From the Orchestra Library

The First of September

Posted in Uncategorized by kschnack on September 1, 2009

I guess I am going to have to face facts.

Summer is over.

I have been trying through every means possible to pretend that it isn’t, and sometimes that’s pretty easy when you step outside in Dallas in the middle of an August day.  I also practice mind games, saying things to myself like:  “The season hasn’t officially started yet” or “We still have Labor Day!” or “The music director isn’t here yet” or any number of an increasingly pathetic and shrinking supply of excuses for why it’s not yet time to be back in the concert season full swing.

Because, when the orchestra is on vacation…….there are fewer work hours and no nights and weekends.  (Well, except all those parts brought home.   Yeah, there is that.)

But it’s just brain whine.  To be honest, I really love my musician hours.  The mix of some days, some nights, weekends and even some holidays is all I have really ever known on any kind of regular professional basis, because it’s a given as a musician.    I certainly would not prefer having to do a M-F, 9-6 or 8-5 or (heaven forbid) 7-4 schedule.  I’m not good at having the same hours all the time or strict structure.  OMG.  You who know me are laughing now about that understatement!

And let’s face it, NONE of us in the orchestral industry would have jobs without the players playing concerts. It’s that simple.

The other thing is that the moment the great music starts again, I am renewed and inspired.  Because it’s in my blood like everyone on stage, and it gives my life a daily richness that I feel lucky to have.

There are actually quite a few things to celebrate here as we hit the First of September, 2009.  I use that day to mark the start of a new season because that’s when our orchestra’s contract says it does.  And, for the first time since I came to work at the Dallas Symphony in the fall of 1990, the two full-time library positions have been added to the collective bargaining agreement.  Yep, after this summer’s negotiations, we are now recognized musicians and members of the orchestra.  We are so excited and happy, as it has been a very long, and, at times, frustrating wait.  But that is behind us now — we feel like we finally belong and are grateful for this recognition from our playing colleagues in the orchestra, as well as the acknowledgment from our administration.  We appreciate all the work that went into making it happen.

Another reason to celebrate, as mentioned in previous posts, is the 20th anniversary of the opening of our concert hall, the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.  It is a magnificent building and concert hall, and a pretty great place to go to work.  The DSO is the primary tenant even though the hall is owned and run by the City of Dallas, and so we rehearse on stage every day, the library is only feet from backstage, the players have great locker space and a wonderful lounge, and the concert hall is absolutely stunning.  Not to mention the sound.  Can I mention the sound? It’s incredible.  I suppose there are times when I wish the music director’s office wasn’t right across the hall from the library 😉 but even that has its advantages.

The Meyerson is the cornerstone of a long-planned Dallas Arts District that is finally coming to fruition.  In October, the new Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Winspear Opera House will open with gala performances by The Dallas Opera.  The striking hall is right next door to us, and other pieces of the Arts District puzzle are also being completed near the Meyerson with a new theater center and additional performance spaces.  So it’s a fantastic time in the city’s arts history to be working here and see the city’s long-held vision come together (

Which segues right in to my other reason for celebration — I personally start my 20th season at the Dallas Symphony today.  Wow, it hardly seems possible.  I guess I am half-way through my career here if I make it to retirement (okay, okay, a little more than half-way………sheesh) and one never knows what the next day will bring.  But it is something of a personal milestone, so I am marking it by mentioning it and, if all goes well, I’ll have a party this time next year!

I walked outside a minute ago, and, even down here in Texas, the air has changed.  The edge is off, it dipped into the 60’s last night, and although it will still reach 90 degrees today, it’s different.  You can tell that fall is on its way.  These next weeks will be some of the most beautiful of the year in this part of the world.

So it’s soon Indian Summer.  And with that word “summer” I can still procrastinate just a little bit!


2 Responses to 'The First of September'

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  1. Amy said,

    It is nice to get back into the season, isn’t it? It is inspiring. Happy 20th…I’ll start on #5.

  2. kschnack said,

    And I hope you stay for at least 25 more!

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