From the Orchestra Library

The Music Trunks Are Not Bottomless

Posted in Uncategorized by kschnack on June 16, 2009

Orchestra players, I have your back, you know I do – after all, I am one of you and have spent my life onstage and backstage with you.  My job is to support you, and your success is my success.  But I gotta say, when you come up to me at a parks concert or a one-night  run-out and ask for parts for the next three weeks, I have to wonder what you’ve been smoking.  Seriously?  Have you ever looked closely at those trunks?  They aren’t nearly large enough to hold three weeks of music.  Not to mention that in preparation for a quick gig out and back from the hall, do you have any idea how long it would take out of our lives in the library to organize extra sets of folders to go with us, when you’ll be back in the hall in the next day or two?

It’s not logical.

(I just saw Star Trek today.)

I know you have a lot on your mind, and kudos to you for wanting to be prepared and practice.  That’s admirable.  And you sound fantastic, BTW.  But sometimes the level of magic you expect from us is a little surprising.  Not that I don’t think we are pretty good at magic on a regular basis.

Here at the DSO our goal is to have music available to you a month in advance for the major works/concerts, and shortly thereafter for everything else.  Now, it can’t always work like that due to rental pieces and last-minute programming issues, pops material, or just the sheer work load, but we do make every effort to meet that target.  So, when music has been available for several weeks and we do a quick concert or two away from the hall, no, we aren’t going to be bringing extra folders with us.  There are times when this is necessary, and different orchestras have schedules and venues that require different methods of distribution, but in our case, you generally need to get your parts while you are at the hall.

This fall we are going to start putting pdf files up on our website with password protection so folks can download practice parts from home if they choose to.  But we’ll still also make practice parts as needed.  I’m hoping this will be easier for all of us in terms of convenience for you and less standing at the copier for us (even though, as you now know, I love my copier).

Anyway, I just wanted to clear that little issue up.   It’s always kind of bemused me.

As for our travel trunks, they are pretty cool.  We designed them ourselves a number of years ago, and they have never let us down.  It wasn’t always that way.  When I first came to the orchestra there were two very old, small, smelly, ragged trunks that we had to use for touring.  I started asking early and often for funding to get new trunks, but, understandably, such capital purchases take a while to budget.  It might have been the first summer in Vail when I tried to push an over-sized score into the trunk (which had no place for large scores) and promptly jammed a splinter under a fingernail.  Way under.

I couldn’t get the splinter out so had to go to the emergency room for a numbing shot, extraction, and then a tetanus shot.  After the administration got the bill and heard the story, they agreed to fund the new trunks and we had them built.  I wanted three smaller ones rather than one large one so on a quick run-out I can manage the thing myself without having to bother the stage crew to roll it around for me.

And so I don’t have to take extra folders to the park.  😉


One Response to 'The Music Trunks Are Not Bottomless'

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  1. Christina said,


    I’m so glad you are writing these! You bring a great sense of humor to what goes on in every librarians life. Thanks for the laughter–which keeps me from going insane.


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