Namely, I miss session one. This is…Donovan, from NC, wearing my horn’s bell as a hat.
Namely, I miss session one. This is…Donovan, from NC, wearing my horn’s bell as a hat.
Whoa, August 1…what?! This past weekend, I was able to play with one of the high school orchestras on the fourth movement of Mahler’s 1st symphony. It was an amazing experience; not only did I get to play Mahler, I was able to play with a fantastic conductor and I rediscovered why I love playing horn! Mahler for horns is somewhat of a holy grail and while it was super challenging (on top of my extremely out of shape chops), it reminded me of how rewarding it is to work on something, loathe yourself for the majority of the process and then finally end with a great performance. Just because all the notes don’t make it doesn’t mean it’s not worth credit; if you, your orchestra members and audience feel exhilarated afterwards, that’s what matters. You can use that exact feeling to fuel your next practice session/rehearsal/performance. Ah, music, you feel so good to make. Once you get out of that cycle, it’s hard to remember the feeling, but when you do remember it, BAM! Now hopefully the feeling will linger, so I can keep it going when back in Boston.
My ensemble manager extraordinaire recently begun a music series in his college town. That’s an incredible feat, especially considering he’s been working on everything from afar and managing four performing groups alongside it all. I really wish I was going to be in Iowa (probably one of the few times I will write that!) but I’d love to see his hard work in action. More information and tickets can be found here: www.wsmsdecorah.org and www.facebook.com/WaterStreetMusicSeries. Look! They even have a snazzy logo:
I’m really fortunate to have worked with Dan and I’m sure when we meet in the future (it’s happening!), he’ll regale me in tales of WSMS success, maybe some even involving Mahler or Interlochen alumni or…both!
The greatest thing I’ve learned so far during my internship is: remain flexible. Jumping to your first conclusion (here and anywhere else for that matter) is bad, bad, bad. Usually, a solution (or option of sorts, if you want) will present itself in the problem or things will be very easily remedied. I freaked out the first few times I couldn’t find music or thought I had “lost” something, when really, it was just under that other pile or with that stack of music. I’d rush to my manager/conductor/boss: “I can’t find it! I had it in my hands ten seconds ago and it just up and walked out!,” I’d cry, feeling like the rotation of the world depended on me having this music right now. Of course, they would offer up a sensible solution (or hand me the very music I was looking for) and I’d walk away, embarrassed and feeling defeated. Of course, this was a personal problem before I came to this internship, but the internship has really helped me identify and work on the problem. Also, as with many jobs/situations/LIFE in general: things change. You can’t predict it and you most likely can’t change the change, so you just have to go with it. Repertoire changes, seatings change, rehearsal times/spaces change…what can you do? You can bitch and moan about it (believe me, I have) or you can just say “Well, I can do everything I can do to get x,y and z to you by a reasonable time.” And usually, most people are just fine with that because hopefully, they’ve been in that situation before. And if not, then it gives you good practice to deal with the people who apparently have had everything handed to them.
So, to being flexible and willing to keep things rolling when you’ve got the proverbial kink in the wheel. Also, to Mahler 1. More on that later!
Oh, the camp life. I had forgotten what a wonderful time summer is for artistic endeavors. I’ve participated in various summer music “things” (horn camp, chamber music camp, brass quintet camp, horn/piano/vocal chamber music camp….yes, ultra nerdy and ultra fun!). However, since those formative camps, summer has been forever linked with music/the arts in my mind. Being completely surrounded by the arts is a funny and interesting experience. It is amazing too — being literally inundated with these talented, dedicated and YOUNG kids. It’s exciting to know they’ll develop into amazing artists. It is funny because everyone is so absorbed in their own routine that you’d think they wouldn’t be able to relate to each other or have an ounce of empathy, but they do! Sure there are petty disagreements along the way, but everyone has the same goal in mind—to make something beautiful that people with various backgrounds can enjoy. Even though the kids are trying to play it cool and obviously want to have fun along the way, I know they’ll look back on this experience and be really proud of themselves and really value this summer for everything they learned. Anyways, off to rehearsal!
Made it! After a somewhat last minute application process (coupled with the feeling I thought I had a very slight chance to get in, but figured really nothing to lose), I did it. I’m one of the ensemble librarians at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp (check out their site, it’s really great: http://camp.interlochen.org/)! I’d heard of Interlochen before, but didn’t realize that there were so many wonderful internship opportunities. All the ensemble librarians started training on Saturday and tomorrow begins our prep week. This is somewhat daunting, as we are preparing music for ensembles that aren’t fully formed (that is, we don’t have exact numbers of players/parts) and that we haven’t encountered yet! But, all the interns come from diverse backgrounds (seasoned orchestral librarians, music teachers, students…) and everyone has been super helpful, so while there may be some bumps in the road (well, there definitely will be!) I think the end result will be great. I’m really excited for what’s to come. It’s also rather convenient that the campus is gorgeous!
I’m also in the midst of my online music cataloging class—whew! It’s definitely tough, as I don’t have that natural cataloger inclination, but it’s good practice. The assignments and class are giving me ample opportunity to practice what I’d really like to spend my life doing: providing access to music, whether it’s actual live performances, recordings, histories, theory, reference materials, etc! The more I immerse myself in the music world, the more I realize that it’s my home.
This is the BYSO library I’ve been organizing and cataologing!Alas, I’ve only done about one and a half shelves, but it’s going! I won’t be able to get that much further (I leave for Interlochen June 11!), but I’m hoping that post-Interlochen, I will have an abundance of ideas and way to tackle it even more effectively. For me, the most difficult part is not being able to throw things away. In general, it is hard for me to throw things away, but this is a case of seeing everything we have and seeing what’s in good condition, what we should keep just to have, etc. Anyways, hope to have a great after photo one of these days!
Oh, hello there…blog type thing! Yes, this is a terribly overdue update and I obviously have a plethora of excuses, but no need for that now. To the updates:
~Spring semester is officially over! I successfully completed International and Comparative Librarianship, Collection Development and Preservation Management. The International Library class was wholly online, my first. We all had to pick a country to explore, so I chose Vietnam. I learned all about their library development in the late ’80s/early ’90s and what direction they’re going in now–a more Western version/patron driven/information commons, like many universities in the States. It’s interesting that it’s harder to find current and actively updated (as well as translated!) information regarding libraries. Hopefully that will be changing in the near future. Preservation Management ended with a really great project: you are the new archivist at a hypothetical historical society in a ritzy New England coastal town…what do you do?! One of my ideas was to rent the 300 year old house located on the water for weddings and other events, with some of the money going to fix the roof/other building issues.
~I just found out that I’ll be an Ensemble Library Intern at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp this summer! I immediately applied as soon as I heard about the opening and I’m so excited: I’m going to learn so much about ensemble librarianship. I honestly cannot wait. While I was in college, playing in summer festivals/camps was so much fun and while this will be slightly different, I know the environment will be just as inspiring. Actually, I’m planning on bringing my horn to practice when there is some downtime. I’ve also never been to Michigan, so that’s another exciting element as well.
~I’m starting an online Music Cataloging class next week. I also can’t wait: even though my brief experience with cataloging was somewhat challenging (it just didn’t click with me, like it does for some folks), I think music will be especially intriguing. I also have this slightly crazy idea to listen to each piece we catalog/discuss. Might take me longer than the duration of the course, but I think it’ll be great practice!
I’m really excited for summer now. Definitely will be writing more about all I’m learning and experiencing, both with Music Cataloging and at Interlochen. I’m also still working on the BYSO’s library re-organizations…I have a great “before” photo to post; I know it will take a while to get through all of our music, but I’m excited to post the “after” photo…probably much later in the summer, if not the year! A bientot.