Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blunt Force Trauma

There were a few new people at rehearsal today.  Well, I think only one of them was actually new, and the others had been to rehearsals when I was absent for one reason or another.  The new new person was a violinist, which everyone was happy about.  We also had a returning violist and a bassist (for the second time ever), which made our string section bigger than it had been in a long while.

As a member of the leadership team, I sat down next to the new violinist at the break and introduced myself.  I then went about my duties as dues wrangler, collecting money from people.  I took the precarious way to the oboes, walking between chairs with violins placed on them.  I got there successfully, but on my way back, disaster struck.  I can't even tell you how I managed to do it, but I walked into one of the violins, snapping the scroll right off and sending it flying to the floor.

I couldn't believe what I saw.  It was like looking at a severed hand.  Then I realized whose violin it was: the new guy's.  On his first day in a new orchestra, some doofus breaks his violin.  He stared agape for a while, and all I could do was stand there and apologize.  People in the vicinity were also staring, but no one said a word.  Rehearsal was starting again, and the conductor asked us to work it out amongst ourselves.  I invited him into the hallway to talk.

The talk went well, and once he got over the initial shock he was very understanding towards me.  I offered to help him pay for the repair (assuming it is reparable, cross your fingers) and to lend him my violin so he has something to practice on (thankfully, I broke an instrument for which I have a spare).  He said he was going to go back to transcribing bowing markings into his music, which meant I hadn't scared him away and he had every intention of continuing to play in the orchestra.  I still felt horrible, and was utterly unable to concentrate on the music for the rest of the rehearsal.

When I got home, I saw that another member of the orchestra had sent an email announcing that he was taking up a collection to offset the cost of repairing the violin, which warmed my heart.  It reminded me of a time in college when I'd made a miscalculation that cost my fraternity a few hundred dollars.  Even though it was my mistake, Brothers pooled their money together and covered the difference.  That's one of the reasons why QUO is so great.

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