Friday, July 1, 2011

NOI, Day 29

Today we had five hours of orchestra rehearsal, but I'm still feeling that as a group things aren't quite ready for the concert tomorrow night. Hopefully tomorrow morning's dress rehearsal will work some magic!

Our conductor's Italian accent continues to charm people. "Strings-a and woodwinds-a..."

I love it.

Today he was much more energizing than he has been in previous days this week. He had all of us laughing a few times.

"Strings-a, these pizzicato notes-a are accompaniment-a! I want-a 'plom, plom, plom,' and you give me 'pluck, pluck, pluck,' like guitars-a in a pizzeria!"


"If you ever practice with a singer -- and I hope-a you don't -- you'd see that she'd sing the phrase in-a this way..."

{For those not in the know, musicians like to make fun of singers at least as much as we enjoy a good viola joke.}

Aside from rehearsals today, I warmed up for about 30 minutes this morning, and other than that, didn't even pretend to practice. We had a two-hour lunch break during which I certainly could have practiced, but chose to enjoy one last falafel wrap from the student-run organic food co-op here on campus. (Their mantra is "Food for People, Not for Profit.")

This is the best food in the world. Crumbled falafel, hummus, lemon tahini, spinach, sprouts, tomato, and onion. The perfect lunch, and only a five-minute walk from the music building.

After lunch, Brooke and I lay down on the wide windowsills in one of the hallways of the music building and lounged for a while. We talked about music, and Brooke mentioned seeing the comment on my blog about a teacher telling a student, "Did you think that sounded good? Because it didn't." She thought this was quite excellent, and declared, "I hope someday I'm good enough that I can say something like that to someone!"

I replied, "Well, if you keep lying around like this, I'm sure you'll get there."

And then we laughed for about five minutes. We crack ourselves up.

As things are winding down, it's clear that everyone's tired. The 7:00 am practice sessions aren't happening so much these days. Neither are the 10:00 pm ones. Quite a few students here are headed straight from here to other festivals, and I can't imagine how they can have the energy for it! I for one have enjoyed being here, but am now really looking forward to going home.

After today's rehearsals, Brooke, Kristine, Ting-Ting, and I drove to Bethesda to pick up a dozen cupcakes from the Georgetown Cupcake location there. Brooke spoke so highly of these infamous cupcakes that we had to try some before we all leave for our respective homes.

Here's our assortment of Chocolate PB Chip, Lava Fudge, Lemon Blossom, Coconut, Red Velvet, and Chocolate Hazelnut cupcakes:

I ate a Chocolate PB Chip one:

The cupcake was really good, but the frosting was the really amazing part. {And I'm not usually a frosting kind of girl.}

In full disclosure, I also ate a quarter of a lemon blossom cupcake and a third of a chocolate hazelnut one. Yes, I'm a little embarrassed.

I'll leave you with a funny little story from Brooke, in keeping with the recent themes of exhaustion and food:

"When I woke up from my nap I noticed a yogurt-covered pretzel was in my bed with me, and I was hungry, so I ate it. Then when I got up I found white stuff all over my shirt and realized I must have slept on the pretzel!"

That pretty accurately sums up the level of fatigue around here, and also perhaps demonstrates our occasional desperation when it comes to food. As Brooke puts it, "Let's get bubble tea! Food is our only joy in life right now." {A joke, but there is something about bubble tea -- one of our favorite indulgences -- that makes the practice hours a bit more pleasant.}

Tomorrow is our final concert, and after that... HOME!


  1. Thank you for posting every day--it was like a vacation to read!

  2. Agreed. We really enjoyed your daily posts. Is it too much to request that they continue? :-)

    OK, I'm willing to show my ignorance. What is bubble tea?