Sunday dawned another beautiful day. The concert venue (Venue Cymru Theatre) was within walking distance of our cottage, so we could take full advantage of the glorious morning (Gwen even went for a second run along the sea front).
I was secretly dreading this concert. The venue has a very, very dry acoustic and to make the Prokofiev and Haydn in particular sound in any way beautiful, you have to work ever so hard.
Rehearsal was really only for topping and tailing, and after enjoying my prawn and edamame bean salad, I got ready quite early to have a good, long warm up.
I thought Vilde's Tchaikovsky was especially good in this concert. The audience obviously agreed, breaking into spontaneous applause after her blistering first movement (sod all convention, I felt like clapping after the first movement).
I really quite enjoyed the Prokofiev, but I wish there had been one more concert in which to play it. I think there are some pieces that are always like that - it becomes more comfortable, and consequently, more enjoyable every time you play it.
I enjoyed the pairing of the Prokofiev with Haydn's London Symphony, even if it did mean that the second half of the concert felt like an absolute marathon. However, I think it really demonstrated just how well constructed the Prokofiev's Classical Symphony is and I am a bit of a closet Haydn fan.
Alas, the final bars of Haydn did not signal the end of this Spring North Wales tour for the majority of the Orchestra. After a dinner break (in which Andy, Mark and their team had to pack up the Theatre and move everything to the Arena for the next rehearsal), we were into a technical rehearsal for two education concerts in Llandudno on Monday with conductor, Grant Llewellyn and animateur/facilitator/genius, Andy Pidcock.
On Monday, we played to over 1500 schoolchildren from both special education units and main stream education schools. The sight of associate leader, Nick Whiting, dressed as Nicolette the Hungarian Gypsy fiddler is an image that may be ingrained in my memory for a long while yet to come!
With that, we were off on the long journey home. The next few months hold some very exciting projects and repertoire for the Orchestra. The beginning of April will see the return of Associate Guest Conductor, the irrepressible François Xavier Roth for a programme that will bring the wind and strings individually into the limelight, as well as featuring young British pianist, Benjamin Grosvenor. Then, after a highly anticipated week of annual leave, we will be joined by Lisa Milne for Mahler's Fourth Symphony (I am already very excited). However, first, later this week, we have our Family Favourites concert to look forward to, featuring which promises to be an all singing, all dancing affair. And that's just in the Second Violins.