Sunday, 18 May 2008

Be careful what you wish for ...

The concert about which I was worrying has been cancelled.

I now feel a bit of a louse about this, having sort-of almost wished for that, but in a rather selfish way that was to do with my difficulties as a player and not really thinking too much about the broader picture.

The lovely Nick M broke the news to us last night once we'd sat down to rehearse, though due to poor security (show me a musical or theatrical setup that does not leak like a sieve) a rumour was already circulating.  Apparently - and this blog is not really the place to go into detail - there had been severe marketing problems at the charity for whom we were doing it, and appallingly few tickets had been sold, and really there was no option but to pull it. Poor Nick was pretty upset. He's gone to much trouble over this, we were doing, frankly, a massive favour to the charity (whom you'll notice I have not named) and they just didn't deliver on the marketing. Gah! How can you do that? This wasn't just some gig, it was the launch of a major fundraising campaign for a seriously important facility at a very well-known London institution. And they'd sold ten tickets and no-one, it seems, had done anything they'd promised to do on the charity/institutional side - whereas on the artistic and venue side all was in place. Odd, and a bit upsetting. Doesn't fill you with confidence in the rest of their efforts, really.

So ... an odd evening. Actually it then, strangely, became quite nice: once the bad news was delivered and had sunk in a bit, we played through everything, including doing Walton's Henry V arrangement with a very fine and theatrical narrator. I am not sure if I was pleased, or sad, or what, to note that I got through the West Side Story piccolo trumpet part moderately well. Did it become easier once I knew the concert was off? Hmmmm.

Nick then took us all off to the pub, which was nice.

I hope we'll manage to resurrect the concert some other time, maybe in a context where we can get an audience. If we do, and I must remember this resolution, then I'm not playing the picc part in the Bernstein and big trumpets elsewhere. I'll get properly into practice and try to do a decent job, but not alongside a load of Bb stuff as well - it's just too much for a player of my particular, er, characteristics to cope with.

Oh well. You live and learn - or something.

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