I opened my mailbox, and there sat folded (grrr) my parts for the next CRSO concert. Tim and the administration worked tirelessly to find new performance and rehearsal venues, and this season is continuing with very few changes. A second performance has been added to most of the concert sets, as the new venues are much smaller than the Paramount Theater. One more concert, one less rehearsal. As a commuting musician with a baby, I'm not thrilled about the extra concert. There will be some weekends where we'll have double rehearsals on Friday (back-to-back 2.5-3 hour rehearsals), a concert Saturday evening and a concert Sunday afternoon. With a 2.5 hour drive, I could go home on the Friday night (and I'll have to if I can't bring Harry to CR with me), but it's much easier to just stay there...and that means an entire weekend away. If it was just me, no problem. Add a little one to the mix, and we're talking an extra suitcase of diapers, clothes, food, etc., plus a babysitter if Dave can't make the trip with me. If it wasn't for the drive and logistics, I would be more than happy to play an extra concert per set. I digress.
For our opening concert on September 20, I will be playing Oboe 2. The one piece with English horn was replaced, but I had already been asked to fill our second oboist's place for this concert, as her daughter is expecting a baby right around that time. A first grandchild superceded second oboe...can you blame her? On the program is Berlioz "Corsaire Overture" and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, as well as some concert arias to feature the Beethoven's soloists. Yummy, yummy. I can't wait! I've never actually played this symphony before!! I've only ever played some of the first oboe excerpts on auditions and in masterclasses.
Looking through the part, I felt a wave of anxiety. My rational self brushed that aside, but really, playing second oboe can be very tricky! And although I won my job playing both English horn and oboe (including a one-octave C major scale starting on pianissimo low C--we were playing Nielsen's Symphony No. 3 which includes this in the third oboe part), I still feel like I want to prove myself to my orchestra colleagues. Of course, if I do my job right, they won't even notice me! How funny is the life of a second oboist. Here I've been basking in the light of English hornist superstardom! :)
Of course, my anxiety couldn't have anything to do with the fact that I haven't touched my oboe in...gulp...wait, I played for 15 minutes about 4 weeks ago... And reeds? What reeds? When's the first rehearsal again? I know what I'll be doing during Harry's naps for the next few weeks!