Today, a couple of words about my first two days of rehearsal at Interlochen:
First, I have really enjoyed getting to know my students and starting up with rehearsals. My orchestra is filled with serious string students that come into rehearsal ready to work each day. We have already "dug in" to a great deal of the literature that I have programmed for the first concert next week and I am really pleased with the level of musicianship and dedication to excellence that is apparent in the rehearsals. I know that it will be a rewarding musical experience for both me and the students. I can feel the community developing before my eyes and ears in only two rehearsals. Very exciting!
With that being said, the big story here, and across the United States, has been the incredibly hot weather. Each day that that I have been here has been hotter than the previous. Today was in the high 90's and the heat index has been well above 100 degrees. While my rehearsal space is absolutely beautiful, with a full view of Green Lake, it is unbelievably hot. Sure, we have the fans going and the windows all open. But, ultimately, as Cramer said so eloquently on the Seinfeld show so many years ago, "It's like a sauna in there!"
For those of you that know me, I sweat. There. I said it so you didn't have to. I sweat a lot. I sweat when I work out. I sweat when I am at work. I sweat when I am at home. Simply put, I pretty much sweat all the time. Well, in those 3-hour rehearsals in 100 degree heat, I am a soaking mess. At the first rehearsal on Tuesday, I had sweat through my nice light-blue oxford shirt (part of the traditional Interlochen uniform) in about the first 10 minutes of rehearsal. The kids had to wonder if I was going to be OK! It was really embarrassing. I could have literally wrung out my shirt and filled a small drinking glass with sweat following the rehearsal. I was riding my bike home after rehearsal and another faculty member, who I did not know, asked me if I had been in the lake! That evening, my wife and I went out to sporting goods store to buy some of those "dry-fit" golf shirts that keep the moisture away from your body and don't show the moisture nearly as much. It took some searching, but we actually found the "Interlochen Blue" (Pretty close to Carolina Blue) on a clearance rack for about $14.00 per shirt. We quickly bought all three that were left in my size!
Today, rehearsal was just as hot, but I was certainly dressed more appropriately for the temps. Amazingly, the kids hung in there for the entire rehearsal and gave it all they had. I am really impressed with them! And, I wasn't quite as much of a conversation piece as I had been the previous day. Tomorrow is supposed to be similar to today and the heat seems to be sticking around for a few days. Possibly right through the weekend and into next week. No worries though. I am really happy. This place is really special. The heat doesn't really bother me that much. It is so great to be in this arts community and rubbing elbows with teachers and students that are soaking up the environment for all it is worth in every second of every day. A little bit of perspiration can't put a damper on that!
I wish you all some good feelings in the midst of a good sweat this summer. For my friends in DC and NC, it is coming your way!