It was the perfect start to the tour. The bus was brand new, and thanks to Quince’s Coaches I found myself sitting in a very comfortable seat. On tour, a comfortable seat is worth its weight in gold, especially on the six-hour leg between Shepparton and Hamilton!
Wangaratta is one of my favourite places to perform; it always has such a wonderful feel. With the audience sitting so close, you begin to feel as if you know them. There is a sense of intimacy, and friendship. A local woman stopped me in the street to inform me that her daughter would be in the audience. She apologised for her absence and continued to tell me that she had loved hearing us when we were last in town two years ago. As she reminisced on her time with the symphony, her face lit up. In that moment, the impact that music can have on a town and its people was clear.
Chris Moore has absolutely excelled as a musical director. It’s always a pleasure to perform with him and his larger than life personality, but it’s his sensitive side that seems to produce the most magic. Unfortunately, for the lovely people in Shepparton, they didn’t have the opportunity to experience the magic because our concert was cancelled. In the deluge that hit northern Victoria, part of the concert hall roof had collapsed, and all of a sudden we didn’t have anywhere to play!
In my time at the MSO, this has never happened. Suddenly, we had a night off! A few of us booked for dinner at a local restaurant. We found ourselves sitting next to a table of people who had planned an evening at the symphony. They noticed us before we noticed them. A gaggle of musicians are an easy bunch to spot!
They told us how disappointed they were about the concert being cancelled. Having seen the smile on that lady’s face just a day before, not giving these people that same experience was devastating. In an attempt to rectify the situation, I grabbed my cello and performed a Bach Suite at their table. It was the very least I could do!