Greetings from Olomouc, Czech Republic.
Here's the first report on the concert events for the GPO Competition Performance.
We worked right down to the wire making sure all the scores were ready to go. It was quite a challenge getting all the scores from MIDI to live. To paraphrase one of our winning entries "I didn't know how much I didn't know." This has been a learning experience for everybody.
After 22 hours of travel for me (and 30 for Gary) we meet again. We had to forgo the party and mayhem and crash for the night.
This morning we attended the first rehearsal. Today's rehearsal was a run through of the scores. Needless to say, tensions were high as they often are before a first rehearsal. One can never really anticipate the success of a program until that first downbeat. I am happy to say that I am fully confident that we will have a wonderful concert.
We began our rehearsal with the winning entry "Knights & Magic". Within the first 16 bars, Richard has given us the Horns in the upper limit of their range. A word to the wise: make sure the Horn Player has ample coffee before asking him to play such notes so early in the morning (fear not Richard, a few passes through and he was fine). The orchestra will certainlyl do justice to this fantastic peice of music. Kentaro's music read down as I expected it would and went extremely well. Craig Reeve's piece required just a little work. Petr did a good job at getting the orchestra through the many time changes and syncopations. I really believe this piece will come together nicely for the next rehearsal. As I anticipated, Bill Pearson's piece provided some challenges and some rethinking and I believe we have come up with an approach that will work. For those of you who remember my Hungarian Overture, Gary has been kind enough to let me perform this piece with the orchestra. It never ceases to be an amazing experience hearing your compositions performed live.
I want to thank our conductor Petr Pololanik who put up with my fastidious scoring requirements. I am impressed - he is a very skilled conductor.
After rehearsal, Gary and I tooka walking tour of this pretty little city. Gary showed be some of his Jazz Big Band library. All I can say is its time to let my goatee grow, buy a baret and work really hard at being a lot hipper than I really am. I also heard some mp3s done by other members of the forum and, another word to the wise, keep away from my gigs! Great stuff!
Well that's it for today,