Looking at life... from an oblique angle / and I sometimes Twitter (normally only when riled up): @brindafella

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (0)
Share on Facebook

Warmth, and Cold

The last several days has been un-seasonally cold in south-east Australia. We've had several 'cold fronts' come by. Today, we had snow falling as I drove to a performance of my orchestra, outside, on Aspen Island in the shadow of the Australian National Carillon.

The event was the Leukemia Foundation's Celebration of Life -- a remembrance service for people who have died from Leukemia and similar blood cancers.

A sub-set of our orchestra (a 'chamber' group -- conductor, 6 violins, 2 violas, 4 cellos, double bass, flute, oboe, horn, and I've probably missed a few others) was set up in a tent erected on a grassed area beside the Carillon. Several shade umbrellas set up nearby covered those there for the remembrance. A 'civil celebrant' officiated. We played a movement each of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante KV364 (320d) for violin, viola, and orchestra, and Horn Concerto No 3 K447 (the Romance/Larghetto -- you'd know that piece if you've ever heard a 'horn and orchestra thing' played behind an advertisement on TV), and several other little bits.

The rain came down; it was cold; we were all trying to keep our 'playing' hands from becoming claws.

It was such a shame that the service was not in marvelous, warm, spring sunshine. Yet, the warmth of the mood was still there.

Here is the text of an email sent out by one of our Maruki Community Orchestra organisers:

I've Seen Fire and I've Seen Rain

And I've seen sunny day's that I thought would never end, but I always thought that I'd see you again...

And those words were written by James Taylor many years ago about a friend of his who had died...

And today, those who went to the Celebration of Life event, saw plenty of fire and rain.

I want to say two things about today: 1. I apologise to all the musicians who attended who were subjecetd to probably the worst outdoor conditions that anyone could ever possibly experience. It was nothing short of APALLING. I will refuse any outside performance of the MCO from this day forward; and 2. I thank the musicians who came today for what they did. Particularly Lucy, Jillian and John for the determination to succeed in exceptionally trying conditions. You are my everlasting heroes - well, all of those who attended are. I have never seen anything like your grit, determination and professionalism in the face of such climatic adversity.

And you should all know this... I was the last to leave, I had to go back and collect the last two chairs... as I came back to my car the sun broke out and warmth came back to my body - I had been shivering only 5 minutes before and couldn't feel my fingers or hands. A couple of women came up to me and we started to talk about the event and what it meant to them, and to me.

They asked of my involvement in this event - I explained that I have an old school friend, Chris, who is in remission from Leukaemia right now. I told them that it was at another fund raising event that I attended at Chris' place, that I suggested to the LF folks that I might be able to help them by supporting an event one day...

One of the ladies asked me about my friend Chris - I told them that he was in the process of recovery post-bone-marrow transplant. She anxiously asked me about how long it had been since his operation - 3 months. She was very relieved; she explained that the first 30 days is the critical one after a transplant. She then told me that her own little daughter died on the 30th day of the event - 4 years ago. They had to turn off the life support system that was keeping their daughter alive. What a decision for a parent. I confess that we all cried at that point - she thanked me and the orchestra for doing what we did - for being there for them for this event and playing so beautifully. It meant a huge amount to each of them.

We all did a very good thing today - a great community one. It also meant an awful lot to me as I secretly dedicated the part that I played in the event to my friend Chris...

Thank you all. You shine.


Yes, there was warmth!

and... did I mention...?

I was playing in the 'first chair' -- Orchestra Leader ('concertmaster') -- of the First Violins. I certainly did not feel well enough rehearsed to do that, but during the day I did get to play a little solo (normally reserved for that position) and it went well.


Read/Post Comments (0)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.