On Monday night I took part in the Pacific Symphony’s side-by-side initiative called “OC Can You Play with Us?”, performing the finale of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, Carl St.Clair conducting.
Here is a brief (two-minute) video on my experience. It’s free:
My article is behind the Register’s paywall. (Note: a one-day pass — $2 — also gets you access to the archive, so you can catch up on anything you’ve missed.)
Here’s an excerpt:
“If I had become a professional trombonist, you wouldn’t be reading this. Actually, I was one, for a time, until a series of events, at least one of them disastrous, led me to become a music critic (Berlioz called it a “calamity” when he became one). I still pick up the instrument every once in a while, though. But not without a certain uneasy feeling. My life story is wrapped up in it. Sometimes a trombone is not just a trombone.”
Click here to read my article, or pick up a copy of Sunday’s newspaper.
Sure sounds like you had fun!
How’d you like playing for St. Clair?
For St.Clair? With St.Clair!
This is an important correction – Tim suddenly talking as an orchestral musician now… We do hear lots of FORs and UNDERs, both of which can be justified at least partially, but WITH sounds so much nicer! However, Tim, you still have not answered Gary’s question.
Well, I wasn’t there as a critic, but as a trombonist. So naturally, I paid little attention to the conductor.
He did make some very quick improvements in the entire orchestra’s performance. I sometimes found his beat a little hard to follow, but I’d say that was mostly me, wrestling with the music and trying to see him at the same time from way in the back. There were no risers the day we played.
Carl and I had a good talk afterwards. We’re on friendly terms, always have been.
“Well, I wasn’t there as a critic, but as a trombonist. So naturally, I paid little attention to the conductor.” Hilarious.
Great article. Thanks for sharing the backstory with everyone — can’t imagine it was easy. Very bummed I couldn’t be there to see you and everyone else play, but I would’ve been bummed had I gone and discovered that you didn’t get to play and those humungous risers that the Pacific Symphony uses. Can’t help but see the trombones on those things.