What does a Reading Orchestra do?
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of attending my first rehearsal with The Classical Musicians' Rehearsal Symphony Orchestra. I found out about it because of another group I belong to and love, ACMP - The Chamber Music Network. This orchestra meets at various locations throughout the city, and exists for players to be able to read and enjoy playing music together. There is no plan for performance, rehearsals are held so that we can learn new repertoire, revisit old favorites, and just enjoy playing together.
I decided that I wanted to give the viola a whirl. I've played viola as a soloist, teacher, and in chamber music groups, but (believe it or not!) never in a full orchestral setting. I really enjoyed it, but it was extra challenging to sight read on an instrument I don't usually play. We read Schumann Symphony 2, Mendelssohn The Hebrides, and two movements of Beethoven's 7th. I was so happy to be sitting with someone who was a VERY strong player, and I learned a lot from her in those short hours. I'm really looking forward to gong to the next one in July and expanding my viola repertoire even more.
The Brooklyn Symphony, of which I am also a member, will also hold reading rehearsals this summer. I'll most likely stick to violin with this group, but am looking forward to these rehearsals just as much. We're going to be reading Mahler 7, Beethoven 7, and a few others.
Leave any questions you have in the comments!