Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Symphonys and Sea Side Dining

I can't even remember how long it's been since Jane and I last attended a symphony concert. For whatever reason it's just not been high on our "to do" list. Though I played the cornet for six years (6th through 12th grades) and I have a deep appreciation for all styles of music, a symphony concert wasn't on my radar screen.

That all changed on Monday night, January 24th. Dave and Bev Goebels had tickets and they have invited us several times to go with them in the past. We've always had a conflict, but on that Monday night we were unencumbered. They made arrangements for us to have an early dinner at Arnie's ( a wonderful eatery right on the Sound in Edmonds) before the concert. One thing you need to know about Bev. She's the queen of coupons. She had a $20.00 off coupon for dinner and a "buy one get one free" coupon for the concert. It was a cheap date and a wonderful way to ease us back in to the world of the refined concert goer.

So, on that evening I gave up my usual TV fare of American Chopper and Pawn Stars in order to enjoy a bit of sophistication and class.

When I heard the orchestra was a regional orchestra rather than the Seattle Symphony I was a bit skeptical. Not that I'm a snob about my orchestra music, it's just that my expectations were not too high.  The event was held in a beautiful concert hall in Edmonds and the room was filled. The orchestra made their way to the platform and the concert master helped the members tune their instruments. When all was quiet, the maestro came to center stage. He was of Russian background and he was terrific. The orchestra was terrific. So much for my snobbery about local orchestras.

The special feature of the evening was a guest musician named Ko-Ichiro Yamamoto. He played the trombone. Yes, the trombone. When I heard the guest was a trombone player I couldn't imagine it. I thought trombone was like someone who played the tympani. You know, sort of a behind the melody sort of player. But no. This guy was and is the number one trombone player in the world. He came out to play Concerto For Trombone. Think of it. When he got wound up it was breath taking. I'd never heard a trombone played like that. From high to low he hit notes that I didn't know were possible on the 'bone. And fast. He moved that slide back and forth like a lumberjack on a two man saw. I kid you not. It was like he was playing "Flight of the Bumblebee." He was terrific.

So...perhaps I'll move beyond The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney and the Beach Boys and plug in to some more REAL music. Could I give up rock concerts for the better stuff? Well, maybe at least I can move to country music