This weekend we presented our annual Christmas concert with the Greenville Chorale. The concert was a joint effort between the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra and the Chorale, with a Friday concert up there and Saturday night in the Peace Center. With the ensuing rehearsals, it was quite a busy weekend.
Thursday night’s rehearsal was a bit worrisome. As I drove up the mountain, I hit snow that had just passed the flurry stage right on the outskirts of Hendersonville. By the time I got parked, it was coming down pretty good. The venue itself, First Baptist of Hendersonville, was not really large enough to accomodate this many performers. I spent most of the rehearsal and concert with a trombone jammed into my gut. I was also right on the edge of of the next step up, so one foot was on one level and one on the next step up in a sort of "Captain Morgan" pose.
Apart from the discomfort, the concert went well. The Peace Center was a bit more spacious, and that performance on Saturday was also very nice. Both were deemed "Magnificent!", which usually translates to very loud. What distinguishes a fine performing ensemble from a good one is its ability to handle subtlety. So much of the repertoire was boisterous that many of the performers – instrumentalists and singers alike, tended to belt away, even in the quieter moments. Sections that started softly, such as Away in a Manger and Stille Nacht, were beautiful. However dynamic changes from loud to soft within other works tended to get lost. Oh well. I guess the important thing was that the audience enjoyed it.