Posted by Justina Lui
Thursday 10th January, 2013


Rehearsal.   A practice or trial performance of a work for later public performance.  A quick glance at the schedule reveals that by the end of the 2 week period, participants will have spent a total of 70 hours in rehearsal and 15 hours performing in concerts.  That’s a lot of hours.  However, it is in rehearsals much more than in performances, that we musicians do most of our experimenting, learning and growing.  We’re encouraged and allowed to pull apart and examine, to play a phrase as many times as it takes to correct rhythm, articulation, intonation...the list is endless.  Suggestions are given and received so that by the time it comes to performing, we can’t imagine playing it any other way.     

The temperature was a mild 26, the perfect temperature for brewing musical ideas.  The conversational nature of Bach was being examined by the harpsichordists, cello and bass sections of the Martin Chamber Orchestra.  Bach was also on the menu for members of the Percussion Ensemble who were well on their way to reimagining one of his organ works for two vibraphones and two marimbas.  Meanwhile the Brass Ensemble filled Bonython Hall with Strauss and Berlioz.  During lunchtime, the practise continued but this time it was the cricket team taking to the lawn for some fielding practice in preparation for tomorrow’s showdown.  Suitably thematic team names being bandied around included “Leipzig before wicket” and “Can’t Bach, can’t bowl”.    

I do believe that if it makes you smile, it’s beautiful.  Last night at the surprise BBQ dinner, icy poles were handed out while we queued for our sausages.  There were three bins so the group of boys behind me opened the lid of the first bin, checked the contents, saw it was recycling then proceeded to open the next bin and check its contents before depositing their rubbish.  For all we lament the lack of responsibility in youth culture, this made me smile. 

- Justina Lui

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