Back from rehearsal for piano ensemble performance on November 6th. I don't see how Sherry stands us! We're really bad on the more rhythmically difficult pieces because most of these people don't have to count anymore to stay with anyone in an orchestra or doing accompanying. Plus, we're not exactly young anymore. J, who I thought was my age or slightly younger, was 64 today and wears 2 hearing aids! She's secretary/assistant for an attorney, and said if you have to have hearing aids to do your job, that there is a disability resource that will pay for them . Anyway, she didn't pay a penny for hers and they seem to work well for her. But, EJL, that's another story! She is the funniest thing alive and no one wants to boot her out, but she is banging with her left hand on the secundo parts and missing most of the rhythms unless Sherry counts out loud... really, really, loud just over her shoulder into her ear. And she talks while she plays and says things, really really loud, like "This doesn't make any sense at all. I don't know why he wrote it like this." But it doesn't make any sense because she can't hear the other parts. And Sherry is over there playing both the primo and secundo parts on her piano just laughing like a hyena. And JE, who is 75 but still works in day care programs because she is a pianist/organist/child care specialist, is playing all the notes, sitting beside EJL, blocking her out, saying, "Sometimes it's a blessing to not hear so well--especially when you work with children".
Now, my own confession. I turned a page and was utterly lost. None of the notes made any sense. Apparently I hadn't enough sense to hole punch my page correctly and it was placed in the folder backwards. Ahemmm.
Sherry, borrowing Dr. Suzuki's quote, told us we "only need to practice on the days we eat". So, Carol, a former teacher to my children in public school, told her she would be fasting many days. We' re performing four hand arrangements of Morning Trumpet, Amazing Grace, Wondrous Love, Shall we Gather at the River, and Simple Gifts. The first three are easy peasy lemon squeezy. The River is the rhythmic disaster and Simple Gifts is an oxymoron. The secundo part is way high into the primo range and we, not being "real" pianists, are knocking each other off the benches trying to play all the notes. Some sort of negotiation, compromise, treaty, or peaceful agreement must be reached or this piece will NOT glorify God!
We have two more weeks to pray and practice so that this performance will not sound like "Shall we sound the morning trumpet while praying for amazing grace before we toss the simple gifts into the river where we've gathered and beg for wondrous love."
All of this WHILE we're playing. It's a virtual nut house! It drove me to Starbucks for a cafe latte afterward. It may even drive me to practice on the days that I eat.