As I mentioned, I have a gig for a Christmas Eve service, and tonight was the rehearsal for it. I was a little surprised to find out that the orchestration was chamber strings, flute, oboe, and organ, but hey- I like people who like oboe. It should have been a fairly uneventful rehearsal; we're playing the usual sort of orchestrated Christmas carols, though they're done in a very English way as the conductor is British and the church is Episcopal. However, the seating is odd, with us in the back of the sanctuary in a corner, and with the flute and me separated from the strings, and there is the aforementioned organ. The organ plays approximately 20 cents flat. Not only is that a hard pitch to tune to and to maintain, it doesn't sound right. Unusually sharp orchestras sound bright and, well, sharp, and when we play with this organ, we sound dull and wrong. Unfortunate.
Additionally, the conductor is very hard to follow, especially when he's conducting a piece in three. This is because while he does 4/4 patterns correctly, and uses a French 6/8, which I at least know, he conducts three with beat two on the inside rather than on the outside. It seriously confused me at first.
I also felt bad for the flautist, who seemed to be a young high-schooler, and who was filling in for whoever will play at the service. The conductor pointed some serious glares at her early on in the rehearsal. Plus I would have had a better time had I not had an intense allergy attack involving sneezing and a runny nose all day.
Still, it's all going to go well, and I'm getting paid, and I do like playing silly Christmas songs. Also, one of the other violinists complimented me on my sound, and asked for my card, for future gigs. The only problem with that is that I don't actually have any cards. Apparently, though, you can buy print-your-own-business-cards, so I think I'm going to do that this weekend. I have been thinking for a while that I should have cards.
I've heard that the Washington Balalaika Orchestra is currently looking for oboists and bassoonists, but I don't really have more information about that. I sent them an inquiry, though, so I'll put anything that I find out here.