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Playing Elijah February 9, 2009

Posted by flutebrarian in Music Performances.
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The first and only time that I have ever played Mendelssohn’s Elijah was as a terrified high school senior. I had been playing second flute to my flute teacher in a community orchestra with the man who would become my college flute teacher as the conductor. This year was my first experience playing in an orchestra and a great experience to prepare me for college.

Then my flute teacher dropped the bomb – she couldn’t play the Elijah concert. She wanted ME to play principal.

Shyly (as I did many things then) I agreed, not knowing what I was up against. Somehow, I made it through the performance and was completely overwhelmed by the whole experience.

Fast forward about 34 years…

Now, I have about 12 years experience as the principal flute in the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Orchestra and it’s Mendelssohn’s 200th birthday. Time to bring Elijah back to life!

I can honestly say that none of the oratorio sounded familiar, except for the crazy E major scale with the long D# trill at the end in one of the movements. This time, the run and the trill went off without a hitch. A triumph at last.

The performance went extremely well and Ron Barkett was an incredible Elijah. I found myself in a trance as I sat through my tacet movement while listening to the wonderful duet between Ron and principal cellist Elaine Anderson. Wow. Just beautiful.

And conductor Eric Benjamin – where would we be without him? His ability to pull chorus, soloists, staging and orchestra together is uncanny. He makes our work so easy and definitely never boring…


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