Friday, October 22, 2010

On tour with the Ricks College Chamber Orchestra

Just the title of this blog dates me now that Ricks College is BYU-Idaho! I played clarinet from 5th grade all the way through college. In college I took private lessons and branched out a little bit by learning to play the soprano clarinet (a smaller one) for the orchestra, and the bass clarinet for the chamber orchestra.

The Chamber Orchestra members were "special." They were the best players of their instrument and with the exception of string instruments and percussion instruments, there was only one of each of the band instruments. All of these players were music majors. I was not a music major and not the best in my instrument; therefore, I was shocked when I was invited to be in the Chamber Orchestra....if I would play the bass clarinet. Ah, but of course! It wasn't as easy a transition as one might think. But that is another can of worms.

In the spring of 1994, the Chamber Orchestra went on tour across Idaho, into Oregon, then down into California. Our first stop was a suburb of Boise on a Sunday evening. We weren't doing a full performance here, but since the members hosted us, the plan was to do a fireside for us.

On the bus on the way to Boise, I was sitting next to an old boyfriend, who was a percussionist. I fell asleep. I'm a VERY sound sleeper and apparently missed out on quite a bit of conversation while sleeping. The percussion professor walked the bus in search of someone to lead all the students in a choir for the fireside. Tim informed the professor that I at the time was the choir director in our ward and volunteered me, the not so "special" one, to lead all of the music majors in a hymn that we, of course, would rearrange. So when I woke up, I was informed that the decision had been made and I was to lead them all in song. YIKES!

Lucky for me the professor told me exactly what he wanted done with the hymn. We were to sing "All Creatures of Our God and King" at least twice as fast as we sing it in church. The men would sing the first verse, the women the second. Then on the third verse we sang acapella with the first stanza in a round (only once) but the first group would hold the note while the second group caught up; after which, we would break into four part harmony. I know this is hard to imagine by just reading a description, but listening to a group of music majors singing it was absolutely awesome! I have a couple awesome choir memories and this is one of them.

I really don't remember the rest of the tour all that well, except that my ex boyfriend followed me around San Fransisco "to keep me safe" since I didn't want to stick with the group at Pier 39. I wasn't thrilled about it, but whatever. I remember buying chocolate at Giradelli Square and buying a huge ice cream sundae at an ice cream parlor. My two favorite foods!

The heaviest thing on my mind during this trip was my missionary. Matt was serving in the Arcadia, California mission in L. A. and I was going crazy realizing that I would only be four inches away....according to the map. Yah, I knew it was several hours away still, but we were both in California!!! Silly, I know, but nobody compared to my missionary.

I made an awesome friend while playing clarinet at Ricks College, and that was Elinda! Elinda, if I've incorrectly remembered any details from this trip, please feel free to let me know and I'll correct them in my post!

1 comment:

staramazer said...

I think you've remembered everything pretty well! Only I had crab cakes along with my chocolate. Weird, I know, but I love crab cakes, and those were the best ever. San Francisco was my favorite stop, and we did sound AWESOME under your direction in that choir in Boise!! All of our performances were amazing. I will never forget the feeling I got from the music and the people we met. The power of music will always bring me peace, and it brought out the best in everyone we played for.

Minus your ex-boyfriend (O.K., maybe not :)) and my ex-husband, there were some wonderful people on the trip as well. I wonder how they are all doing...

Wow, that was a while ago. It was when I was first pregnant with Stefanie, and I think I had morning sickness everywhere we stayed. Isn't it just wild how everything changes in 16 years?!? I am so glad that we are still friends, though. You are an amazing woman, and I am privileged to know you.