Aisslinn Nosky, violin
Yesterday started in the mid-morning with a pleasant drive from Saskatoon to Regina. Before we boarded the bus a mini fashion show broke out in the hotel lobby as several orchestra members showed off some extremely warm sweaters and coats they had picked up during our hours off in Saskatoon. The weather stayed clear enough that we could enjoy the beautiful prairie sky rolling along outside the comfortable warmth of the coach.
The bus to Regina
Once we arrived in Regina there was just enough time to check in at the hotel and freshen up before we made our way to the Conexus Arts Centre for our rehearsal. In Regina our concert was presented by the Regina Symphony Orchestra and we were pleased that the Conexus Centre had a very warm and beautiful sounding hall. It seats approximately 2000 people which, for our orchestra of 17 performers is quite a big size, but because of the quality of the hall we were easily able to fill the space with sound. After a quick bite to eat we headed out on stage to see a very full hall... it had been a long day already but the energy I felt coming at us off of the audience wiped all the fatigue from my mind and we flew through the show. The audience positively roared after the final notes and we retired to the hotel pleased with such a successful ending to a long day.
This morning started out bright and early with an 8:30 a.m. bus call in order to get to the airport for our flight to Calgary. After a small delay due to the weather, there was a much longer delay as we sat on the tarmac watching all of the orchestra’s luggage NOT being loaded on to the plane (see dramatic picture below). We were then informed that due to other earlier flight delays there was a large back-log of luggage at the Regina airport and that only luggage belonging to earlier “problem” flights would be making the trip with us on our aircraft, and that all the luggage belonging to people on this flight would be sent to Calgary at some later unspecified time. MAJOR PROBLEM. Our concert in Calgary was at 8 p.m. and no other flight would get our luggage to us on time. While we all had our instruments on board (our instruments are too fragile to be checked) we had none of the rest of the clothes and equipment which we would need to perform the show. Thanks to our Tour Manager stepping in and advocating tirelessly for a calm and reasonable resolution to the situation, the crew in charge finally said that they would squeeze as much of our suitcases on as they could. We spent the next two hours in the air with our fingers crossed hoping that they did, indeed, follow through and bring our luggage with us. In the end every suitcase arrived save one, and our poor oboist Marco had to wait and see if his suitcase would get to him in time for the performance in the evening.
Hmmmm....shouldn't those baggages be on the plane?
This quite clearly illustrates one of the less glamorous aspects of life on the road. Our main goal when on tour is to turn in night after night of the best performances possible and in order to do that we try to foresee and manage every potential logistical problem ahead of time, but every once in a while there are things which happen which are just totally beyond our control and no matter how difficult the situation becomes the show must always go on. And it will go on this night as well, luggage or not.
After we arrived several hours later than planned at the hotel a handful of the orchestra sprinted off to teach masterclasses at venues around the city and the rest of us began our personal preparations for the rehearsal and concert.
The concert tonight was presented by the Calgary Pro Musica Society at the intimate and lovely Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall at the University of Calgary. Special thanks to Calgary Pro Musica Society’s Artistic Director, Dean O’Brien for stepping in to help us by bringing a black suit for Marco to wear for the concert. The show must go on!
It was the last concert of our tour and as we made our way through the performance tonight I felt like, as we finished each piece, I was saying a fond farewell to an old friend. See you next time, Galileo!
Another successful tour!
Thank you so much to Aisslinn Nosky for her blogging during the Western Canada tour, 2012! Also many thanks to the orchestra for taking photos, many of which came from photographer extraordinaire Julia Wedman.