Author Topic: An unusual Gig...*S*  (Read 834 times)

Offline Medi

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2018, 11:47:45 PM »
...A string quartet gets stuck in a plane on a tarmac... :o...well they aren't just going to sit there... :)...BTW, a cello isn't a 'carry on' item.   :(  I only flew with Katherine once...and WAS NOT GOING TO TRUST HER TO THE BAGGAGE HANDLERS!   >:(  I bought her a ticket, and she 'sat' beside me.  I had to fill out the usual form...I listed her name...and that she was 137 years old...which was true.  I got called to the side...and the people laughed.  I was issued a boarding pass for her... :)...it said 'Katherine S.......', and I strapped her into the seat beside me.  I was feeling ornery, and ordered a dinner for her... ::)...I wasn't sure what I wanted to eat...so I ordered the fish and the beef.  Katherine wasn't hungry...so I ate both.   ;D

https://youtu.be/dFhYPsgroMk
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Offline Medi

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2018, 10:52:42 PM »
... ;)...The usual Conductor got ill before a performance...and Rags was called to Conduct!   :o  All fun aside, I just LOVE this Conductor!   ;D  Once, when I was still in CA, I was asked to drive a guest violinist to a rehearsal at our symphony that was in the next town.  We spoke over the phone, and he said that I needed to be at his house at 5:00 pm.  He had a thick Germanic accent, and I told him...in my best Mexican accent..."Si".   ::)  I actually parked my car a few blocks down, and watched the clock, and drove into his driveway at EXACTLY 5:00 pm.   ::)  He came right out, and sat beside me, and complimented me on my timeliness.   ;)  We had a nice time, I learned that he had actually been the CONCERTMASTER of the NY Philharmonic!  He spoke of Bernstein, and others, and I just giggled at a lot of the stories.   :o  It was a nice experience.   ;D

https://youtu.be/V9SFKV_hzZk
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Offline Medi

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2018, 12:09:07 PM »
...An explanation to my REALLY BAD NOTE during a performance of 'Kiss me Kate'.   ;)  At the end of the 1st half, Kate has a wonderful solo where she discusses her r/t life, and that she would really like a Man to be with her.  It is a bit comedic, and at the end a stage hand drops a stuffy pigeon on top of her. 

There is a wonderful cello solo as she ends her song...it starts on the C string and goes all of the way to half way up the A string.  I loved playing it.  But, once, I TOTALLY f'd it up.  I was in a distant mood...not the way to be when you are performing.  I did OK until I got to the LAST note...here is what the Conductor told me during the break, after saying..."That was one of the funniest things I EVER saw."  I listened to him...I knew what had happened.  I had landed on a D natural, rather than a C sharp...it REALLY CLASHED with the rest of the small ensemble.

"You looked half asleep as you started your solo...but you did well...until you got to the last note.  Then your eyes got wide as you realized that there was a problem, and you looked around at the other musicians.  You then looked at the music...and then at your left hand!  Your eyes got even larger and your jaw dropped...and then you lifted your 4th finger so that you were playing a C sharp for the next three beats!"

Needless to say...I would rouse myself when that solo came up during the rest of the performances...

 :P
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Offline RAGNAR

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2018, 05:48:48 PM »
Just a tiny difference there sis.


ROTFLMFTAO!!!!!

Offline Medi

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2018, 11:17:19 AM »
...Funniest comment during a rehearsal... ;D  and I WASN'T INVOLVED!!!

String players always carry an extra set of strings in their cases.  It is rare that they break, but you have to be ready.  I would get new strings every 6 months, and keep the removed set as my backup, the older set I would just toss into a box.   :)  I had a LOT of older sets when I started assisting the school district, and donated them...the music teacher was quite happy.

Anyway, we were in orchestra rehearsal at Conservatory.  The Conductor was also the Professor of Violin...and was an ASTOUNDING musician!  When he would do a recital, the Hall was always full, not just students, but members of the Community, and we students would walk away in AWE!  He would play the most complex and challenging music...AND NOT MAKE ONE MISTAKE!  I got to know him a bit, he was a somewhat suppressed person, and seemed to be a bit socially repressed.

Halfway through a rehearsal, the 1st chair violist broke a string.  We all had to stop, and she spoke to the Conductor...she had not brought spares.  The Conductor nodded, and looked at the rest of the viola section, and said the 'Immortal Request'...

"HEY, DOES ANYONE HAVE A USED 'G-STRING' SHE CAN BORROW?"

I lost it...and so did most of the rest of the Orchestra...the Conductor looked around in bewilderment.  To my knowledge, no one explained to Dr B------- what another 'G-String' was.   8)
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Offline RAGNAR

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2018, 06:07:44 PM »
Oh yeah... major nerd.

Offline Medi

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2018, 12:10:39 PM »
...Here are Tristan and Stefan in the 'sparring pit'...Tristan made the mistake of letting Stefan choose the 'weapons'...Tristan NEVER did that again... :o

https://youtu.be/uT3SBzmDxGk
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Offline RAGNAR

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2018, 05:52:05 PM »
Heh... rock on!!!!!

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2018, 01:35:42 AM »
...My most favorite memory of playing in a pit orchestra was when we did "Beauty and the Beast".  At the halftime, three little girls came up and looked down at us.  Most of us were leaving the pit, but I just sat there, and asked them..."What is going on?"  They looked surprised, and asked, "Don't you know?"  I told them, "I don't know, I can't see what is going on."  They proceeded to explain the 1st act... :)...I pretended that I didn't know the play...and kept asking them questions.  It was really cute...they explained the details...and I kept asking questions.   ;)  We all blew each other a kiss as they left... ;D
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Offline Medi

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #39 on: February 12, 2018, 12:53:21 PM »
...A REALLY ORNERY MOMENT.. :o

We were playing G & S 'Pirates of Penzance'.  The Director had added an interesting event.  After we tuned, an Actor in a formal British Military Uniform would enter the Stage, and we would play 'God Save the King', and he would get to attention , and formally salute the audience, and then, after he walked off, we would play the Overature and the play would begin.

I got a BRILLIANT IDEA, and ran off a bunch of copies of the FRENCH NATIONAL ANTHEM, and handed them to the pit!  The Conductor went along with it...but the Director told us "DON'T DO THAT AGAIN!!!!"  He laughed, and said..."Joe almost lost it...a British Soldier saluting the FRENCH NATIONAL ANTHEM?  It took him a while to calm down and get into his 'character'...he was laughing so hard offstage."

I also had three 'solos' in that Musical...I would give the 'key note' to a singer.   :)  After the dialogue, the Conductor would point at me and I would play the 1st note of their song, and hold it until he cut me off, and then the song would begin.  The cello is the instrument that is closest to the human voice.  I had told the Conductor before the performances started that I would have to miss one, and he just nodded, I figured that he knew another cellist that could cover for me.  I was wrong, he didn't hire another cellist, so that seat was empty during that performance.

The next day, when I showed up, the 1st Violinist Leader met me, and laughed.  She could see the stage, and said, "The singers missed your 'key note'...one guy actually walked to the edge of the stage and looked down, wondering where you were!"   :P

Such is performance... ;D
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Offline RAGNAR

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2018, 05:53:10 PM »
It is seen as increasing your value. *G*

Offline Medi

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2018, 01:37:02 AM »
...I don't know why I have to post this...but I just have to.

Many years ago, I got a call from a young pianist, he said that he was putting together a piano trio to play at a dinner that the local Catholic Bishop was hosting at His home.  The date was when the Titanic sunk.  I told him OK, and the three of us met for lunch, and discussed what we should play.  I asked him if the Bishop was aware of the date, and he nodded, and said..."There will be prayers said."  We discussed what we should play, and agreed that "Nearer My God to Thee" would be the last piece.

We showed up, and a woman led us to a room where there was a piano, and said, 'They are still eating, please be quiet."  We unpacked, set up, and tuned, and sat for about 20 minutes.   :)  The Bishop and the guests came out, and took seats on chairs and couches.  We played for about 30 minutes...it was sublime...I was almost in tears as we finished...the emotions in the room were so high.   :'(

We packed up, and the Bishop said, "There is food left over, have you eaten?"  We all said, "No", and followed Him to a small kitchen, and He sat with us and ate a little as we devoured what was left, and each had a glass of wine.   :)  He was an interesting Man.  I asked Him where He had gotten the plain ragged gold cross He was wearing, and He explained.  "I was in South America as a Priest for a number of years.  When I was ordered to leave by the Government, the villagers gathered up their gold, melted it, and made this cross for me."

For the only time in my life, as we left, I knelt before a Man and kissed His ring.  He helped me up, and nodded and blessed me... :)

https://youtu.be/Uk1d9bUTJxA
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Offline Medi

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #42 on: February 13, 2018, 01:44:24 PM »
... :)...Back in CA, I always enjoyed the Holidays, especially Christmas.  I would usually get 4 or 5 gigs for Church Concerts, and the 3 Orchestras I played in would put on a fun Pops Concert.  There was one gig that I REALLY enjoyed!  A flutist would put together a quartet, I would play cello, and we would play in a large shopping Mall.  We were on a raised platform right in the middle of it, and would play happy Christmas music.  Of course, most people just walked by, but some would stop, stand, and listen to us.  I really enjoyed it when small children would stand and stare at us...they were amazed at what we were doing.  I would look down, smile, and wink at them...and hope that they would decide to play an instrument when they got older.   ;)

One evening, a young man came out of one of the shops, and listened for a while.  He was wearing a nametag, so he must have been on his break.  He asked if we could play "Nearer my God to Thee."  We, of course, didn't have that music.  I asked if he would be here tomorrow, and he said "Yes".  I told him we would play that for him the next evening, and he went back to the store.  The 2nd violinist got cross with me, and said "That isn't Christmas music."  I nodded, and said, "But we were given a request, we have to follow through."

I had to buy a hymnal the next day that had the piece, and carefully ran off 4 copies.  That evening I handed them out to the other players, and said, "When that young man comes out of that store, we will play this for him."  The 2nd violinist said, "OK, just one time."  I glared at her and said, there are three verses, we will play it, and repeat two times."  The flutist, who was our Leader, told the violinist..."We will repeat two times."  I calmed down... :(

That evening, the violinist and I barely spoke to each other, and only made eye contact as we played when we really needed to.   >:(

The young man came out of the store as we were playing 'Jingle Bells', and stood in front of us.  We finished 'Jingle Bells', and brought out 'Nearer my God to Thee'.  I smiled, and nodded to him, and said, "We have your request."  We settled into the mood of the piece, and the flutist set the proper tempo as we started.  We carefully played it three times, and finished, and I looked at the young man.  He had tears in his eyes, and wiped them, and said "Thank you", and went back into the store.

That song meant something to him.  We played for another week...but he never came out and listened to us again. 
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Offline RAGNAR

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #43 on: February 13, 2018, 06:13:37 PM »
Merry Christmas. The emotion of music, best gift ever.

Offline Medi

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2018, 12:27:51 AM »
...Thank you Rags...I felt the same...gifts can be much more than stuff... :)

This next story is really funny... ;D...I was on the planning committee of a large 4-H Event.  They wanted a Formal Dance at a dinner, and I got them to agree to hire my string quartet to play.  I was there for 5 days before the Dance, and was very tired and not quite in my 'sane' mind ...or at least what passes for my 'sane' mind... ::)

I was dressed formal...in a feminine 'tuxedo'...you have to spread your legs when you play cello...and I just didn't want to bother with my long skirt.  I was also wearing a brass nametag that 4-H had issued me.  I realized that I was dressed like the Hotel Staff, but just stood by the front desk, waiting for my quartet to arrive.

An elderly couple came down, and a bellhop just left their luggage.  I just stood, and watched as they checked out...and then the Man looked at me, and said..."Hey...help us with our luggage!"  My 'insane' mind kicked in, and I said, "Of Course, Sir!"  I carried out their luggage, and chatted with them as their Mercedes was brought up.  I carefully loaded the luggage into their trunk, and kept chatting about the nice places to visit in Sacramento.  He handed me three dollars, and I briefly bowed, and said, "Please do return here, Sir, this is a nice place."  He nodded, and drove off.'

I went back into the lobby...waving the money...and the woman at the front desk was laughing her ass off!   ;D  I handed the money to her, and said..."Hey, I think you guys need to hire me!   ;D  She finally stopped laughing, and said, "I will speak to the Manager."  My quartet arrived, and we did the gig, and we also got the steak dinner.  I kept laughing at times...but just waved the violist off when she asked me why.   :)
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