Big journeys take preparation, patience, and perseverance, and finishing my first year with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera was no different. Our last concert of the season was a challenging program: Shostakovich Cello Concerto #1 and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.
The Rite of Spring is not the easiest of pieces to pull off, but Chattanooga Symphony nailed it beautifully. The amount of personal preparation can take months of studying scores, listening to recordings, watching YouTube videos, and of course individual practice. At the first rehearsal everyone summoned their personal ground work and adjusted their focus on a communal performance.
For Rite of Spring, an unspoken oath takes place on stage as each musician instantly has to trust and rely on fellow colleagues to play their parts at an equally focused level. One personal slip of the mind can instantly derail the entire ensemble to devastating results. A very big reward for this concert was the exhilarating last notes followed by the enthusiastic and instant standing ovation.
Post Concert Rewards
But the other rewards were our personal finish line rewards. Earlier in the season, 2nd bassoon player Rachel Young had mentioned to me that the best cocktails in town were made at the Easy Bistro. After inviting colleagues and audience on Facebook and Twitter to join me after the concert, I called the restaurant to make sure the numbers would be all right as the turnout was mounting to nearly 50+ people!
About 70 musicians, audience, and staff showed up for this post-concert reward. Our joint experience of the concert was shared and compared, and Easy Bistro made our celebration enjoyable and memorable!
For Principal Bassoon player, Eric Anderson, a hiking trip during peak wild flower season was his reward to look forward to after Rite of Spring. I tagged along on this hike and got a fantastic 8 mile workout on the Appalachian Trail in the Smoky Mountains. As Eric guided us through the elevation gain, he stopped on the trail every so often to point out various wild flowers.
Because I wanted to jump into this, I followed Kayoko Dan to the fitness studio where she works out and teaches yoga. It was inspiring to see board members and orchestra member alike working out in the various classes offered at Thrive Fitness Studio. After signing up for a few classes I was hooked and needed more. The special offer for sessions with a personal trainer caught my eye. Signing up for seven sessions has been one of the best decisions in my life, and working with trainer Kyle House has been inspiring. The one-on-one focus and the careful catering to my specific fitness goals/needs was above and beyond outstanding.
Thrive is a unique and special place to work out. There is a feeling of a serene purpose as one walks through the doors and enters the studio. Personal touches are everywhere from owners knowing everyone’s names to fresh towels and hair products in the bathrooms for post workout showers. Health and wellbeing is top priority.
The journey during this season with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera has been rewarding on many levels. But sharing this journey with my new friends, colleagues, audience, and the entire city of Chattanooga has been an indescribable reward. I’m already looking forward to next season!