Week 3

Sorry for the lack of updates, folks. As it turns out, having two close to full-time jobs in two different cities makes for a very busy life. I thought I had a good routine going on and then a really nasty cold struck. So it goes!

I’m coming towards the end of week 3 as a fully employed musician. Up this weekend: three shows with the KWS (two in Kitchener, one in Toronto) and two Young People’s Concerts with the Toronto Symphony. My involvement with the KWS program is relatively light (just one piece) so I only need to be at rehearsal tonight and tomorrow morning. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to fill the rest of the week by working three opening shifts at Starbucks in a row. This is how I learned that I do not cope well with repeatedly getting out of bed at 4 AM.

There’s a vast amount of music on my stand waiting to be practiced and it has to be learned on a much tighter schedule than I’m accustomed to. Preparing the material has been stressful but also fun. The kind of prep I’d like to do (hours of score study, listening to five recordings of every piece, marking every cue in my practice parts, practicing every articulation to perfection etc.) isn’t practical, so I have to fall back on everything I’ve been trained to do and have faith that it will result in a successful performance. I’m a rabid perfectionist and it’s tough to put the bassoon down when I’m three days away from the first rehearsal and can only pull off a technical passage at half tempo, but it’s important to trust that if I play it slowly, perfectly and repeatedly today and get a good night’s sleep, it will be faster and more accurate tomorrow. Embracing this feels like a leap of faith sometimes, but it’s intensely satisfying when things come together for the concert.

One thing I’ve completely underestimated is the number of reeds I need to make to keep this whole crazy musical life moving. And on that note, reedmaking is exactly what I’m off to do.


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