Sunday, February 18, 2007

Wholesome Adventures

Last night I went out with The Librarian and Software Guy to see a classical music performance on campus. I browsed the program, reading through the list of names of students in the ensemble. Didn't recognize any of them, which wasn't that much of a surprise. This is an elite orchestra, and students pursuing Bachelor of Music* degrees don't take math.

The performance was fine. Not mind-bogglingly fantastic, but perfectly reasonable. Software Guy claims to have heard some intonation problems. I thought that in some sections that there were problems with the ensemble keeping together (most of the piece was in duple time, and it sounded really strained in passages in threes and with two-against-three). There was a standing ovation, which I thought was a bit over the top. I mean, yeah, it was a fine performance but, whatever. Maybe I'm just not that into late-19th- and early-20th-century orchestral works.

I was curious about a woman who was standing next to the organist. Before the performance began, when she sat next to the organist, I had assumed that she was a page-turner. But she wasn't; the organist turned his own pages. She had her own copy of the music and was following along. There was a little LCD screen over the organ so that the organist could see the conductor and the rest of the ensemble, so I'm not really sure what her role was.

After the concert we were going to go out for hot chocolate, but Quirky Local Place (not zoned correctly to be a biker bar, so it's a biker tea room) was closing. Headed home.

The only real excitement of the night was driving away from campus around undergraduates who were in no way capable of driving in light snow on a Saturday night. There were icy patches in the road, and some dumbass had his car posed at a jaunty angle in the middle of the road** (flashers on) while an SUV was nestled in the shoulder. If you get in an accident and no one is hurt, you move your cars to the side of the road so as to avoid getting hit again. Especially if the roads are slippery.

*Here Music has its own school -- administratively, it's more autonomous than a department but less than a college. I'm pretty sure that some students in the School of Music don't need to take the gen-ed courses that are required of students in the College of Arts and Sciences.

**This was right by that giant new apartment building that is a blight upon the Student Slum neighborhood. The parking garage must extend under the road, causing the "bridge freezes before road" effect.