Well here’s a new one…and orchestra that makes you feel YOUNGER. We have several musicians who have surpassed the Berlin Philharmonic’s mandatory retirement age, but here they are welcome and encouraged to play for as long as they desire.
Violinist Jim A. of Harrison, NY has this to say about his experience playing with NewWSO:
I was inspired to add my two cents to this effort by two things: Heidi G’s beautiful Testimonial #1, and the contents of a recent interview of Woody Allen by Oliver Burkeman in The Guardian (U.K.). I found the interview in The Week recently, so at the risk of violating everything Copyrights are meant to protect, here are some of Woody’s comments under the heading “Allen on Aging”:
“(Aging) …. is a bad business. It’s a confirmation that the anxieties and terrors I’ve had all my life were accurate. There’s no advantage to aging. You don’t get wiser, you don’t get more mellow, you don’t see life in a more glowing way. You have to fight your body decaying, and you have less options.”
Woody went on to say, “There’s only one way to handle the horror of mortality . . . . . distract yourself . . . . . .play the clarinet.” (Emphasis is mine, the words, are his). “The only thing you can do is what you did when you were 20, because you’re always walking with an abyss right under your feet.”
Pretty dramatic, I’d say. But Woody was –and still very much – is — a dramatist of genius proportion.
During my first several NewWSO rehearsals, I shared a Violin II stand with a lovely woman I came to know slightly. She was extremely ill, and knew it, and told me about it. I think she lived alone, with, perhaps, a pet cat. She was noticeably weak, and I have no idea how she physically got to the Conservatory. I always did my best to be cheerful and would often compliment her vigorous bowing and attention to intonation. The orchestra was a distraction that kept her going – until she passed away only weeks later. She sawed away at her violin with passion and satisfaction. She was an inspiration to those of us who knew her. In a sense, she was an embodiment of all that is good about this organization. What more can we mortals ask for, at such a time?
As someone only months from being 80 years old myself, I think more about mortality than I like to admit. But since discovering this orchestra, I definitely spend much more time thinking about my colleagues and our attempts to create great music than almost everything else. The experience of “being 20 again” is a gift from those who created the NewWSO concept and the reality.
If anyone reading this so-called testimonial once played an instrument and thinks that recreating that youthful pleasure is ancient history, just plain out-of-reach . . . . . come and simply watch a rehearsal! I predict that you will be moved to rush home immediately to see if you can find your old high-school trumpet in the garage somewhere.
And here’s another thing! For those of us “of a certain age,” let’s face it, making new friends is difficult. But not here! And that’s a fact.
If you join us, you will enjoy a positive, life-altering experience. I know . . . . I did it.