From the Orchestra Library

All We Need is Time (and a bottle)

Posted in Organizational Effectiveness by kschnack on August 18, 2009

Not time “in” a bottle……….time AND a bottle!

In one week the orchestra will be back into rehearsals and concerts, jump-starting the 2009-10 season with two specials, two pops programs, one gala, and then the classics openers.  We were feeling pretty smug and ahead-of-the-game a couple of months ago and throughout the summer about the start of the new season as we prepared parts for the music director’s first concerts.  The commission was on its way.  The music was all ordered.  Lots of bowings, measure numbers, and corrections were done.  Excerpts were already being worked on for Romeo and Juliet.

But then reality intervened and now it’s a scramble to get everything ready in time for the players’ first day back, when they will need their parts for numerous programs (they are already showing up).  That’s what smugness will get you.  I had to laugh at Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary definitions and etymology – please note the reference to Low German and Middle Low German.  Straight from my ancestors to you here.  Guess I deserved it.  See below:

  • Main Entry: smug
  • Pronunciation: \ˈsməg\
  • Function: adjective
  • Inflected Form(s): smug·ger; smug·gest
  • Etymology: probably modification of Low German smuck neat, from Middle Low German, from smucken to dress; akin to Old English smoc smock
  • Date: 1551

1 : trim or smart in dress : spruce
2 : scrupulously clean, neat, or correct : tidy
3 : highly self-satisfied

smug·ly adverb smug·ness noun

(Since everyone who knows me well knows that I did not inherit the “neat and tidy” from my family, we have to go with definition No. 3.)

Anyway, as we discovered upon our tag-team returns from vacation, there were quite a few of those ever-lovin’ curve balls all over the library (see previous post “The Curve Ball”).  The commission was late. Not enough parts sent.  Score had to be created and sent to conductor.  Artists’ charts for specials coming pdf and too late instead of real parts (see last week’s rant on “Real Parts”).  Pops programs decided/approved late.  Couldn’t order rentals early enough so players will not get those pieces as soon as they should.  Program change on gala.  Two days of pre-season classics rehearsals means ALL repertoire for those performances must be completely ready earlier than planned.  Some pops arrangements need licenses for usage.  20th anniversary of Meyerson this month and everyone wants help with archival materials.  And as I mentioned at the top — we are doing excerpts from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Out of order.  From different suites.  Every librarian knows what that means.

Plus, I really REALLY want to clean the library for a fresh start.  Okay.  More like NEED to.

Time – just give us more time!!

Barring that, I’ll take the bottle.

DSO Library Karen's Area Definitely Needs A Fire Hose

DSO Library Karen's Area Definitely Needs Help. (Hey, maybe I should use that shovel!*)

* Shovel from the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center Ground Breaking more than 20 years ago.  Nobody knew what to do with it so I took it “for the archives.”  I find it very useful for many things.  And I will leave you today with your imagination working on that thought!


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