|Dr. Tony Gil with Maestro Ponti|
Strings: Violins are the core of the orchestra since they create the melody. Violinists are often high strung and have large egos. Violas, on the other hand, are the "unsung heroes of the string section." Their larger, darker sound bridges the gap between the violins and the rest of the orchestra, but they don't get any glory. The bass, too, is a supporting instrument, so bass players are generally team spirited. Everyone loves the cello, which does get some solos, so people who play this instrument have personalities that fall somewhere between those of violinists and violists.
Woodwinds: Oboes are used to tune the orchestra, so oboists tend to think they always do things right. Flautists and piccolo players are a bit flamboyant and love the attention they garner with their solos. Clarinetists get the chance to play a lot of notes, and they tend to love the technical aspects of music. The bassoon is an instrument you almost never actually hear, so their players are content to be an important--if invisible--part of the team.
|Raffaele showing off his honorary |
MD (music director) white coat
Percussion: Percussionists spend their lives thinking about things that they can bang, scrape or pluck to make music. They tend to be quirky and fun but patient since they are always setting up the next instrument to play. (Pianos are technically considered percussion instruments since music is made with the strike of the hammer.)
Raffaele had encouraged his listeners to think about which instrument best suits their own personalities as he talked. For once, I wasn't the only person making notes. And here's the exciting news: Medical grand rounds attendees have been invited to sit in "their" instrument's section at the CSO's rehearsal on November 15th. It's an adaptation for adults of the CSO's "musical chairs" program. Needless to say, I am all over that. I won't, however, reveal what instrument I've selected until I share the experience with you here. Stay tuned!