08 December 2015

Oakland Civic Orchestra's First Set of the Season

I didn't play the first set this season with the Oakland Civic Orchestra, nor am I playing this Advent, though I am still with the orchestra and keep them in my thoughts. I have been waiting for these videos to be available because the concert was supposed to have been really impressive. Here are two of the movements (#3,4) from Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony, the main offering of the first set.

I personally love the second movement (not included here) while the third (included) is amazingly fun --- not only because the music itself is playful with parts thrown back and forth between instruments, but because the strings are mainly using a fast  and repetitive pizzicato which is not easy, especially for extended passages (never mind an entire movement!). This is simply a technique we (violinists anyway) do not use a lot --- not enough to gain real facility with it! The fourth movement (also included) is one I honestly would not have thought our orchestra could ever play (the string parts are quite difficult and I suspect the same is true for the wind parts), but here it is --- an amazing testimony to the group's growth over the years and the commitment of its members (and director and associates !!!).

Remember, this is an amateur orchestra whose members have day jobs as teachers, professors, nurses, ER physicians, mathematicians, retired park rangers, psychologists, attorneys, librarians, contractors, social workers, hermit nuns, and any number of other fields most of which have little or nothing to do with music --- at least not directly. Rehearsals are held one evening a week for 2.5 hours. Anyone living in the SF Bay Area and interested in playing with the orchestra should go to the website Oakland Civic Orchestra and contact Marty Stoddard, Artistic Director. Strings are always needed and no audition is necessary. Winds (for whom chairs are much more limited) are also welcome but do need to audition for seats.