Living Well with a Bad Diagnosis - Lung Disease

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Professional "Ringers"

The dress rehearsal went well last night. The room was very live so we strings could be easily overwhelmed by the brass and woodwinds, who sit in front of a wall. It always takes the final rehearsal in the concert space to tweak these sort of problems. Gerry and I played well, bumped into a couple of oops moments but we will be very focused during the concert itself. Amazing what an audience can do to increase the level of competence of an orchestra!

One of our trombone players is in the middle of bone marrow transplant treatments and the other has been told to not play nor drive until they can find the cause of severe dizziness. Three "ringer" trombonists showed up last night and made such a difference to our overall sound. They were pros. They were fantastic. I spoke with them during the break and discovered that one was an elementary school music teacher. We talked music and kids.

We also talked about their friend who was a trombone student of mine at the school where I got sick. I have known this kid since he was in 4th grade. He had kind of a bumpy road but I was thrilled to learn he finally graduated from a top university as a music performance major. But, I was horrified to learn that the reason he didn't take our gig was that he is struggling with Bell's Palsy. Often, the residual effects are so severe that musicians can no longer play their instruments. Apparently, he is at the final recovery stage and feels he is close to being able to return to performing. That is very good news.

The concert space is not well ventilated and with it packed to the gills during the performance, it gets really hot. Thankfully, Gerry and I are backed up along one wall with two small windows. We begin the concert by cracking open both windows but by the second half of the concert, we have them fully opened. Last year, I was struggling with the flu and wore my oxygen during the concert because it was just so warm and I couldn't breath well.

Sunshine is forecasted for our road trip! That is fantastic news! No snow in the pass! It will be a wild few days to pull everything together before we take off. I have a list. A long list!

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