haircut and looks like a mini-teenager. Juni went to her favourite hairdresser and got a bob and a lollipop.
- Walked through farms, fields, and footpaths in East Anglia with a friend from my last teaching job. Even though I didn’t like teaching there, I made some great friends. After our walk, we had soup, bread and oranges by her wood-burning stove.
The university term here ends next Friday. The terms are short (8 weeks) and intense. This one has been especially tough with a lot of brand new topics for me to learn. I’ve been treading water and swimming in the deep end. More about that when I’ve reached dry land.
Here two ideas for the week ahead.
- When asked why he still practiced for six hours a day at the age of 95, the cellist Pablo Casals replied, ‘Because I have started to notice some improvement.’
- And from Thoreau, in his conclusion to Walden: ‘If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.’ This is my castle in the air: I’d like to try a writing retreat, possibly at a place like this. Or maybe here. Guess I’d better get working on those foundations. What are your castles in the air?