First Congregational United Church of Christ
(No Class January 19th Martin Luther King Day)
This course is a continuation of the hugely popular “The Symphonic Life I” course available in the fall and will explore additional aspects of the life and work of Orchestral musicians. Students are encouraged, but not required, to enroll in “The Symphonic Life I” course before taking this course. Six musicians from the Sarasota Orchestra offer one lecture each on the following topics:
• Traditions of the Orchestra (B. Traba): Why does the Concertmaster walk out onstage last? Why does the oboe tune the orchestra? What's the REAL story on clapping between the movements of symphonies? Learn the origin of some of classical music's quirkiest traditions and how they are changing today.
• A Week in the Life (A. De Sorgo): The concerts you hear come together in orchestra rehearsals, but what does each musician do individually outside of the concert hall? How much do musicians practice? How do they maintain their instruments? What's up with those people who make their own reeds, anyway? Do musicians teach? Do they play elsewhere? Spend "a week in the life" of a typical orchestral musician.
• Performance Practice (J. Spivey): Focus on the evolution of style, as it relates both to individual instruments and to the orchestra as a whole. "Performance practice" will be central to our discovery of the way composers expected (and now expect) musicians to interpret what is on the page. From the harpsichord of the Baroque Era to the synthesizer of our time, keyboard instruments will receive special attention.
• What Does a Conductor Really Do? (J. Vibbard): The door opens, and an enigmatic figure confidently walks to the podium and takes a bow, only moments before turning, placing his/her arms in the air and commanding a start to the music. But is this all the equally famed and infamous Maestro, Conductor, Kapellmeister does? Take a peek into the sprawling and diverse career of a conductor, and discover some of those little insider quirks and idiosyncrasies of this often misunderstood profession.
• Playing "By Ear" (L. Cambis): While it seems obvious that musicians use their ears when they play, few understand the subtleties of pitch, intonation and rhythm which professional musicians must constantly assess while playing. Learn the basics of Solfege, the primary ear training method used in conservatories, major and minor tonalities, and how orchestral musicians hear with their eyes (note reading/sight reading) and visualize with their ears (pitch and interval recognition)!
• The Lives of Soloists and Chamber Musicians (A. Feder): Weeks away from home, traveling with instruments, practicing in hotels. Learn about the challenges of maintaining friendships, relationships, and a family for some of our most acclaimed artists who travel most of the year.
, January 12-February 23