12.20.23 Note

Dear Metropolitan Musician,

Thank you for a productive and well-attended final rehearsal for 2023! We are at the halfway point in our preparation for the February performance of our program (Borodin, Tchaikovsky, and Arnold) and we are in pretty good shape, as an orchestra.


Our rehearsal schedule is going to become fragmented. Obviously, there is no MYSO the next two Mondays, and then we have off MLK Day, too, in January. There are only four more Mondays remaining (only THREE before the Community concerts on Tuesday, January 30), even though our final concert isn’t until February 11.

Thank you for keeping these important dates and many musical performance goals in mind as you work at home or with your teacher on the passages that are clearly not in our orchestra’s fingers yet (certain running scale passages in the Tchaikovsky symphony and Cornish Dances, mvt. 1 come to mind!). We know you will do the work needed to be prepared and proud as we hit the home stretch next month!


Strings, we need to clarify the special assignment for ALL violin, viola, cello, and bass musicians to support our work on the Liszt Les Preludes. The string parts present special challenges, and the orchestra will not be able to make music on this piece until you get these passages under better control. Here is how this will work:

  • After you prepare, please video record your performance of the assigned passage with an audible metronome ‘click track’ (to keep you steady).
  • Your phone camera should clearly show your fingers and bow stroke.
  • You will upload your video as an unlisted to YouTube and then share the link with Mr. E.
  • This assignment is due Sunday, January 21, 11:59 pm, about a month from now.

The assignment:

  • Violins, Violas, and Basses: Les Preludes, “Andante maestoso” mm 35-47
  • Cellos: mm 160-182

You may perform at any tempo you can manage at this early point in our preparation. It is much better to play slowly and accurately than to attempt a speed that is too fast for your fingers. We have until May to get things up to tempo!

If you have any questions about this string assignment, please reach out to Mr. E!

We spent quite a bit of this past Monday’s rehearsal delving into what it means to perform with consistent time. This is not easy to accomplish. The only way to develop this skill is to work regularly with a metronome, and also record yourself. Here’s an example: record a short passage you know that is difficult for you at a slow tempo with the metronome and record yourself playing with the metronome. By listening to the playback, you will hear whether or not you are ahead or behind the metronome beat. Isolate these spots and continue this process. Then, try recording yourself without the metronome to hear whether not you are keeping a steady tempo. Repeat!

We appreciate your individual work and dedication to being the best musician and Met Symphony member you can be!

Have a wonderful and restful break—you deserve it!

Mr. John Emanuelson (JohnEmanuelson@myso.org)

Mr. Jon Winkle (jawtbn@att.net)

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