The Philharmonic offered the Board of Directors a chance to experience the music up close and personal. After a small sit down dinner in the atrium of the theater, Christopher Wilkins, the conductor, explained that in these hard economic times the Orchestra has had to cut back on the number of performances but the organization still stands on solid ground. He said the Orchestra is starting to reach out and involve the community in new and creative ways.
The Orchestra had to rehearse for the final performance of the season. The members of the Board were offered a chance to sit next to their favorite instrument. A Magic game was also going on that night and Christopher said "The Magic never offers it's fans the chance to go right down to the court and experience the game next to the players."
Since my wife plays French Horn, I decided to sketch the brass players. I was sitting right in front of the Timpani drums and a Cello player suggested I get some ear plugs from stage right, which I did. The orchestra rehearsed Dances of Galanta by Kodaly. There were many stops and starts but I must say it was exhilarating! Sitting among the players surrounds you with sound in a way even the best stereo can not duplicate. The Timpani was indeed very loud but I didn't want to dull the experience by using the ear plugs. I have known many of the players for years so sketching them came second hand. I hope Christopher Wilkins will consider letting me sketch during rehearsals more often because this is a great subject to observe and draw.