April (Snow) Showers

p10101261It ain’t over ’til it’s over, as the saying goes…and winter is not over just yet.  We have a decent blanket of snow on this ground this morning, albeit a wet, slushy one that will disappear in a minute if the sun comes out.  My daylilies and tulips are still peeking through, but just barely. 

This week leads us toward Easter, the season which celebrates ressurection, rebirth, renewal…the essence of spring, really.  And I had been in an Easter-ish mood – until this morning that is. 

Life remains busy, but not too,  and I have maintained my record of no colds, sinus infections, or flu bugs of any sort, despite my crazy schedule and exposure to all sorts of sick people.  (knock wood)

Rehearsals for Sweet Charity are winding down, with the show opening in three weeks.  I’m not playing in the pit orchestra, because I was reluctant to commit to 16 performances over a period of four weeks.  And after spending my first rehearsal in the actual orchestra pit last night, I even happier with that decision!  This is the deepest pit I’ve ever seen – it must be 15 feet under the stage.  The only access is through a trap door with a ladder!  Egad!   I admit to some sweaty palms about getting down there (getting back up was easier), and then I was fearful that my claustrophobia would kick in.  It’s actually pretty roomy once you’re in there, but it’s cold and damp.  My hands were like blocks of ice, which isn’t great for all the fast passages in these songs. 

Being a rehearsal accompanist for a musical is kind of a thankless task most of the time.  The director and actors tend to ignore you during rehearsal – they’re completely caught up in getting their blocking, dialogue, and lyrics just right, which I completely understand. The 2594_55362996537_669251537_1632635_1795272_n1music director for this show happens to be a former student at the high school where I work.  We’ve kept in touch over the years (he’s 31 now!), and I feel a bit protective of him in this venture, his first as “musical director.”   I think he appreciates having a friendly face around during rehearsal, too.

But last night, after four hours at the keyboard, I received a round of applause when I (finally!) crawled out of the pit.   “We really couldn’t do this without you,” the director said (one of the two sentences she’s said to me since we started rehearsals in January!)

That was nice.

I’m actually quite content to be in the background, which is why accompanying is perfect for me.   I like playing, but I don’t like being the “featured performer,” at least not in a solo setting.  I really enjoyed performing with Classical Bells – the performing was much the best part.  But there again, I was part of a group effort.  I got some attention, but the audience wasn’t focused solely on me.

So it’s taken a while for me to figure out where I fit in the musical spectrum – I’m not a soloist, I’m not a teacher – but I do like to perform, and being part of a small group or accompanying other people is a good way to me to do that.  It’s a relief to have that settled.

I wish I could figure out where I fit into the writing spectrum as neatly.

Now, here’s my secret musical wish…I would love to be in a chamber group ~ a piano trio or quintet.   A group that played classic literature, but also new pieces and arrangements of semi-classical and folk tunes. A group that performed within the community, played weddings and social engagements on occasion, maybe a bit of recording.  Just tossing that out into the atmosphere in the spirit of spring.

How about you?  Do you have a good sense of where you fit in your chosen field(s) of endeavor?  Do you have a secret wish in those fields?  You can tell me – your secret is safe with me 🙂

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8 thoughts on “April (Snow) Showers

  1. Becca,
    Yes, a little attention but not the center of attention is just right. I hope the universe hears you, and you get your chamber group.

  2. I don’t like the center of attention either, but on the other hand, I do have the tendency to want to run things. I’ve always had this dual, conflicting nature. I like to have the power to decide, and yet not much responsibility. In the Chinese horoscope I’m a dragon by year and a sheep by month. I don’t know. Someday I’ll grow up and find my way.

  3. Got here via a Black Box. Nice to meet you. You are so brave wanting to play in public I used to play the violin but only in private never in front of anyone but my tutor!
    CKx

  4. I loved reading this because I know what you mean about the committing. When I did theatre a lot, it was my life — and I had no other. Now that I do, it’s hard to imagine giving it up!

    Well, I’m glad you got the kudos, because as one who has worked with good (and not so good) accompanists, I know that they can make or break the way you learn and yes, even how you sound. I’ve got to think about that fitting in part!

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