First Congregational United Church of Christ
The second installment in the hugely popular
“Symphonic Life I”series, this course will explore
different 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
• 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.
• Who has the Bells and has Anyone Seen the
Whistles? (G. Nickson): What has to happen
behind the scenes to make each week at the
orchestra go smoothly? Following in the footsteps
of a Principal Percussionist, take an in-depth look
at the logistical challenges of an orchestra and
how they are resolved. See how the worlds of
production, personnel, administration and librarians
must combine smoothly to make it all happen.
Additionally, the many challenges of keeping the
percussion section running will be discussed:
finding obscure instruments, fixing and maintaining
an orchestra’s collection of instruments, shipping
obscure pieces of furniture all around the world in
the name of music!
• 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.
No previous class or knowledge of classical music required!
, February 29-April 04