Thoughtful Thursday: Orchestra Rehearsals


The Magnet Tribune: Zoe Alvarez

The J.W. Nixon orchestra rehearses their competition pieces in time for UIL.

Zoe Alvarez , Thoughtful Thursday columnist

Ever since I joined the orchestra, my mornings and afternoons have been booked with rehearsals. It’s a definite given as to where I’ll be in the mornings and after school. The orchestra room becomes your home, your safe haven, the place you confide within your school. The place with different kinds of energies. It’s refreshing to know that it’ll be there all the time. It’s the place full of familiar faces, fellow musicians, and friends.

Rehearsals are where you have to leave everything. These include your problems, your negativity, and emotions. All that goes outside the orchestra room, its time for rehearsals. Practice is where you learn a piece, a passage, a triplet, or even a note. It’s where you play a piece badly or play it beautifully. Here you make mistakes and learn to not make them again. You learn a lot about yourself during a rehearsal. It tests your commitment to the group and to the instrument. You ask yourself: am I good enough to play this piece? Am I willing to practice this piece? Am I willing to pick my slack within the section? Will I learn from my mistakes or will I blame others? My life is currently full of short and lengthy rehearsals. Whether it be a quick sectional for a passage on a piece or a full group rehearsal that lasts two hours.

I find that there are two types of rehearsals: the bad and good ones. The first is the bad rehearsal. This is the rehearsal that makes you question you and your talent. It’s when you curse yourself for not learning the piece prior to practice. It’s the rehearsal that fills the room with tension. Blame is sent to every section and every player. It drops your confidence and hope for yourself and for your group. Those are simply the worst.

But with all the bad there is good. Good rehearsals are those that are filled with happy players. You learn how to play a certain rhythm or even a page with your section. Notes written down, passages are learned, and a piece is played. You play the piece well along with the group. Those are the times that makes me think “not bad for a second-year violinist.” Everyone is proud and in a great mood. It builds confidence within yourself and your group. It leaves you eager for the next rehearsal. Those are the ones that leave you thinking, “that was a great rehearsal,” “we sounded pretty good,” and much more. The energy in the room is lively. The musicians walk with happiness radiating off of them. Those are my favorite kind of rehearsals.

Rehearsals can be quite tedious when early in the morning or after school after a long day. Yet I always find an inner excitement to go and play my violin. There is always a love to play a piece with the orchestra. I always love to hear the luscious sounds produced by the string instruments. I love knowing I am surrounded by talented violinists, violists, cellists, and bassists. Here we play pieces that can move people emotionally. It moves me as I play it. Surrounding yourself with the sound of every instrument playing all at once to create a piece is truly a life experience.