Posted tagged ‘outdoor performing’

Playing for a Summer Wedding

March 5, 2013

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We recently had the pleasure of playing for the wedding of a lovely young couple in a beautiful garden in West Gawler.  As with most garden weddings there is always the element of anxiousness with regard to the weather, however on this occasion, we could not have asked for a better day.

We arrived around 2 pm to set ourselves up under the shady trees. Chairs had been set in rows facing north, with a little aisle in the centre. While we were warming up paper cones of rose petals were set out on each seat, their scent wafting in our direction as the wind began to swirl a little.Guests began to arrive about 45 minutes before the ceremony was due to start. They chatted amicably together, enjoying the refreshments provided, while we played Handel, Hummel, Klengel and Schubert. Our pianist, Dominique, had an ongoing battle with the wind, which, although not strong, presented her with a continual challenge.

The bride had chosen Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring for her entry. Unfortunately, with all the guests crowding between us and where the bride was entering it was rather difficult to see when we should start playing! One young man offered to be our ‘scout’ and when he gave us the nod we began to play.

Pachelbel’s Canon was chosen for the signing of the register. Much to our cellst Dave’s relief, we have an arrangement in which the cello part is not the usual soporific pattern of D-A-B-F#-G-D-G-A!  We ended with the Hornpipe in D, by Handel, from the Royal Fireworks Suite – a very bright and joyful piece to end such a beautiful occasion.

Playing when your toes are freezing – Chocolate Winterfest

July 22, 2011

Trio Al Dente, had the pleasure of playing at the Anvers Chocolate Winterfest on Sunday July 10th. The Winterfest is a regular event in our part of the world and attracts many chocolate lovers from all over the state. Our trio was playing for the “Chocolate High Tea”. Guests were served a three tiered selection of sandwiches, baked goods and the delicious Anvers chocolates and fudges.

Getting ready to play our next piece

In previous years, it has usually rained on the festival. This year it was just plain freezing!

As it was our first time at the event we didn’t really know what it would be like to play in 8 or 9 degrees Celsius. We were playing in a marquee which was heated but obviously it was nowhere near as warm as being inside.  As we played the day warmed up a little. We didn’t have many breaks so not much opportunity to warm up completely. Close to the end we even had a downpour and a thunderstorm…we just kept playing!

We were well looked after by the Anvers staff and, despite the cold, we thoroughly enjoyed playing together for 4 1/2 hours! Hopefully we’ll be asked back next year 🙂

Our experience with outdoor performance

March 8, 2011

A couple of weeks ago our trio, Trio Al Dente, performed at a local outdoor event, Classical Meets Jazz.  The event has enjoyed much success for about 10 years. Imagine a lovely warm summer day, sitting outdoors, listening to a variety of music whilst eating your picnic lunch.  Sounds very relaxing and enjoyable doesn’t it?

It had rained all day on the day before our performance.  We were unsure whether the event would even proceed or not  early that morning.  The forcast suggested the rain would mostly clear. The organiser made the decision: it would go ahead.

From a player’s point of view it was not at all pleasant.  The wind tore through the stage area, threatening not just to blow the music off the stands (it was pegged on) but to blow the stands themselves over! They were pretty sturdy ones too. Our pianist needed not just a page turner, but someone to hold the music down during the whole time she was playing. At one point our cellist’s music blew off the stand completely. He just kept going as if nothing had happened and picked it up when the piece finished! Meanwhile, I just pinned the music to the stand with the scroll of my violin. 🙂 The stage was covered from above, but completely open at the front and a couple of times rain fell on the performers.  How the grand piano survived I’m not sure. It was well under the shelter though so I think that was what helped protect it. My violin was not as fortunate though.  😦

From the audience point of view, it was a different story. They were well rugged up.  Many had not only brought blankets to sit on but also to wrap themselves in. They could buy coffee and barbequed sausages – they definitely were not suffering too much!  From comments we heard later, we discovered that the sound had been very good, the atmosphere of the event was wonderful and people enjoyed it.

So was an outdoor performance a good idea?  If we had trusted our own instincts we would have said “Not in that kind of weather”! However, the audience reponse and comments seem to prove that sometimes you just have to keep going even if it’s tough.

Will we do it again? Ah, you’ll just have to wait and see………..


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