Saturday saw me doing my most westerly gig for a while, getting the National Express out to Cardiff and then on a hire coach to Carmarthen. I was taking up a viola chair with the wonderful Welsh Musical Theatre Orchestra for the first (but certainly not the last) time.
And so a small orchestra with some of the characteristics of a pit band (piano, kit, saxes, multiple wind doubles, pairs of trumpets and trombones while the rest was chamber orchestra sized), plus a hand-picked squad of vocal soloists and conductor Andrew Hopkins, had a couple of hours of slightly camp fun in the Lyric Theatre with the sounds of the West End, Broadway and Disney. And that was just the rehearsal.
Joking apart, this was a fun gig, and it’s always nice to be asked to think about the visual and performative aspects of orchestral playing rather than only the purely musical ones. Having got a better grasp of Cardiff’s geography (for future transport interchanges) and more importantly the Shows and Soundtracks programme folder, I’m looking forward to repeating the experience – specifically in Port Talbot on the 16th of December. See you there if you’re currently of Cymraeg residence!