This was an intense week. We had the benefit of having the concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jonathan Carney, sitting in our violin section to play along with us and to coach us in sectionals. Our sectionals consisted of a lot of woodshedding. ("Woodshedding" is a term musicians use for a lot of really intense practice.) In addition to about 6 hours of orchestra/sectionals in a day, I was cramming in as much extra practice as I could manage. I got to campus early and practiced for an hour before rehearsal. I tried to look at spots that hadn't gone so well in morning rehearsal during our lunch break. I listened to recordings in the car driving back and forth from the festival. It was intense. Our violin section definitely went through a bonding process as we all went through this together.
The concert ended up going pretty well. My skills at focusing definitely improved this week, as did my brain's ability to deal with A LOT of notes at once. It was, however, a little like being hit by a freight train three times - there really wasn't a piece we could relax during! This whole experience also taught me something really important - my limits. But that's a subject for another blog.