Hey everyone, Amanda Smith here! I just had the pleasure of sitting on stage while the Artosphere Festival Orchestra rehearsed, and all I can say is WHOA. I was in band (played the clarinet), and even played some concerts on the Walton Arts Center stage, but this was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
First off, I love all the unspoken cues. As soon as Maestro Rovaris walks on stage, the musicians immediately sit up straight and give their undivided focus to him. I would have waited for him to say something like “Everyone, it’s time to begin” or, “Quit practicing and look at me!”, but that’s not the way it works when you’re a professional. And with the nod of a head, or the flick of a wrist, the orchestra knows exactly what Maestro Rovaris wants.
For me, sitting in with the orchestra while they practice was almost like going to a wine tasting. If you like to drink wine occasionally, like I do, you may not be able to pick up the different flavors and notes that distinguish a cabernet sauvignon from a pinot noir or a merlot. However; when you taste them all side by side, you can tell.
I’ve attended a few symphony performances over the years, and to be honest I couldn’t tell a great difference between them aside from the fact that they played different pieces. But sitting amongst the musicians as they rehearse, and seeing the tweaks that Maestro Rovaris gives them as they play the same piece over and over, I could actually pick up on the variances between the oboe and the violin playing the same notes, but not playing them the same, ending a note too soon, or a section not being “on the same page.”
While I know not everyone can come and sit on the stage while the orchestra practices, I suggest taking in more than one of the Artosphere Festival Orchestra performances over the next week and a half. You may surprise yourself by noticing something you never did before.
You can find the schedule, and purchase tickets, for the Artosphere Festival Orchestra here.