When we recently asked our musicians to describe the role of NewWSO in their lives, we were very touched and extremely humbled to discover that in many cases, playing in the orchestra marked a new chapter of excitement and expression. One of our cellists from Hastings was even inspired to write a poem following a recent rehearsal. Read on…
Six months after my husband died, a friend in NewWSO encouraged me to join. After not playing the cello for 25-plus years, I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to play in an orchestra again. I’ve come full circle now, blossoming into this chapter of my life making beautiful music with a community of musicians and sharing it in our performances to warmly appreciative audiences.
Our Wednesday night rehearsals are better than a visit to a spa or a superdose of vitamins. Ben’s full acceptance of where we are when we begin inspires us to improve despite ourselves and to gain in confidence. It’s gratifying to play a piece a year later that originally seemed impossible.
I wrote the following poem the morning after playing Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony for the first time. There are other “rapturous evenings,” most recently with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
A smile lingers on my face
Like a magic candle
I can’t blow out
After a rapturous evening
With Ben Britten.
Do you know him?
We begin our evening
With “Boisterous Bouree,”
Laugh joyously through
Harmonize in “Sentimental Saraband”
Dance to the “Frolicsome Finale.”
An hour with Ben Britten
And my fellow string players
Is better than eating a bag
Of hot buttered popcorn,
Butter dripping down my chin
And not caring and better than
The first sniff of the ocean
Before we see the beach
After a long hot ride to the coast
It’s better than je ne sais quoi.
The day after, I’m still smiling.