My name is Francis and I’m a microbiologist for the NHS. It’s been over two years since I last played with the LGSO, in the second violins. I always enjoyed playing in the orchestra and found that it was a nice break from reality.
Sadly for me work became very busy and there was a shortage of staff as a number of people started to retire. Working for the NHS, I have to work weekends and nights, and being short staffed, I ended up on the rota to do more shifts on Sundays. This meant that I was unable to attend enough rehearsal to perform in concerts. Although I couldn’t play in concerts anymore, I still wanted to be involved with the Orchestra and help where I could as a committee member.
Over the past two years, the work situation had gradually improved, and by October last year, we were back to being fully staffed, meaning less shifts for me….YAY!
In November, I participated in an LGSO flyer run, and I have to say that it was the BEST SOCIAL EVER. We all met Gok Wan at KU Bar. We also managed to get an invite to a corporate event where we were supplied with lots of free champagne! I think what I really enjoyed about that evening was meeting all the new members. There were quite a few new faces from when I last played, and it was nice to hear how the orchestra was increasing in the number of players. I had such an amazing night and I decided that, with things improving in my work life, I would like to make a return to the orchestra.
It got to January, and I got in touch to come back, but the reply was that the whole of the Second section was full. That’s obviously great for the orchestra to have so many players, but I was a bit sad as I looked forward to returning. I was reassured that there would be space in April.
A week later, I received a WhatsApp message to let me know that there was a space in the first violins. I was absolutely delighted and my face was beaming. I messaged back straight away to say that I could make the next rehearsal.
It was the day of the rehearsal and I couldn’t help but feel really nervous. I hadn’t played my violin in ages, but I was determined to get back into the habit. Walking in to the rehearsal room, I was greeted by a number of people, both old and new players, and immediately felt at ease. During the rehearsal it was nice to know that some things hadn’t changed. There was still a copious amount of sweets being passed round and I was introduced to some new goodies to keep me going during the practice.
The rehearsal went really well and I picked up playing my violin quicker than I thought. I have to also say that the orchestra sounded better than it ever has before.
I left the rehearsal with both an appreciation of Mahler…..and Lime and Chilli popcorn.