First Congregational United Church of Christ
(No class November 21)
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. No previous class or knowledge of
classical music required! Professional musicians
from the Sarasota Orchestra offer lectures 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 (M. McClelland):
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 solved. 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 to this often
• 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
i nterval recognition).
• The Lives of Soloists and Chamber Musicians
(M. McClelland): 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.
, October 17-November 28