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images-1.jpegWhat is not often known about me is that I indeed play the viola. This is not something I usually lead with in conversation, partly due to the viola stigma, partly because I get tired of explaining that a viola is a big violin, and because I steared away from performing my junior year of college when my major became more ‘academic’ (ie I’m not nearly as gifted as some people living at Priscillaneous). I’ve always played in something – either chamber groups, orchestras, bus stops – but it’s hard getting into that scene moving to a new city. The sub pool it seems is somewhat small, and I’m not too into taking auditions to play with some better orchestras around here since the last one I took was for my acceptance into college.

When I was called on Thursday to play a gig this weekend – I was thrilled. Someone was going to pay me money to play the viola again? I couldn’t believe it – and to boot the church that had asked me to play was going to perform the Faure Requiem – a meaty piece for viola. Along with excerpts from the Messiah.

Most string players that have ever gigged can play the Messiah from memory. I was thinking about how many times I’ve played this piece, and the first time. I was about 14, and had just switched from violin to viola and though I couldn’t really play the instrument all that well, I got a call a few weeks after I made the switch. I have that same excitement and disbelief that I did then that someone would write me a check to hear me play.

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