During my stay here in Florence, Italy I’ve had some amazing opportunities, but by far the coolest experience happened when I stepped into a seemingly ordinary shop on a mundane Tuesday. I heard about a violin maker who rented out instruments and instantly became interested because I wanted to continue preparing for the university’s auditions that would occur in the fall semester. After testing some violins and choosing the instrument I loved most I was approached by the shop owner with something spectacular: the chance to join a Florentine symphony.
The first time I had a real symphony performance occurred last year when the university choir and band joined together for a joyous holiday concert. When I arrived on the following Monday for my first rehearsal with the Florentine symphony I was somewhat confident on what to expect, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was the youngest musician there and the construct of the symphony included brass, woodwinds and a full choir. The sound we created was gigantic! That Sunday we performed in a gothic church that dated back centuries, with acoustics that echoed our symphonies for hours.
Despite some initial differences, I was genuinely surprised at how well I could keep up during rehearsals. I am the only one who speaks english in the Florentine symphony. However, all musical terms are inherently in italian. The countless hours I’ve spent at CNU analyzing our orchestra’s music and discussing musical terms for our desired sound prepared me so well for this experience. Additionally, I kept in mind the components that my professor had instilled with each practice, such as balance and dynamics, when approaching my new environment.
I would’ve never thought that coming here I could end up meeting so many wonderful people and be able to share my love of music with them. I am so honored for this unique opportunity and more importantly feel grateful to the university orchestra which led me to be successful in this endeavor. I can’t wait to return in the fall to perform with my orchestra again and maybe by then they can notice a Florentine flare in my music too.