Orchestra Experience

Great Essays
Music holds a special place in the lives of many. The influential German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, himself an ardent lover of music, felt that, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” In my life’s experience, however, some music is a kind of mistake. This sentiment was born out of my four unfortunate years as an orchestral cellist in Manlius Pebble Hill’s small, uninspired school orchestra. Fortunately for me, however, a superior artistic experience existed close by. At the urging of my private instructor I decided to audition for the Syracuse Youth Symphony Orchestra (SYSO) one sunny June afternoon in what would be the beginning of a two-year long, artistically satisfying relationship. My experience as an orchestral cellist in the …show more content…
MPH’s disrespectful orchestra members chose to text, chat among themselves, and practice music from their private lessons during our ineffective, tedious rehearsals. The result, predictably, was that our performances lacked focus and polish. Our performances suffered even more as a result of the limp, uninspired, lazy playing students chose to produce at our concerts. As I tried to play my best at performances, I often felt defeated afterwards when performances failed to meet my expectations of artistic fulfillment. The orchestra members’ worst and most disrespectful behavior, though, was when they bickered with the conductor over their assigned seating. These power struggles birthed a disunity in the ensemble which ruined any remaining hope of playing as an artistically unified whole. The SYSO’s players, thankfully, contributed to a much more artistically satisfying experience than I experienced at MPH. As the SYSO’s conductor strictly regimented rehearsals, students rarely, if ever, chose not to pay attention to the work at hand. This rapt attention to our work resulted in more polished, professional-sounding playing when it came time to perform. The concert stage also seemed to bring out the best, most inspired playing from SYSO members. As this practice was more in keeping with what I wanted of my performances, I was able to take pride in the beautiful music we made. Most importantly, …show more content…
The conductor, through her dedication and hard work, led the orchestra in such a focused, dynamic way that all her students grew to new levels of musical professionalism. The students, under her leadership, proved to be professional, capable, and inspired company in our shared musical journey. When combined, the efforts of both student and conductor allowed us to tackle more exciting and enjoyable repertoire. My years at MPH, unfortunately, were a musical mistake. Thanks to the time I spent in the SYSO, however, they were a mistake quickly and enjoyably forgotten. The unification of sound exhibited by the SYSO enabled us to tackle more challenging and varied repertoire than we did at MPH. In more intimate chamber repertoire, such as the Concerti Grossi of Handel, the MPH orchestra’s disunity was displayed in our uncoordinated, flat-footed playing. The result, for students that did make an attempt at coherent playing, was one of frustration and disappointment. Larger-scaled orchestral repertoire proved more difficult, if not impossible, for the limited capabilities of the MPH orchestra, which lacked full viola and bass sections. These limitations damaged any chance of contact with the professional symphonic repertoire students needed to grow as musicians. Our

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