Thursday, February 14, 2008

I am reassured.

Today, I got into grad school!

"Dear Rachel:
I am please to inform you that you have passed your oboe audition for the M.M. degree at George Mason University."

This makes me very, very happy. :-)

It's been a fairly eventful oboe week, all things told. We had our orchestra concert on Saturday and Sunday, and it was a big hit. There were gasps and programs dropped at the start of the Kaschei dance in Firebird, and on Saturday some guy in the audience yelled "Woo!!" I love it when we create really dramatic audience reactions. I mentioned subbing in the Brahms on Friday night, and I did indeed end up playing it in both concerts. It's a fairly intense piece, and I had a ton of fun even if I did spend both concerts counting furiously. Because I was for all intents and purposes sight-reading the concerts, I didn't get a good feel for the performance of the piece in relation to rehearsals, but there were certainly some scary moments. Our pianist was amazing, but at the concerts his tempos were a lot more flexible than they'd been in rehearsal. Still, the concerts were a wild success.

On Tuesday I was supposed to have rehearsal with the Waynesboro Symphony, but it got canceled due to weather, which I was fairly greatful about. It's not that I mind playing for them, but my homework this week has been pretty heavy. Next week, though, I have two rehearsals and two concerts with them.

Yesterday we read Tchaikovsky Symphony 5 in orchestra, which was fairly awesome. I of course have heard the piece quite a few times, but it wasn't until I played it that I realized just how intense it is. Twice I have a page with only a single measure of rests, and I'm playing second oboe! I was pretty exhausted by the end of the piece, although that was in part because my reed blew out around the end of the first movement.

Today, I went and saw the Shoghaken Ensemble give a demonstration of Armenian instruments and music. I didn't get to ask any questions about the duduk, but it was still very cool, and the music was gorgeous.

Oh, and I nearly forgot. Monday evening I played in the best masterclass of my life with Frank Morelli, the bassoon teacher at Yale. I played the first movement of the Poulenc, while I was very happy with my playing, the part that really made the class was that as the bassoon can go up to a E in the top space, Mr. Morelli played about 2/3 of the piece for me, all told. It was mind-blowingly exactly what the piece is supposed to sound like; I've decided that Poulenc wanted to write for bassoon, but, since they can't hit those high Es, you know, he switched it to oboe. However, the richness of sound, and the...restraint and connection and longing, was exactly what I want to do with the piece.

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