Last weekend, musicians from Mendocino, Fort Bragg and distant points of Mendocino County converged on the Matheson Hall at Mendocino High School for the first rehearsals of the 2014-15 Symphony season. Friday night rehearsal is always pretty hard work—everyone has had a week’s work, and a drive of anything up to a couple of hours before they sit down to play the music for the first time. It’s a magical moment when the oboe gives that “A”, the instruments tune up, and the scattered energies cohere to create the sounds of music. Everyone is usually a bit brighter on Saturday morning after a good night’s sleep. At this time, the string players have their own rehearsal, focusing on the sections of the music that are particularly challenging for them.
My sources reported that the rehearsals were really fun last weekend. It feels quite different to be working on a lot of shorter pieces, rather than a long work like a symphony. The Rosenkavalier Waltzes were fun and uplifting, and the Schubert music from Rosamunde has some beautiful woodwind solos, while the strings have accompanying parts.
No chorus at the orchestra rehearsals as yet, but the players enjoyed getting to know the orchestra parts to all those wonderful Verdi choruses. This is going to be a really engaging concert, full of melodies to send any audience away humming!