Some moments are meant to be savored. This photo (thanks Simon!) shows me looking down at my score to The Alms Tree, while the orchestra played on at Saturday’s Victoria Symphony Composer’s Workshop. Congrats also to Clinton Ackerman, Jared Richardson, Remy Siu, Alex Jang, and Roydon Tse, composers who brought their own inspiring work to this event!
“What’s a composers’ workshop?” is a question I was asked. Basically, the orchestra will read through each composer’s piece for the first time in front of an audience. It’s quite exciting! An orchestral reading is very fast-paced and focused. The Victoria Symphony allotted 22 minutes for each composer’s work, which included sight reading, rehearsing, and recording. (And aren’t you still sight reading if you’ve only played it once before?) Hiring an orchestra is costly, so every minute counts. Questions are answered directly, players respond promptly, and there is little time for negotiation.
Yet within that precious 22 minutes, a world unfolds, exposing each composer’s work, and each player’s ability to navigate new music while staying in sync with the ensemble. It was fascinating to watch this happen across music of many different styles. And bravo to Composer in Residence Michael Oesterle and Maestra Tania Miller for leading what must have been an exhausting journey through six new works. I’m grateful to you both!
The Vox Humana concerts were also last weekend… and that was equally thrilling! I’ll have to talk more about the choir later as they did a phenomenal job performing my Compassio, a small part of two striking programmes. THANK YOU to everyone who came to these events and who offered support along the way, even if it was just an email or “good luck!”. Your words count.
Here’s to the next 22 minutes!