So You Think You Can Dance is over once again, boo hoo. I’m so excited that Joshua won it, mainly because he is a Texan and went to a public school. Good things come from
He speaks the truth. In over 40 years of performing, I’ve played concerts, rehearsals, and recitals characterized by trouble—illness (played with 102 fever and flu at one performance; eyes almost wouldn’t blink), injury (pinched nerves in neck or back, wearing a Tens to block pain from severely injured wrists, knee in immobilizer and walking onstage with crutches), pain (migraine, the aforementioned wrists, surgery only days before a performance, childbirth one week before a rehearsal and performance series, etc. etc.). And difficulty: well that’s a category in itself. Twice I played with guest artists who never rehearsed with the orchestra due to missed flights or inclement weather. We rehearsed with the director, who then rehearsed with the artist, and we prayed and watched without looking at the music, almost. The audience never knew.
The only excuse ever publicized to the audience was absolutely the worst concert of my life. Our orchestra is in a small town and we were then known as a “pick up” orchestra, playing with only a small core of local musicians and “picking up” players from other cities who drove in on Thursday evenings for 2 ½ days of rehearsal before a Saturday concert. It was in the winter and we had some bad weather, but not terrible. Three fine players, all graduate students on visas from other nations, were hit head on by a driver on the wrong side of the interstate. They died instantly on the way to rehearsal. One of them had a brother in another car and he saw it all. It was halfway into rehearsal when we learned the truth about why they were missing (one was a section leader), and that ended the rehearsal. The following three rehearsals were almost useless. The only thing we performed well was the Faure “Pavane”, which was done as a memorial to them. We cried silently as we played. I still cannot perform the Pavane, or even hear it, without profound sadness, and it was almost ten years ago. But, the point is that the orchestra performed. We performed the Saturday following September 11, 2001—without our conductor,at that time, because all planes were grounded and he lived in