YOME

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Day 1 – arrived, signed in… then we stood around talking for a while. We had a quick introduction, then jumped right in the deep end sight reading. We also stood around for a while just talking…
The pieces we’re playing:
– Dambusters March – Eric Coates
– Overture to Pirate’s of Penzance – Gilbert and Sullivan
– Soiree Musicales – Rossini/Britten
– Symphonie Fantastique, Movement IV, March to the Scaffold – Berlioz
– Excerpts from The King and I – Rodgers and Hammerstein
– English Folk Song Suite- Vaughn-Williams
– Little Suite No. 1 – Arnold
– The National Anthem of the UAE

Day 2 – we had sectionals first thing in the morning, which was good. There’s 3 of us oboes… sometimes it feels like too much, especially when trying to get tuning details down. >.< We’ll get there. During our break, Sarah, Philip, and I found a quiet spot and prayed for a few minutes. Then we had full orchestra. Still sight-reading some things, but it’s getting better. It seems like some of the pieces are really easy, while others are rather hard. The conductor is also difficult to follow sometimes… his movements aren’t very distinct.
We had another sectional… in which I got to try an English Horn, which was a lot of fun. Then we had another break… watched people play chess with a giant chess set, and finished with another hour and a half of full orchestra.
Everything makes me really miss Csehy – because it’s like Csehy, but not quite as good – musically, people, directing… and having no individual practice time is really getting on my nerves because of the way the oboe tutor runs things.

Day 3 – Today was frustrating. We’re starting to get places, and all of the sight-reading is done, but sometimes it’s really frustrating being second oboe when it seems like the first oboe solos aren’t coming together. I did meet lots of new people, though. It’s really stretching to do that because nobody really comes up to you to talk to you like at Csehy.

Day 4 – Fellowship! We’re NOT the only Christians on campus! I found out today that my friend and her brother are believers as well! πŸ™‚ It was so refreshing talking to her over one of the breaks. Sectionals went better today, and we had a second full woodwind sectional. Those are probably my favorite. We went to the mall for a break, and enjoyed ourselves walking around, getting ice cream, and trying to find different stores…. without a map. πŸ˜‰ We had full orchestra when we got back. Things are really starting to pull together. And I’m enjoying myself more as I get more comfortable with the music. After we finished for the day, we had a pizza dinner. It was really nice out, so we played around on the lawn and watched the guys play chess.
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Day 5 – We have almost ALL full orchestra now. Only one sectional a day… today we had half just oboes and half full woodwind. A group of young girls from a school here came to learn about the orchestra. One of the girls wanted to try conducting, so we played part of Pirates of Penzance while she conducted. πŸ™‚ I brought out my mini chess set and Liv and I played for a while during the breaks. People though it was pretty funny that there was one HUGE set and a mini set. πŸ™‚

Day 6 – Last day of rehearsals! We had a woodwind/brass/percussion sectional, which went really well. We mostly worked on dotted rhythms and runs in different pieces.

Day 7 – We had the morning off. Hannah, Lydia, and I slept in some, and then we had brunch and took showers. At noon we left to go to the school, where buses would take us out to Abu Dhabi. I sat with Liv and Sarah on the ride out, and we talked about various things – mostly languages, names, and musical instruments. And I learned a lot about the Faroe Islands… adding another place to my list of places I want to go. πŸ˜‰ We had a quick practice and run-through, then went upstairs to eat and change. At 7 we had a photoshoot downstairs on the stage. Then we had to be upstairs in our dressing rooms until 20 ’till 8. I played chess with Liv, and listened to people play each other’s instruments. πŸ˜‰
Once backstage, I started to feel a little bit nervous, so hid away in a corner to pray for a little while. Asha came and sat down by me, and we were talking about Church for a while.
Then we finally got started. πŸ˜‰ I admit it was a little disappointing, there were only about 400 people in an auditorium that seats 1,100. But then I heard God tell me the same thing He did when I was sad about being a second oboe rather than first – it doesn’t matter who else is listening or who I’m playing for, it’s still for His glory, and all for Him.
As we played I was thinking about that more, and especially during the bows. Almost everyone else was taking the applause and the glory for themselves. I asked myself why that was so special, and what there was in that.
On the bus ride home, I sat with Liv again, and we talked sometimes but more often were trying to get to sleep.

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The stage of Emirates Palace Hotel, where we played.

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The Hotel

Day 8 – We had the morning off again and went to Church. Then we drove home and tried to take naps, but failed completely.
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At 3 we left for the college. At 4 we were practicing for a final time… and then wandered around and ate until around 6:40, when we changed and headed back into the back rooms. We were passing around programs for people to sign and getting email addresses… and playing each other’s instruments again – I got to try the clarinet, bass clarinet, and Katie let me play her French Horn… and attempted to teach me a scale, but the only thing she succeeded in doing was getting me really wanting a French Horn. πŸ˜‰ In fact I’ve already started looking online for one… πŸ˜›
The second performance was a good deal harder to get excited about, but by the time we went on stage I was pretty excited again. During intermission we took pictures… and then went back out for the second half of the concert.
Then we had to say goodbyes, which was rather sad… but it was happy to come back home and know I didn’t have to get up early for 6 hours of playing again the next day. πŸ˜‰

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Backstage

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A picture from the newspaper

Both concerts were good… nobody made any huge mistakes. A few people missed cues, but it wasn’t too major.

I am very sad it’s over… but it’s going to be nice to get back to REALLY practicing. πŸ˜‰ I met some lovely people and made some wonderful memories. And even though at times it was really frustrating, I would go back next year. πŸ™‚

“2 minutes until tomorrow!”
“It’s tomorrow.”
“No, it’s today!”

“It’s not fair. We pay to do this… and do all the work, and they get the refreshments.”
“Well, they can’t stop us if we all go out at once…”

Bail O Dia Ort,
Kyleigh

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