This week has been a very busy, and a very musical/cultural one. I performed in a concert last weekend, and then I went to a concert at the Royal Albert Hall and the ballet at the Royal Opera House this week. I also then went to a Jazz Festival event last night and the Australia exhibition at the RA. Phew, it's been busy. So every day this week, I'll be posting about each event. I've also got another restaurant review for you all!
It started last weekend when I was in a concert with the South West Surrey Concert Band (SWSCB). We had 6 hours of rehearsals on Saturday, then rehearsals Sunday mornings and a concert at G Live Sunday afternoon. I've played the flute since I was nine years old, and joined the SWSCB when I was 13, and I absolutely love the feeling of being in a concert band surrounded by so many talented players. My brother plays the drums and percussion, so he's been in the band since he was a youngster too.
|The brother and I after the concert. Please excuse the uniform and me looking all sickly - I'd been signed off work the week leading up to the concert as the docs thought I had glandular fever.|
The band is actually a youth band, and you have to leave when you turn 18, so I haven't actually played in it for a number of years. However, it's the 30th Anniversary of the band this year, so they invited some of the old members to come back and play with the senior band in the concert (they have a junior band for those up to grade 5, then when you hit grade 5 you audition for the senior band). Naturally I jumped at the chance, and started going to the weekly practices on Saturday mornings right back in September to prepare myself and get back into it. The first day of practice back in September, I just sat there in complete awe, I'd forgotten how truly amazing these kids are.
We played one of my favourite pieces, Tchaikovsky's Marche Slave; it's one of those pieces that makes my heart well up with emotion as it builds up and gets faster and faster, until the middle section when the band just seems to explode and my eyes just filled with tears! How sad is that!? It's one of the most beautiful pieces of music, and I really recommend you listen to it, and make sure you listen to it all the way through and turned up so it feels like you're listening to it live! It starts off unimpressive and then just wows you. 1:30 - 2:59 is my favourite part.
The hardest thing about being in a concert band rather than an orchestra is that there are no string instruments, so all the other instruments have to make up for that and we play an arrangement specifically for concert band. Fortunately though, Bella and Ciara came to the concert last Sunday and Bella said she forgot/didn't realize there weren't any strings until after we'd finished the first piece! Booyah!
Anyway, it was completely magical playing with the band again and being on the stage at G Live. We played a complete mixture of pieces, from Tchaikovsky and Shostakovitch, to Morricone and the theme music from James Bond and War of the Worlds! It was wonderful, and it's really made me consider looking around to see if there are orchestras or concert band's for adults that I can join. I just miss being surrounded by music so much, and literally being right in the middle of it all.