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January 15, 2013

Orchestra Rehearsal

It started with a sound test in 4th grade in the cafeteria.  If we could distinguish sounds well enough, we were invited to play in the orchestra beginning in 5th grade.  I had no idea that playing this instrument would become such a big part of my life!  I spent 6 years arriving at school before anyone else for rehearsals, I spent hours each year in private lessons, I travelled around Europe with the orchestra in high school playing in several different cities and seeing the world for the first time (I was 16!  That’s crazy!), I cried WAY too many tears over auditions and what chair I received as a result.  I learned what it was like to have others talk poorly about you because that’s just how cutthroat the first violin section could be at times.  Gosh, there are SO many lessons the Lord was teaching me through all of that!

Clemson’s orchestra wasn’t very big, but I wanted to keep playing (in spite of my engineering course load… I needed a non-academic outlet in order to stay sane :-)).  So I played as long as I could.  I remember feeling defeated sometime during my junior year because there was SO MUCH TALENT that had just come in with the freshman class.  And of course they were all from my high school :-)  So, on one hand, I was really proud, but on the other hand, I was feeling old and out of practice.  But, my priorities had changed and my focus was falling on school and FCA and I was in and out with co-opping at Delta.  So, sometime that year, I bowed out of the orchestra and for the first time in 13 years, I didn’t play in a concert, I didn’t go to any rehearsals, I didn’t seclude myself in a practice room to get those notes just right… and it was strange.  Really, really strange.

I’ve picked up my violin here and there over the years… usually around the time that I would need to cut my fingernails because they were getting too long!  But it’s been since college that I’ve played with an orchestra and I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss it.  I miss the different voices of the other stringed instruments, I miss the rise and fall of the music as we play a piece together, I miss the rush of getting through a piece and the audience sounding their appreciation with applause.

It took me years to figure this out, but I’m a creative, I’m an artist, and I need that rush of knowing that I’m CREATING something!  And usually – almost always – it’s better when something is created with others.  I think that’s why I love the photography industry so much.  I’m so thankful for the community I’ve found amongst these other photographers and how even though we might create photographs on our own, we all work together to help create those images.  I would not and could not be doing this on my own… just like I could not play an entire symphony piece on my own.

So, for the first time in what seems like forever, I’m going to an orchestra rehearsal tonight (ahh!).  And yes, I’m nervous as anything.  But, Ben has been encouraging me to practice, so hopefully my fingers are a little more limber and ready to go as I sit down in front of a music stand tonight.

This is from my senior year book.  The funny thing is that I did this layout in my one and only photography class and my picture was NOT front and center!
That yearbook staff switched things around on me!

  1. Ashley says:

    I didn’t know you played! Brian is always saying we need some strings in the band :) You should forsake lighting to join the worship team :)

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