The Ballad of Baby Doe

This weekend I’m performing in the orchestra for Winter Opera St Louis‘s performances of The Ballad of Baby Doe by Douglas Moore.  We perform  Friday at 8 pm, Sunday at 3 pm, Chaminade Preparatory School.  It’s the regional premiere!

We started rehearsing yesterday.  The way this works is that we have a few orchestra only rehearsals (in this case, 1 or 2) and then a couple dress rehearsals and then BOOM it’s performance time.  The singers have been rehearsing for a couple weeks, because they have to have their parts memorized and of course there is staging and costumes and everything on their end.  We just have to hide below the front of the stage and read our parts and stay with the conductor, much easier, really!


I play as concertmaster which means I’m the first chair, first violin.  For this performance there are only five total violins so that’s not really that impressive 😉  But it’s my job to help lead the orchestra and interpret what the conductor is saying and all that.

And occasionally play solos—last night in the second rehearsal there was a solo that I totally forgot to play.  We were rehearsing one of the arias with the singers and I was just listening (I think) and zoned out, and Steve, the conductor, turned to me, and said, um, you should be playing your solo right now.  It was only about four measures long…and I just missed it entirely.  Oops!  I appreciate that he knows me well enough to know he didn’t need to worry about it, and he didn’t stop or anything.  I’ll get it next time for sure.


(I thought it was important for me to wear as many grey sweaters in this post as possible.)

So that makes for a busy week.  Some weeks I have tons of free time, and other weeks are filled with extra opera rehearsals and practicing (NOT for the opera, for that other thing.)

How was your weekend?  I hear there was some sort of football type sporting event people watched during my rehearsal yesterday?

8 thoughts on “The Ballad of Baby Doe”

  1. I thought of your blog yesterday when filpping through channels and saw Animal Planet broadcasting the Cat Half-time Show during the Puppy Bowl. No kidding.

  2. I cheered extra for you since you had to miss the football thingy. 🙂

    BTW, I wrote down on my calendar the Chamber Project March 1st performance. I hope you will be playing. 🙂

    1. YES I am playing! I’m so happy you will be there! We are also playing the same program on February 22nd at the Art Museum, so either one 🙂

  3. I think some of my favorite gigs/performances are when I’m in the pit orchestra. Good luck with your solos, although I’m sure you don’t need it 🙂 Also, good luck with that “other thing”. Rooting for you!!

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