Today was our first day of rehearsals for the 'conductorless chamber orchestras.' There are three of these chamber orchestras, and I'm in the one playing Fauré's Masque et Bergamasques and Ligeti's Romanian Concerto. The idea behind these conductorless groups is to get the students taking ownership of their own orchestral experiences here from the beginning of the program before we all meld into one large orchestra to play Mahler, Beethoven, etc. in the later weeks of the program. Meanwhile, we're also all in small chamber groups as well - mine is the Mendelssohn Octet!
Things I'll remember from the second full day of NOI:
1) The principal violist knocking her bow into her stand partner's instrument, and then kissing the poor viola and saying, "Sorry! Love! Love!"
2) Reading through the last movement of the Ligeti for the first time, coming to the end as the lengthy horn solos drew to a close, and realizing we didn't know how to all come in together for our final note without a conductor -- so the principal cellist finally yelled "HAAAAH!" and we all went for it, and then laughed.
3) Playing the Mendelssohn Octet with my chamber music group; it is I and I alone who get to play the most glorious high E-flat in the entire piece towards the end of the fourth movement.
NOI Goal #2: to get that tricky page of the Ligeti up to tempo.