Friday, September 16, 2005

12 Aug 05: Festival orchestra's concert

Thank you for your patience, here are more about happenings in Aberdeen when I was there this August. If you could muster enough patience, you would soon get to read about my trip to London.

12 Aug 05 (Friday):

In the evening of 12 Aug 2005 would be the festival orchestra's gala concert. To recapitulate, this was the programme for the gala concert: Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise, Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Brahms' Second Symphony.

In the morning, we had rehearsals. My stand partner, K., was not able to attend the morning rehearsal because she has to work.

Our double bass tutor in Aberdeen, P. was very thoughtful to come to my desk to share the first desk with me. It helped. Having P. next to me helped to assure me that I was coming correctly at the various entries of the double bass section. Then he told me, I was sitting on the "hot seat", the principal's seat and he urged me to lead. Instead of following him. That reminded me to have more confidence in myself.

Actually I wasn't quite feeling well that morning. So I could hardly assimilate everything that P. had shared with me. What a pity. He must have been sharing lots of words of wisdom.

After the morning rehearsal, SH told me that British Airways, the airlines that I would be taking for my flight to London tomorrow, went on strike. That was a worrying piece of news, I had already booked my accomodation and I had no wish to have my travel plans delayed.

Afternoon was free time. I had initially planned to walk around the City of Aberdeen to do some shopping and to check out the music shop that was not opened when I was there on 7 Aug 05 but I was not feeling well. Since concert was in the evening, I figured that I needed to do the concert justice by ensuring I have enough rest to feel better by the evening. You would have guessed it, I went back to hostel to rest.

Had lunch at the hostel canteen. Thereafter, I went to buy the newspapers. I wanted to read about the British Airways' unofficial strike. I read the newspapers in my hostel room. Since I could not offer to replicate a copy of the newspapers that I had read that day, I shall offer this link taken from BBC News:

After reading about the unofficial strike, and making sure I have gotten all things ready for the gala concert, I took an afternoon nap. That had helped. I woke up feeling much better. When I played in the evening much later. I was able to stay focused in my playing.

The gala concert went well. I still felt I had not mastered the Brahms' Second Symphony. I know I would still need to practise more to play better. At that time, I wished I had more time to practise!


The festival orchestra's double bass section.


However, overall, the festival orchestra managed to put up a well-received concert.

An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise would probably be seen as an interesting item for the audience. Towards the end of this work, a bag-pipe player strolled in from one end of the hall while playing his bag-pipe. Then he walked while playing, until he was near the front of the stage. It certainly sounded and looked like music from Scotland.

The Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 was perhaps the most well received. The soloist received standing ovation from a large number of the audience. The soloist played very well, I was moved too.

Even the Brahms' Second Symphony received appreciative applause from the audience. It somehow went better than I had thought, though I know that if given more time, I could have played much more better. I believe many people in the festival orchestra would have shared my sentiments. But I suppose that five days of rehearsal was the longest possible length of time that the organiser could provide the festival orchestra to come together and rehearse? It ws not an easy task to bring people from so many orchestras together, so here's cheers to the organisers of the festival and the people who have made it possible.

I wonder if it was a common practice for audience in Aberdeen to clap between movement? I gave this much thought, and I think I would not have mind having audience clapping between movements if the audience were appreciative.

After the concert, we packed up. We waited for the festival bus to bring us back to hostel. This is so that the participants could go to the hostel to change if they would like. Thereafter, another festival bus would bring us to Beach Ballroom for the Farewell Party.


Waiting for the bus.


The roads of City of Aberdeen.


That night was special. Every participant of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival was invited to the Farewell Party held that night.

On the way to the farewell party, I sat beside one of the bus drivers of the festival. He was not driving, but he was taking the festival bus to the Farewell Party. I found out that he actually plays the trumpet.

The team of bus drivers were actually volunteers who volunteered their time and driving skills to contribute to the festival. Imagine how things would have been if we were to have to lug our instruments from the hostel to the music hall without any drivers to provide any form of transport. That would be torturous if you were carrying a heavy instrument. Three cheers to the bus-drivers.

By the way, everyone who was 18 years old and above were each given three coupons that would each entitle one to one drink of either wine or beer. I did not want any drink so I gave away all my three coupons.

Folks, I was being disciplined. I decided I should not drink alcohol or carbonated drinks in the night. Doing so would not be good for someone who had wanted a good night of rest. When I told one of the drivers that I have no plan to drink alcoholic drinks, he said out loud that I was a "boring woman" jokingly.

At the Farewell Party, music was loud and not to my liking. That made me feel like leaving. I heard that there was a reception cum gift presentation to the representative of each of the participating group. I had wanted to watch it but got to realise that one had to be invited to attend that reception. I was not invited. What a pity.

At 11.15 p.m., I asked the bus-driver what time the next bus would depart for the hostel. He said 11.30 p.m.

While waiting, I had a chat with XM. He gave me ideas of what I could do if British Airways' strike were to continue till the following day and affect my travel plans.

I chat till that I did not realise that the clock had struck 11.30 p.m. That bus-driver was very nice. He remembered I was "the boring woman" who needed to be back in my room for an early rest, and he went around looking for me to remind me that the bus would be leaving. How nice. I don't know if I could find a bus-driver looking around for me before the bus departs if I were in Singapore.

Back in the hostel room, I tried to pack part of my belongings as we would be leaving Aberdeen in the afternoon of the following day. That night, there was a meteorite shower in that part of the world. I was tempted to watch the meteorite shower but decided to forgo it. Sleep would be more important when I was in foreign lands.

So while others might be partying away, chatting in their rooms or trying to stay awake to watch the meteorite shower, I was sleeping.

(Anyway, I heard that due to poor weather, many people were left disappointed when they tried to watch the meteorite shower.)

If you say it's boring life that I was living, I can't help but say that sleep was important because I needed to have enough sleep so that I could be alert enough to respond to unknown situations the next day. I had no idea whether I could leave Aberdeen the next day. I have read how many travellers were stranded at Heathrow Airport because of the British Airways strike. I felt I needed energy to know how to respond effectively should I meet up with a crisis the following day.

Sleep tight meantime. Your sleep is precious.


Simple American said...

Sleep is important. Especially when travelling. If you are tired you can miss a connection or have some of your baggage stolen.

mistipurple said...

nahh. you were being wise. better to be safe than sorry. and yes, i am also a boring person.