From the Orchestra Library

The Library Peeps

Posted in DSO Colleagues by kschnack on September 19, 2009

I think the start of a new season is a grand time to introduce and publicly thank the members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra library, both part and full-time. These people work incredibly hard, are committed to the DSO, they always meet the challenges put in front of them, and, most of all, they are great colleagues.  Even so, they don’t get much acknowledgment or recognition, and I doubt most of the orchestra’s players, conductors or administrators realize the extent to which they labor to ensure that rehearsals and performances go as smoothly as possible.  If I have any sanity left, it’s because of the fine people with whom I work most closely.  (No snorts from the peanut gallery, please.)

So today’s featured librarian is Beth Rudy.  Beth started in the DSO library in 1993 on a part-time basis and has been working with us ever since (she’s very patient……).  I had met her in the free-lance scene doing gigs together and when she subbed with the orchestra, and she was a natural choice when looking for extra help.  She is a wonderful violinist (currently the Acting Assistant Concertmaster of The Dallas Opera: and an equally wonderful human being.  Beth is a very creative and crafty person (the make-things kind of crafty) and we depend on her for these qualities and talents.  She puts up with much nonsense from the rest of us but, though a very gentle and kind soul, has an ability to put things into perspective through her observations of life and the library world with a wry wit and wicked comic timing.

Beth has done her fair share of bowings for the DSO, and she is our go-to person for making audition books, extracting excerpts for youth and family concerts, and for creating complicated scores and parts that require piecing things together like a puzzle.  Although she is exceptionally talented doing this with old-school skills using scissors, glue and tape, she loves technology and new toys, and has become quite an aficionado of the DocSend unit.  She is always finding new ways to use the software for music preparation (see September 15 post “Standing By My Copier”).  Recently, however, we did an experiment for one piece to see if it would be faster using the new or old-fashioned way, and Beth proved she could turn out the parts in 30 minutes each doing it manually compared to an hour each with the high-end technology.  Score one for experience.

Quite a few years ago we were preparing the program that started my gray hair — a television celebration of Gershwin — and we had to mesh together two different arrangements of the same tune for the unlikely duo of Maureen McGovern and Tommy Tune to perform.  As I recall (and, bear in mind, I’ve blocked out much of this because putting together the show was so traumatic), Beth handled that particular project with her usual steady aplomb.  We listened over the stage monitor during the first rehearsal and nary a note was out of place.  Yea Bethie!

Here is a picture of Beth with her lovely daughter Rachel:

Beth and Rachel

Beth and Rachel

That’s actually a little frightening because I met Rachel when she was 3 years old.  She clearly isn’t 3 anymore, although we still have pictures hanging in the library that she drew back then.  Beth’s family has been part of our library life through the years with Rachel sometimes coming in and helping out, and husband Bob building our project shelves and a special entry-way work counter.  Talented and crafty, all of them!

Project shelves on top of counter by Bob Rudy

Project shelves on top of counter by Bob Rudy

During the late spring, summer and early fall, Beth is able to work fairly regularly in the library a couple of days a week for 5 or 6 hours.  Soon, though, she will be back to work full-time with The Dallas Opera as it opens its season in the new Winspear Opera House, part of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts.  We won’t get to see her as often through the fall and winter months, but hey, the new building is right next door to the Meyerson so if we get in a bind we know where to find her.  I am thrilled Beth has been able to spend many years working in the library with us and hope she will continue for many more.  I’m so glad to have her as a colleague and privileged to call her my friend.  Thanks, Beth!


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