From grade 6 through to the end of highschool I had one music teacher. From our inauspicious start in primary school, through the awkward middle school years, right up until the end of highschool, he endured our earnest, squawking stabs at music. He’s due to retire this year.
Music, specifically strings, was primarily the purview of the geeks. We were an awkward band of over-achievers. Book smart and conscientious. Shiny pennies. So I guess it’s no surprise that we would agree to come together for one last performance.
It’s a Mr Hollands Opus sort of deal. Create a flash mob orchestra to mark our beloved teacher’s final school performance. We’ll overtake the stage as soon as he finishes conducting his current class. (Shhh, it’s a secret) We’ve managed to assemble an orchestra pit that cherry picks across more than 20 years of students. I’ve managed to be convinced to join this ill advised endeavour and for the first time in decades I’ve picked up a viola under the exhortations of “Its like riding a bike!” It’s not.
I’m fortunate that my stand mate is a highschool junior familiar with the piece. While she may give me the occasional stink eye for not bowing in sync – something she’s already admitted to being OCD about – she’s otherwise tolerant of my muddling. At the very least I have not lost the touch of faking it. I’m confident in my superb air bowing technique.
It’s not easy sitting there surrounded by these high school kids. They’re loud and as easily distracted as puppies. Nonetheless, I’m keenly aware they are the ones I’m going to rely on to cover my ass. I’ve got 2 weeks to pull this shit together. Our second practice is this week.