Hola from Mexico! For those of you whom I haven't talked to in a while, I will be spending the next six months in Mexico, playing 2nd oboe in the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa de las Artes. I was encouraged by my friends to keep a blog of my "aventuras," so here it is. My writing skills, like my oboe playing, are a bit out of shape. It's been a while since I have written anything besides payment delinquencies and collection notices at Phoenix Spirit, so let's hope that my posts will get a bit more interesting and grammatically correct as time goes on. It was sad to say goodbye to my friends in LA, but I had a lovely farewell dinner at Il Pastaio (which I highly recommend if you haven't been there), and then said some more goodbyes over cupcakes and ice cream the night before I left.
Some of you know that I went to Hermosillo back in November to play with an orchestra there, but that is in no way reIated to what I am doing now. I think it did affect my decision to come to Culiacán, because I had such a good time when I was there. I can only hope that the people here are as nice as they were in Hermosillo, which they seem to be so far. I also hope that the audiences are as enthusiastic about orchestral music.
I arrived in Culiacán on Sunday, the day before the first rehearsal. From the little exploring I did, it seems to be a very different place than Hermosillo. It almost reminds me of a much less crowded and less polluted version of Calcutta. The streets are windy and badly laid out. The sidewalks are completely uneven, and there are little shops everywhere. Kind of a big city with a small town feel.
The first orchestra rehearsal was on Monday morning. We read through Elgar's Enigma Variations and Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto. I met my section mates, Plamen and Dante. I also met the conductor, who told me, "You look like you should know Spanish." Yup. I don't think I have ever been so unprepared or out of shape for a rehearsal. Kind of embarassing. Anyway, I'm off to bed now so I can get up early and actually warm up before rehearsal tomorrow. Wish me luck!