Saturday, February 9, 2019

Rapidan Rehearsal Pics

Here are some candid shots of a Thursday evening Rapidan rehearsal at the Music Room taken by Phil Audibert and his wife Susie. 

These first two give some context of the group as a whole.

Here are two of Benjamin giving a sense of his expressiveness and his humor.

Here's the brass section - Don B on the right, then John, then me.

And here's a nice closeup of John.

Here are the violins, in no particular order, starting with Brian.


Charles W


Ray, who's on violin this semester, but is equally adept on viola and cello




And here's the viola section starting with Kelly who was our only regular viola for quite some time
and Darlene, who joined us this year

The cello section is Roger (l) and Caroline (r)

and Joe B (l) and Stephen (r)

And on string bass, here's Joe B Jr.
With a second shot showing how they hold their bows

And in the woodwinds, Charles on oboe

Don D on clarinet

Don A on flute

Lynne on flute

Madelyn on bassoon

And here's Don W on the timpani
And  in this shot you can see him muting after striking the drum, something he has to do all the time

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Musikgarten at the Music Room

A cellist with the Rapidan Orchestra has experience with the Musikgarten organization, and has started classes in the Music Room. Here are some pics:

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Music Room Pics

Here are some pics of two recent events at the Music Room. The first was the annual Handel Party, which began many years ago with my friend Susan on flute, me on alto flute and Dr. Andy on cello playing through the ten pieces in the Water Music and the Music for the Royal Fireworks that need only three or four voices to play. Over time more players were involved and more pieces were typed into Finale, and this year we had it at the Music Room and invited the Rapidan Orchestra, and Dr. Andy who's been a part of it all since the beginning. 

Here are two shots from either side with Benjamin conducting. 

Here is a pic of our timpanist Don. We did the entire Music for the Royal Fireworks (transposed from D down to G to keep the brass out of the screaming high range). This was the first time we've had timpani joining in and the effect was terrific.

Here are a few more pics.

And here are some pics of the supper following the music in the reception area of the Music Room.

The second event was a reception and chamber recital for supporters of the Rapidan Orchestra, again with Benjamin conducting (and playing the harpsichord). We set the musicians up against the long wall, which allowed for the audience to be seated in a semi-circle around us. 

The audience response was, if anything, even more enthusiastic than the full orchestra concert last April. Three reasons I think why are:

1) - The acoustics are very live and you can hear all the instruments well. 

2) - The full lighting helps the audience feel more a part of what the musicians are doing. 

3) - A number of people in the audience I've known all my life, and I think we as a group are pleasantly, but very, surprised something like this is happening in Orange.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Opening Night at the Music Room

Back on 4/13/18 the Rapidan Orchestra played to a full house at the Music Room. It was the first time the Music Room was open to the public, and there were a lot of "old Orange" people (that I've known since being a child) who came to hear the music, but also to see what's happening with the old Gill Hardware building there on Main Street. Even before the music started there was a pleasant buzz of energy in the room as people greeted old and new friends and looked around to see how the inside of the building has been transformed.

That night and in the days following, the most heard comments from the audience were the wonderment of hearing live music like this in Orange and how well played it was. The most frequent comment from the musicians was the incredible sense of connection between us and the audience - I used the word "electric" and our conductor used the word "palpable".

For me the empirical indicator of that connection was when and how the applause began after each piece. Between the conductor and the players there's a sense of the exact moment a piece ends, and sometimes audiences will applaud a bit before or after that moment. That night it felt to me the applause began in the nanosecond the music ended. 

And the applause felt as though it was erupting from the audience, that they'd been so connected to the music, when it ended they were responding in a way that was in part non-conscious and very enthusiastic. Sometimes applause can sound duty driven, but there was none of that I could hear. I have to say the only times before this I've performed and felt audiences that revved up and connected to the music was when I was playing banjo.

Some of the variables that contributed to all this:

1 - Set and setting - a lot of people there were very happy to see the old building put to new use for the community and were in a good frame of mind to begin with.

2 - The Rapidan Orchestra has come a long way, and our current conductor Benjamin Bergey has done a splendid job of helping us mature.

3 - Robert Carlson the piano soloist, though only a sophomore(!) in college, absolutely wowed the crowd and orchestra with his playing of the Beethoven.

4 - The acoustics of the space are really good. There's a real clarity to the sound, and you can hear everything going on very well (which is one reason Rapidan is playing better - we can hear each other so well in the Music Room). 

5 - Though it's a fairly large space, the audience sits very close to the musicians, and I think that enhances the connection - the audience essentially shares the same space as the musicians, as opposed to being off in the distance, with the musicians up on a stage.

6 - We haven't done anything to the lighting, so the whole room was fully lit, rather that the orchestra under bright lights and the audience sitting in the dark. My sense is that amplified the feeling of us all being together enjoying each other's company, and not the us/them feeling large halls and theatric lighting fosters.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

News Story on the Music Room

This link will take you to a story in our local paper - the Orange County Review - on opening night at the Music Room. Thanks so much to Jeff Poole for the pics and the story.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Music & Peacebuilding

Here's Benjamin Bergey's lecture/recital for his doctorate at JMU that I got to participate in. I sat right in front of the soloists and got caught up in the flow of their singing and Benjamin's conducting. It was one of the most moving musical experiences I've ever had. He started the music at the 31 minute mark with an audience singalong. To get full screen start the video and then click the box in the lower right hand corner.

Opening Night Pics

This past Friday night we had a performance by the Rapidan Orchestra at the Music Room, and, courtesy of Jeff Poole of the Orange County Review, here are some pictures of our first public event.

Before things got underway, Rapidan conductor Benjamin Bergey thanked Karla for all she's done to make the Music Room a reality. As Benjamin said, the Music Room is the new home of the Rapidan Orchestra, as we'll be rehearsing and performing there.

Here's a shot from rear of the room. Besides the audience members seen, there are others sitting to the right of the large opening into the reception area.

This shot shows the back of the room, and one the ladders along the wall dating from when the building was a hardware store with floor to ceiling shelves.

Here are some pics of the orchestra and Benjamin.

Here are some pics of our soloist for this concert, Robert Carlson.