Sunday, 29 March 2015

Inspired by Others

One of these days, I might actually play in orchestra concert while in one piece. Last year, I was drafted in to the spring Solway Sinfonia concert quite late due to a lack of available bassoonists - but unfortunately Seville happened just before the concert, and so i struggled a bit due to my ribs and face being sore when I tried to play.

This year, I agreed to play several weeks earlier, and really quite enjoyed the Sunday reheursals (not training for a Spring marathon meant that I wasn't having to go for long Sunday runs!). However, as luck would have it (or rather my clumsiness), my latest accident happened just over a week before the concert. It took several days for the swelling to decrease enough for me to move my fingers at all, so I was very doubtful about actually playing, but I didn't want to let anyone down. Evenings were spent trying to wiggle my fingers more and more (thank heaven for painkillers), and by the weekend I was able to drive almost normally again (it was my gear changing/handbrake hand that I'd injured).

Concert programme
I managed the drive out to Gatehouse and just about got through the afternoon reheursal. A few painkillers later and the concert seemed manageable (though I did develop a rather sore back trying to support the full weight of my bassoon in my right hand to take the strain off my left!!). It was a great concert, as we played works old and new, familiar and unfamiliar, including two first performances – ‘The Tempest’ Overture, by Geraldine Mucha, and Love Song of a Lonely Man, by Geoff Keating (our conductor). The soloists were brilliant (and I loved hearing a piece written for the contrabassoon), and my sore hand was rather put into perspective over dinner in the pub, as I sat and chatted to one of the horn players.....he'd driven 3 hours from his home to play with the orchestra, and had a broken foot into the bargain!!

I had also been asked to give a presentation on my running year (ie last year) at the Annandale & Eskdale Annual Sports Awards due to my involvement in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth games. I initially thought that I would just be saying a few words to a small number of people, but I should have been alerted by the fact that I was asked for slides of my photos. On Friday (the day of the Awards) there was an advertisement in the local paper - and it mentioned my presentation alongside a photograph of me - so the nerves started to creep in. On arriving at the venue, there was a huge roomful of people, and I really didn't think they'd want to hear anything I had to say. 

There was a great mix of professionals, volunteers, coaches, clubs, schools, officials and sponsors at the event and so it was an ideal opportunity to raise the profile of all sport in the area. There was a huge number of nominations for the different awards - and it was inspirational for me to see the enormous talent and effort that exists through all age groups and abilities/disabilites. I was even more worried about what people would think of me giving a presentation as a relative newcomer to sport (at any level) - and I really wished that I'd started when I was the age of some of the younger award nominees! 

Still, it seemed to go well, as I was sent some lovely feedback by both organisers and attendees alike....and what's more, the presented me with a lovely personalised bottle....just for talking about myself!!!

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