Midpoint of our visit…
Today marks the midpoint of our visit to Philly and the Mann Center, but most of the work is still ahead of us. Tonight‘s concert is the very popular Zelda Symphony (music from the video game that celebrates 25 years of being one of the most successful in history). We played another set of concerts a few years back that also featured music from a bunch of games called Video Games Live. That concert sold out its first summer and brought to Heinz Hall an audience that looked like it was hijacked from Comicon! Very fun atmosphere and costumes galore.
I say most of the work is still ahead because due to the wild popularity of the show and the fact that it is being played in lots of venues around the country, the PSO has yet to see the music for tonight
‘s concert. As a matter of fact, we won’t read the music for the first time until 4 hours before the downbeat of the concert! That’s because the music has to be expedited to us from the last city where it was performed (probably last night) so that we have it for this afternoon’s 2-1/2
hour rehearsal. The National Symphony awaits the parts for their shot at it tomorrow and then we see it again for two more shows in Pittsburgh. It’s not uncommon for an orchestra to get only one rehearsal for a concert like this, but with our experience on the VGL shows I know that as a brass player there’s a mountain to be climbed today before the end!
This trip has been particularly fun for me because I have my oldest daughter Madeline here with me. We’ve spent time being tourists doing important stuff like deciding which cheesesteak really is the best (achieving this goal by eating a cheesesteak from Pat’s then walking across the street to Geno’s and ordering our second [each] to take back to the Ritz-Carlton for the deciding vote. Sorry Geno’s, but Pat’s was better…..must’ve been the extra whiz….or maybe it was just a matter of speaking my language….CHEESTEAK!
Yesterday Madeline and I pounded the pavement in the heat to get to the Philadelphia Museum of Art! We were both bowled over by the enormity of it and also the significant number of people running up the front steps to do the “Rocky” victory dance at the top! The ticket we got for the museum was a two-day one, so we will pick up today where we left off!
The Rocky theme found its way into our concert at the Mann Center last night! After the Tchaikowsky we played two encores. The second was a galop that features a short solo for clarinet. Mike Rusinek has developed a tour tradition for this work by improvising meaningful tunes (Alouette in Montreal for the CFL football team playing that night and Rocky for Philly). It has become a happily awaited moment of our tour concerts!
See you at home! Stay cool…..