Monday, March 9, 2009

Derailed by a Page Turner

Last night I performed with the Fortnightly Club of Palo Alto a work by Nancy Bloomer Deussen. The piece, The Message, written for choir and small ensemble, was arranged for piano and choir for this performance. I was very excited to perform this piece and worked very hard to play it to the best of my ability. The page turns in the piece were difficult. I had cut and pasted my part to minimize the page turns, but there was great concern that I would turn too many pages or have some problem with the page turns. A turner was found for me at the last minute. I was uncomfortable with using a turner, but decided that it would be best to have one so I could look at the conductor (my music was interfering a little with my sight lines).

ONCE AGAIN I LEARNED ---- TRUST YOUR GUT! The page turner was a disaster. He made three incorrect page turns and the first wrong turn during my solo introduction. I, personally, am never more nervous than when I have to turn pages for a performance (including my own). Publishers and typesetters of music should really take the turns into account and then rarely do...also I can't wait for the day that pages are turned electronically so there will be no more human errors (just like computers have eliminated humor errors!)

I must put aside my anger and disappointment as the "message" in Nancy's piece was about love. So I forgive my page turner, I forgive myself for not trusting that I could turn the pages myself and I forgive the typesetter for creating the page turning issues in the first place.

It just wasn't the night for page turning. The duo pianists who played before us were turning their own pages and had a horrible page turning problem which caused them to have to stop the piece. It just goes to show that anything can happen in a performance and you have to just roll with it.

No comments: