From the Orchestra Library


The Steel-Toed Librarian

Posted in DSO Colleagues,Stage and Concert Duties by kschnack on March 22, 2011

Well, I didn’t intend to be away from the blog for so long. It’s certainly not for a lack of material to write about from the orchestra library, trust me. So I have nothing but excuses and won’t bore you with my non-productivity in this area. However, a little insight into the past couple of months might amuse you.

It seems that every season we put our heads down in the mid-to-late fall, pushing madly through holiday concerts into preparation for the new year’s programs, until we can take a breather and look up just before spring. This winter I grabbed a quick look up one late night at precisely the wrong moment — to watch the snow fall, of all things — and seconds later found myself flat out on the frozen ground, painfully reminded that there was a thick layer of ice under that snow. Now, after almost seven weeks, the boot that was protecting a broken ankle with severely strained ligaments has come off…..to my great relief. I gotta tell you, trying to do the physical duties of an orchestra librarian with that thing on has been quite the challenge. And entertaining for the whole orchestra, too!

The Boot

The ordeal was indeed comical on many days, especially with the uneven shuffle I used to hobble along, or Hop-Along (as I was dubbed) especially in the beginning. I managed to kick and trip over everything in my path which led to a few more twists and turns. The stage was suddenly a terrifying minefield of chairs, stands, instruments, mutes and RISERS. And one look at a pops set-up with all the electric chords, mikes and amps sent me straight back to hide in the library.

So, many thanks to my colleagues Mark and Melissa (despite her impending motherhood) for picking up the slack with folders and stage moves, as well as the players who graciously handed me music when asked so that I wouldn’t have to try and climb over things to reach them. They surely saved me from mowing down a whole row of woodwinds more than once.

I broke a foot once before about ten years ago, and had a horrible blue/gray/white boot that looked and felt like one of those 1980’s ski boots. That particular adventure took me on tour to Carnegie Hall, and tromping all over New York City trying to keep up with my library friends from the Met and Philharmonic. One feels particularly graceful and stylish clunking around on stage in such gear.

At least this time I was bedecked for spring fashion week. And the boot was concert black.

Spring Couture?