Monday, May 7, 2012

4/22/2012 St. George's Gala Concert

Today was our first day in London. What a journey it was. The flights were all pretty smooth except for the crying baby during our 6 and a half hour plane ride. Walking into Heathrow airport was something new, I felt the culture shift instantly and I cannot wait to actually hit the streets. The first English women I encountered was one of the nicest people I have met. She asked, "Is this your first time in London?" Kirwin and I replied that is was. She asked why were in London and told us to have a wonderful time. She was so sweet. On the underground I start to see London and it is picturesque. I was immediately thrown back to my childhood watching Mary Poppins and dreaming of one day coming here. During this journey, I began to feel like a tourist. I have travelled all over the U.S. but I have never had this feeling before. Finally we get our station, Paddington, and walk to our hotel. It isn't like American hotels but it has a bed and that is all I cared about because I could already feel the jet lag even thoughadrenaline is coursing through my body. We soon left the hotel and walked to the Royal Albert Hotel. On that walk through Hyde Park, I fell in love with London. This area was beautiful. I want to come back for an extended amount of time. Finally we reached the venue; and the concert was fantasticSomething I notices about the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was how transparent their sound was. I have heard St. Louis Symphony Orchestra countless times and they have a much heartier sound. This does not make one better than the other just a different taste of timbre. The choir was also lighter. The sopranos were light and airy. They waved their flags with so much pride. Through every song that the audience knew, they would sing loud and clear just like they were in the choir. If someone were to do that during a concert in the United States they would get a dirty look. Not in England, everyone and I mean EVERYONE sang, and sang loud. I felt out of place because I was not singing. Every person in that audience waved the flag they were holding high and with so much pride. Honestly, I have never seen anything like this. Even though I am not English, I was proud to witness this moment. It made me wonder why America does not have this pride. We don't even sing our own national anthem at anything. Someone else has to sing it and we listen. Why do they have so much, but we have so little?. There was one set back for me. During "See The Conquering Hero Comes" by Handel, the 2nd horn player messed up the beautiful horn call. I was looking forward to that famous part. But, his mistake taught me that no matter how good you are you can still mess up at performance time. Professionals are human too. It pushed me to be a better player. This experience taught me that America should take more pride in herself. We don't neccessiarly need to show it in the same way the English do, but a little more pride would not hurt us.

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