Inside the Houston Symphony

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Posts Tagged ‘harpist

Downtime between concert times–what do we do now?

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Principal Harpist Paula Page warms up ahead of Saturday evening's performance at the Kravis Center.

From a wind-chill in the teens in New York yesterday morning to the sunny shores of Ft. Lauderdale yesterday afternoon, the Houston Symphony has finally made its way back to more reasonable weather! Our time in New York—and especially our concert at Carnegie Hall—was phenomenal, but there’s only so much cold weather we Houstonians can take!

Orchestras on tour are very interesting organisms. Every musician and staff member has his or her own way of dealing with life on the road. I’m sure you and your family have taken family vacations, and have witnessed firsthand how differently every family member handles the stress of cars, flights, hotels, etc. Now multiply that by the more than one hundred of us currently on the road, and add to that the stress of playing three concerts in three separate venues over four days, more than 3,500 miles in the air, two different hotels, and countless bus rides, and you’ll have some idea of the craziness a life on the road entails.

While we’re all focusing on the task at hand—namely, playing our final two concerts this weekend here in Florida—we all have our own, unique ways of spending our downtime.  Some of us practice or study for upcoming concerts or recitals (while still keeping this week’s music in our heads and fingers – no easy task); from my personal experience, holing myself up in my hotel room with none of the usual distractions that home affords is one of the best ways I know to ensure that I get good work done!  Some take advantage of the time away to simply relax and recharge before heading back home to the full-time grindstone.  Some of us visited old friends while in New York, and some are doing the same here in Florida.  As Kiju pointed out in a previous entry, some of us take advantage of the great restaurants each city has.

The amazing thing is that no matter how we all choose to spend our downtime during the day, we refocus and come together each night to give the finest performance we can for each audience in each city we visit.  Orchestras bear their cities’ names, and we couldn’t be prouder to represent the city of Houston up and down the East Coast this week!


Written by bwmconductor

January 30, 2010 at 5:47 pm