Beware the harpies

At the end of this month my 06-7 season begins with a course at the Kent County Youth Orchestra. This is my second visit with KCYO, and the first was an absolutely wonderful experience from beginning to end. The students played well, and with real passion and the sectional coaches were all wonderful musicians- I learned as much from them as the students did, I’m sure. 

That program was Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini, Liadov’s Eight Russian Folk Songs and Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony. Those of you with an encylcopedic knowledge of orchestrations will know that, of those three works, only the Tchaik has harp, and then only in the middle section. While all her colleagues were sawing away all day playing Shostakovich, the poor girl was subjected to all day coachings on her 40 bars of Tchaikovsky. I felt so bad that I promised her a better deal this year, but it’s not hugely better, I’m afraid. 

Anyway, I came across this post in Twang Twang Twang, a blog I just discovered, and it somehow beautifully captures the world of the sectional. Definitely my recommended post of the week. 

 c. 2006 Kenneth Woods

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at www.kennethwoods.net

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