Here are a few pictures from Evergreen Community Orchestra’s Sunday concert. The music included:
- What’s Up at the Symphony? (Bugs Bunny’s Greatest Hits)
- Star Trek Through the Years
- Harry Potter
- An der schönen blauen Donau, Op.314 (aka The Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss Jr.)
- The Game of Thrones
- A Tribute to John Williams
Here is a short excerpt of Czardas, a tune based on a Hungarian folk dance, that our orchestra, the Evergreen Community Orchestra performed last week in our spring concert. I didn’t get the complete number recorded, just this excerpt.
Here’s what the all knowing Wikipedia has to say about Czardas:
“Csárdás” (or “Czardas“) is a composition by Italian composer Vittorio Monti. A rhapsodical concert piece written in 1904, it is a well-known folk piece based on a Hungarian csárdás.
The piece has seven different sections, each one of a different tempo and occasionally key. The first half of the piece is in D minor, then modulates to D major, back to D minor, and then finally finishes in D major. The first section is Andante – Largo, followed by a large increase in speed to Allegro vivo. This then slows down to Molto meno. The piece then slows down more to Meno, quasi lento. The piece then suddenly picks up in pace and is at Allegro vivace. It then slows down to Allegretto and finally to Molto più vivo. The tempo changes make the piece exciting and interesting, but even with all of these tempo changes, it is generally expected that there should be some rubato to add feeling to the piece. There are also many different dynamic changes in the piece, ranging from pianissimoto fortissimo.
In the Meno, quasi lento section, the violin plays stopped harmonics. This involves the violinist placing their finger down on the note and playing another note, with the finger only just touching the string 5 semitones above. This gives the effect of the violin sounding two octaves (24 semitones) higher.
Here’s the video:
This was the first time I have played in an orchestra for a musical (aka a pit orchestra), and it was probably the most challenging playing I have done so far. We played in the dark (with stand lights). There were many key, tempo and meter changes. There were many “cuts” from the original score, which made reading the music a bit messy. There were over 60 pages of music to learn. The music and the cast must be in sync every moment, so watching the director constantly was a must. So, all in all, it was a great learning experience for me and a lot of fun getting to watch the show and get to know some of the cast and orchestra and crew. And it was a great story and show. Especially the impromptu marriage proposal by one of the crew to Queen Guinevere during one of the curtain calls! (nope, she didn’t run away with Lancelot after all…..)
Here’s the orchestra. You can guess where I am in the photo below.
With a lot of other distractions going on, not to mention the little time suckers of Twitter and Facebook, I haven’t blogged in a while. I have mostly been preoccupied with Camelot. In early March I was invited to play in an orchestra playing for the musical Camelot, written by Lerner and Lowe. We began rehearsals in March, which accelerated towards the end of April and we had the show opening this weekend. It has been a LOT of work, but a lot of fun as well. It was the first musical theater orchestra that I have played in and it was an awesome learning experience. The bass part is 64 pages long and the music has many frequent key signature and meter changes and many “cuts” from the original score to fit this particular production’s script and timing. This was a volunteer production, but it looked and sound very pro to me. So, if you live in the area, or are visiting the Seattle area next weekend (May 1-3), come attend one of the performances of Camelot.
On top of Camelot, I also play double bass in a community orchestra, the Evergreen Community Orchestra, and we have been preparing for our spring concerts working on music from Mozart, Schubert, Ravel, Debussy, and more! Those concerts are scheduled for Friday, June 5th at 7:00 pm and Tuesday, June 9th at 7:00 pm. The name used to be “Music Hall Community Orchestra” but was recently changed and the web URLs are still waiting updates to the new name.
After this, and I don’t want to let the kittens out of the bag too soon, I do have a new recording project that I have begun, and like all recording projects they seem to take on a life of their own. I may begin with a certain concept in my mind of what the finished project will be like, but once I start actually working on putting it together new ideas bubble to my mind and I end up in a different place than where I planned. It’s a bit of a fun adventure. So, stay tuned for more.