Every once in a while, we all get to enjoy some special first-time moments. My past couple weekends were spent rehearsing and performing with the Oak Ridge Symphony in Oak Ridge, TN. The town, located just northwest of Knoxville, is well known for being a key location for the Manhattan Project during World War II. I have performed a number of times in their Chamber Music Series, and each time I was struck by its highly educated audience members and their great interest in classical music. It was a pleasure meeting some familiar faces and play some great music with local musicians there. So here are some first-time experiences for me:
- Playing one of the greatest orchestral clarinet solo parts: Kodaly's Dances of Galánta
- Playing on a new mouthpiece in a public performance for the first time in six years (I've been using my previous mouthpiece for all occasions. This time, I tried my new Vandoren M30D and really loved it!)
- My awesome wife accompanied me for the trip to the concert, so we got to spend some relaxing time together in Oak Ridge and Knoxville for the first time!