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.