Apr 17, 2013
Off to Penn State! - April 17, 2013
Patricia Ahern, violin
We loaded the bus at Trinity-St. Paul's Monday at 4pm, and it was decorated inside with balloons for Raha's birthday. Alison brought cake, Beth brought snacks, and it was quite a fiesta! We got stuck in the 401 rush hour, and the US border crossing took longer than expected, so the ride ended up taking 9 hours to get to Penn State! Needless to say, we were all exhausted when we arrived at the hotel lobby at 1:30am.
Raha's bus party
The next day was a day for sleeping in, but I could hear many of my colleagues already practicing when I stepped out for breakfast. We were all excited to play House of Dreams again, but there is always the feeling "Do we remember all this?" Since this concert is for memory, it takes a special kind of concentration. Schwab Auditorium on the Penn State campus was beautiful, built in 1903. It was a perfect size for us, and the dress rehearsal went very smoothly. During our dinner break, many of us sat outside enjoying the spring weather, complete with fully blooming daffodils and budding trees. There was a calmness in the air, and as I sat on a bench eating salad, I noticed little bunnies hopping around me. What an idyllic campus!
Dominic Teresi warming up in Schwab Auditorium
The concert went really well. In spite of the short night, my colleagues all played beautifully. Christina was absolutely heroic for playing at all so soon after hip surgery, and her concerto with Allen was spectacular. This orchestra has a tradition of making the best of a challenging situation, and I could see everyone helping each other with suitcases, instruments, but also on stage musically. There is such a sense of family, and it could be seen in Penn State! We're looking forward to doing Magic Flute on Thursday.