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Commencement

Sitting here waiting for the ceremony to start, listening to the fifth consecutive performance of "Pomp and Circumstance", in its entirety, with repeats.

I wonder how the musicians and conductor can maintain their focus and enthusiasm. When I'm playing for a dance with fifteen repeats, I can ornament and embellish, sometimes even in connection with the dance steps (e.g. ladies' solo and men's solo); the Elgar has to sound identical every time.

The fifth one has ended, and we're on the sixth now....

ETA: after six repetitions, they've switched to Berlioz (Damnation of Faust -- what does that say?) for the procession of the platform party.

ETA: Senator Schumer has once again shown up unannounced and put himself on the speakers' list. There will follow one of his two stock graduation speeches, both of which most of the faculty have heard... but the students and parents haven't.

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11:05: the first student crosses the stage. They're doing about one every 3-4 seconds, and there are 2800 of them, so we've got over two hours to go. Except that not all of those 2800 are actually here: some have schedule conflicts, while some actually graduated months ago and are no longer in the area.

NITPICK

You really ought put your emendations in a post edit (assuming your app lets you edit posts)--not everyone reads comments as assiduously as I do :-)

Re: NITPICK

I did, the first two times. The third time I tried, and it went in as a comment -- I don't know why.

10:50: they've sped up a bit -- maybe 2.5 seconds per student -- and we're allegedly half way through.

When I played Pomp and Circumstance for high school and Harvard Business School graduations (for some reason our HS band had a standing gig to play the HBS graduation), it was kind of a meditative focus, but not really any enthusiasm. It's not like you need enthusiasm for that melody. It became kind of trance-like, like good folk dancing.

Or, I sang the reindeer version in my head (my reindeer is puuuur-ple, your reindeer is broooown; my reindeer flies siiiiide ways, yoooours flies up-side doooown...)