Messiah Rehearsal Number One

Well, folks, tonight was my first rehearsal beyond the chorus. I’ve worked with them since August…every Monday…so I’m comfortable with them and am confident in them.

Tonight was our first rehearsal with the instrumentalists and soloists. We hired three 1st violins, two 2nd violins, two violas, and one cello. We also have a trumpet player for one bass aria (you can’t do “The Trumpet Shall Sound” without a trumpet). With that, we have our organist and one of our pianists (playing a harpsichord sound on our Yamaha keyboard)…and lastly, our drummer, normally on set, has some skills with timpani too. Tonight we had one 1st violin, both 2nds, one viola, and the cello.

We have also hired four soloists for the recitatives and arias. Tonight, we only had the bass (a lyric baritone actually) and a mezzo-soprano.

The plan for tonight was to work the recitatives and arias…all of them. Then, when we came together on Saturday evening with the chorus, we could run down the whole program top to bottom. Well…I didn’t plan well enough to have problems to be fixed. I had hoped we could just run them down tonight a few times. We had some parts with extra measures, some tempo discussions with the soloists, and a few difficulties in the orchestra following me. I’ve got my work cut out for me – in the next two days that is.

The rehearsal went well though. It started rough because this group of people had never played as a group together. I didn’t account for that. It took us some time to get used to each other and for them to get used to me. I felt like we were just starting to work together by the end of rehearsal…then a big goof on my part. Tonight started at 7…Saturday starts at 6:30. We’ve hired the orchestra for 2.5 hours each time. I let them go at 9 tonight…being afraid to go over time. So, they got paid for 30 minutes more than we worked tonight…and we needed that 30 minutes. I can’t change it now…but I sure would like it back.

Anyway…it is a true pleasure to make music with these people. I can’t wait for Sunday’s performance. If you’re around, don’t miss it. Elberton, GA hasn’t had anything like this in quite some time and may not again for quite some time. Hope to see you there!

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