Orchestra Toronto did its second annual kids concert this past weekend and it was quite the experience (beyond being sold-out again!). Not since, as a kid, playing alongside Nick Atkinson in a combo concert of the NACO and the OYO have I played in orchestra with multiple tubas on stage. It was pure pleasure teaming up with Courtney Lambert. My other half and friends were in the audience and said the performance of the March to the Scaffold was great. Immediately after it, I excitedly said it was fantastic and Courtney replied that it indeed was “Fantastique”. lol
For those who know the tuba part, the section from octave Bb’s to the F-to-Gb arpeggio is fully repeated. I asked Courtney to play it the second time around. Beyond it being more interesting for the second tuba, I was happy to have her play it because it gave me a little chance to relax before the second page. In rehearsals I was feeling tensed up by the time the second page came around. My embouchure was too tight, my tone was brittle and kacks were sneaking in (without a question, completely my fault – it’s not like it’s much playing; but better safe than sorry this close to concert day). So in performance, the second page was wonderful — and we hit the Db arpeggio together. I really feel like this was a milestone for me – sort of a notch in my orchestral bedpost: major rep, a second tuba and well-played together. Yeah!
Now I’m *really* looking forward to Courtney joining us again on euph (aka. tenor tuba) for the Planets selections we’ll be doing in the spring. I’m already looking at the tuba part anticipating [hopefully] at least Mars, Jupiter and Uranus.
I have to say as well that, when I was sitting in the audience for the second half, I couldn’t help but notice how good the tuning and ensemble-work was during the violin concerto. Noru’s clarinet solo nearly moved me to tears (ok – it did a little bit). He is such a good musician, along with so many others in Orchestra Toronto. I’m very happy and lucky to be playing with them!