Oh, how wonderful this quintessentially American holiday of Thanksgiving is! In this day and age, when families don't see one another much, and when they do, it's a short exchange of thoughts and ideas that mostly run the gamut from "can you get the milk on your way home" and "did you sign the kids' school forms" to "did you turn in your homework" and "please finish your fruit and dessert so you can have time for a shower and practicing," it's so relaxing and it feels so good to have some time off to catch up. A couple of days without rehearsals or late night bus rides from run-out concerts make a world of difference. In my household, that can mean splitting logs while my 6 year-old tells me all he learned about the lives of Native Americans and pilgrims: "Did you know that kids had to pull up the mattresses against the walls in the morning then do chores all day and could only play twice?" Playing Master Mind or Scrabble while the wood is burning in the fireplace and the turkey is spreading its aroma throughout the house. Enjoying a hike through Loch Raven on a crisp autumn day and seeing deer, foxes and an arm-length bass that a fisherman caught in the lake.
And not touching my instrument for a few days. It makes me grow fonder (and does wonders for the physical ailments we all earn during decades of using our muscles in all those unnatural and twisted ways), so when I return to it, it feels fresh and new, and the hunger to make music is so much stronger.
That was certainly true today, when we rehearsed Ed Polochick's so wonderfully unique interpretation of Handel's Messiah, which we perform Friday, Dec 3 at 7:30pm, as well as the Nutcracker suite with the Baltimore Ballet, which we play on Saturday, Dec 4 at 11am. If you've never heard Ed's Messiah, or haven't in a while, it's not to be missed. He makes it sound fresh and exciting in a way that not too many conductors can. And what a better way to start the Holiday season then with your BSO performing The Nutcracker?! While you're at the Meyerhoff, check out the wonderful decorations that are up in the lobby, take a few photos with your little ones, and don't forget to purchase tickets for the Holiday Spectacular, a uniquely Baltimore tradition featuring Maureen McGovern. Check out this video of Dancing Santas or the Holiday Spectacular Jingle, look at the dates we offer (Dec 10-19), and get those tickets before it's too late! Even if you don't have kids to bring, don't worry, this is a show with plenty of entertainment for all ages.
Hope to see you in our halls this December!