Monday, October 09, 2006

Just in Case...

Alright, time for a gripe.

I did Shostakovitch 7th this past weekend. I'm not sure but I think we managed to save Leningrad again. So there I am at the rehearsal break and I look around me at all these trumpets, trombones and especially horns left sitting out while their owners have walked away. Most amazing to me are the horns which are usually left laying on chairs.

Why do otherwise sensible professional musicians spend thousands of dollars on fine musical instruments only to leave them laying out during rehearsal break? In my career, I have witnessed two incidents where a french horn was accidentally knocked off a chair and another in which a music stand was knocked into a french horn. I've also seen a trumpet knocked off its stand by a less-than-graceful basoonist. A few weeks ago, I nearly knocked horn off its chair but managed to grab it before it hit the floor. Of course I apologized profusely but inside I was thinking, "Why on earth do just leave a $9,000 instrument laying on a chair on a crowded stage???" Yes musicians do make an extra effort to not crush each other's instruments but, hey, mistakes happen.
I, for one, have a personal rule for rehearsals: If I'm not holding it, it's in the case.

The worst offenders by far are the double basses who place their instruments in the most likely path of travel by people entering and exiting the stage. Are they trying to build a bass barricade? Do they look around and say, "Hmm, where will people need to walk? Oh yes, I'll lay my instrument right there."

Should I crack a pun about rehearsal "break" not being a literal term? Naah, too corny.

And don't get me started about my students who travel up and down the elevators and the stairwells with their instruments unprotected (sometimes struggling to get through doorways carrying their trombone and case separately).

grumble, grumble, grumble...