Rehearsal minutes are golden and even with the best made plans seem to disappear with faster than light speed. I was fortunate enough to be a member of the Akron Symphony in the 70’s under the Direction of Louis Lane. During one of our rehearsals, I could feel that he was for some reason paying attention to my cymbal technique. He cut off the orchestra and looked directly at me with piercing eyes and a very displeased expression. “Mr. Adkins! You are in an Orchestra, not a kitchen! More practice is necessary! ” A few days later when I had finally regained some control of my hurt feelings, I was fortunate enough to speak with a former teacher and personal idol of mine from the Cleveland Orchestra. He talked to me about technique, listening, and feelings. He talked to me about feeling the meaning of the music and understanding the intentions behind the composer’s choice of sounds and colors. He shared with me that listening to others performing helps to develop the expression of even a cymbal crash. Two months later! In a performance of a completely different Symphony. Louis Lane once again turned toward me making direct eye contact and queued my cymbal crash. A small grin and the moving up and down of his eyebrows as he turned to que the cello entrance told me that I had practiced my why out of the kitchen.

I ‘m sharing this story with you because I want you to understand that I can not only hear our improvement as an ensemble, but I can also feel the connections you are making with each other. You are developing into a much tighter musical unit. You are sharing, supporting and expressing FEELING through sound. This only comes through individual practice and commitment. Thank you for spending time in preparation for each rehearsal. Thank you for accepting our suggestions and repetitive corrections. Thank you for trusting us! Thank you for understanding that there is never enough time for rehearsals. Each one is IMPORTANT! Each rehearsal has a purpose! More importantly however, is what you do to improve your understanding of WHY you practice on your own!

Our rehearsal plan is very limited between now and our September 17th performance. I will be posting our Concert Day Schedule on September 1st. Every minute of rehearsal time between now and the downbeat of the concert has a planned purpose. Please be a part of every rehearsal knowing that your reward will be as simple and meaningful as a grin and the twitch of an eyebrow.

I’m EXCITED!!!!!!


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