Day 4: Rehearsals and Rutgers

Yesterday, the Curtis Institute of Music was afire with activity; in addition to the regular hustle and bustle of the last few days, Melosians Brian Penkrot and Corey Keating arrived in town (with Patrick Chan right behind them). And, of course, we wrapped rehearsals for tonight’s concert!

The Melosians carry with them a wealth of experience with rehearsal weeks like this. We know that they can be frustrating, exhausting, and extremely long days for all involved. And yet no matter how many times we go through this process, our reaction is always the same:

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Exhaustion, with just a hint of smug satisfaction.

As if it wasn’t already obvious from the last three days, the talented musicians of ensemble39 are superhuman. They powered through the seven-hour rehearsal day like it was just a normal day at the office. And they even managed to retain their smiles – now that’s professionalism!

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Gabe and Nigel laughing during rehearsal

Stas can almost keep a straight face during Jason's "Asymptotic Flux"

Stas can almost keep a straight face during Jason’s “Asymptotic Flux”

Alexandra von der Embse, oboe, and Jessica Chang work on Brian Penkrot's "Narcissus Chamber"

Alexandra von der Embse, oboe, and Jessica Chang work on Brian Penkrot’s “Narcissus Chamber”

Jason at the mixer board during recording

Jason at the mixer board for Asymptotic Flux

But that wasn’t all; yesterday Melos took their act on the road, visiting New Brunswick, NJ to pay a visit to Rutgers University. The newly-appointed Director of the School of Music at Rutgers was the mentor to many of us during our time at Brevard, and is coming off of his first Grammy win for Best Classical Composition: none other than Bob Aldridge! The Grammy-winning composer holds a very special place in the Melos pantheon; those of us that studied with him are all much better composers for it. And he’s just won a Grammy!

Did we mention that he's a Grammy winner?

Did we mention that he’s a Grammy winner?

Dr. Aldridge (a Grammy winner!) invited the Melos crew to visit Rutgers and give a talk to the composers at Rutgers. As is so often the case when composers congregate, there was a lot of music, a lot of questionably-working technology, and a fair amount of smarminess from Dan Temkin:

The workshop at Rutgers

The workshop at Rutgers

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The workshop at Rutgers, with Grammy-winning composer Bob Aldridge

And as is our other composerly custom, the long, long day was summarily rounded out with… a round.

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From left to right: Brian Penkrot, Jason Thorpe Buchanan, Bob Aldrige, Dan Temkin, and Ryan Olivier

And in the afterglow this morning, we turn our focus back to tonight’s concert! This evening, at 8pm at the Ethical Society in Rittenhouse Square, the musicians of ensemble39 will deliver eight premiere performances of works by young composers around the country. The ensemble is in top form, the composers are ready, and we’re expecting an evening to remember! If you’re in Philadelphia, this is one not to miss!

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