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An Orchestra Returns

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((PKG)) ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR
((TRT: 09:12))
((Topic Banner:
An Orchestra Returns))
((Producer:
Marsha James))
((Reporter/Camera:
Philip Alexiou))
((Map:
Arlington, Virginia))
((Main character: 1 male))
((Sub characters: 2 female; 5 male))
((NATS))
((Text on screen:

Musicians are finally practicing and playing together before live audiences again after going silent for a year and a half because of COVID.))
((NATS))
((Scott Wood, Orchestra Conductor))

This violin was made in 1902 by my great-great-grandfather, who was a dentist at that time, but earlier in his life was a Civil War bandmaster and had went on all these, you know, campaigns in the Civil War from [1862] to [1865]. So, we’ve been able to follow some of his tracks and read his memoirs and it’s nice to have this violin which is actually a pretty good instrument.
((NATS))
((Scott Wood, Orchestra Conductor))

When I was really young, I started playing on piano and then I took up the trumpet soon after that. My military family that I was living with, was traveling all the time. And so, when we were living in Germany, actually there’s a picture over here of a painting by my mom of the little tavern that I used to rehearse in. When I was in fifth grade, my dad would drop me off at a bar every Tuesday night and I would play with this little German town band. And so, music became for me kind of like a passport, so that every place we would go, that was my ability to kind of make friends with music and that’s kind of stuck with me. That’s really what got me interested in the first place.
((NATS))
((Scott Wood, Orchestra Conductor))

My name’s Scott Wood and I am an orchestra conductor. So, I’ve got a concert today with an orchestra called the Arlington Philharmonic.
This is going to be a really interesting project because we are basically performing for an audience, almost rehearsing it and performing it almost at the same time because of COVID restrictions. So, we don’t really have, we haven’t had a place to rehearse indoors but we really wanted to reconnect with audiences and put on a concert.
((NATS))
((Scott Wood, Orchestra Conductor))

So, we’re going to have a short rehearsal…..
Show time
…..followed immediately by the concert. And I’m intending to tell the audience that this is the way that we’re presenting this. And I think they’ll kind of appreciate how spontaneous it is and how quickly the orchestra can actually learn music. Really haven’t been doing anything live. Very few live performances of any kind for musicians for about a year and a, what, a year and a half almost now. And so, what have we been doing in our lives to keep the music going? We’ve been doing a lot of practicing, which is always something we value, but that’s by ourselves. So, getting together has been, you know, kind of impossible and we’re starting to do that during that real restricted time that we had. We did a lot of things kind of virtually. We tried to put together recordings and things like that, but it was no substitute for really getting together live and that’s really only just starting to happen, especially for large groups like orchestras right now. So, you know, even in the very few things that I’ve done so far coming back, it returns very quickly, but you feel a little bit rusty. It’s sort of like the socializing, even the way you work with your colleagues.
((NATS: Scott Wood and Band members))
((Scott Wood, Orchestra Conductor))

That’s my cue for the last number in the…..
((Unidentified orchestra member))
What’s that?
((Scott Wood, Orchestra Conductor))
That’s my cue for the last number in the Ellington.
And, of course, the technical thing of playing your instrument with other musicians, getting used to them. That’s all. You’re kind of all learning it again, but it comes back pretty quickly.
((NATS))
((Scott Wood, Orchestra Conductor))
We did a concert that was a small orchestra indoors. So, it felt like a real orchestra experience from that point of view, but we just had a very limited audience. We were filming it and then live streaming it. And so, that sort of pushed the button of a concert a little bit, but it felt really strange to not have an audience there.
((NATS))
((Laurie Loomis, Oboist))

From a musical standpoint, it’s been really frustrating. Yeah, it’s hard to get motivated to practice when there’s nothing coming up and no real chance of stuff coming up until the pandemic is over.
((NATS))
((Scott Wood, Orchestra Conductor))

You’re not necessarily trying to interact with the audience at every moment, but the audience is really part of the experience. And that’s what’s going to be different, I think, about the concert we’re about to do.
((NATS))
((Craig Teer, Stage Manager, Percussionist))

Everybody has to bring their A game because it’s sight reading. We’ll give, you know, we have about an hour to rehearse it and then we perform. So, the pressure is on. In every group that I’ve worked with, the first thing is, “It’s so good to be back.” That is, to a single person, “It’s so good to be back.”
((NATS))
((Scott Wood, Orchestra Conductor))

There were phone numbers on past emails, but we don’t have…..
((Craig Teer, Stage Manager, Percussionist))
You see? You see things?
((Fabian Faccio, Librarian, Pianist))
So, I am the librarian. I am in charge of getting the music for all the musicians.
((NATS))
((Fabian Faccio, Librarian, Pianist))
It‘s been difficult. It has put everything on hold, and it’s really been a whole year and a half. Everybody is excited about it. So, I got emails and I say I’m contacting the musicians to confirm the music and the parts. Many of them are very excited that we are playing some other concert and the weather is helping. So, everybody is very excited.
((NATS))
((Tom Gardner, Violinist))

I mean from a health standpoint, my family and I have been okay, but as a musician it’s been pretty difficult. This is actually the first live concert that I’ll be playing in, in almost two years. Musicians, we want to create, and we want to do it in front of people and share that with them. And just not being able to do that, that’s been pretty difficult, so.
((NATS))
((Scott Wood, Orchestra Conductor))

Okay, the coda.
((NATS))
((Scott Wood, Orchestra Conductor))

Here we go.
((Craig Teer, Stage Manager, Percussionist))
Okay, give them hell.
((Scott Wood, Orchestra Conductor))
We’re going to go out together.
((NATS))
((Ed Cook, Audience member))

It’s great to finally get back out. You know, we’ve come to the concerts in the past before COVID and had to go through last year with none of this. So, it’s great to get a chance to come out again.
((NATS))
((Alex Cook, Audience member))

It’s so nice to roll right down here in the neighborhood. Easy parking, walk right in, great music. We love Scott’s personality.
((NATS))
((Barbara Henry, Audience member. Wife of bass player))

I thought they were very talented especially knowing that, you know, they just had a short rehearsal right before the concert.
((NATS: Music and cheers))

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