Reno High Orchestra Presents Spring Concert with Poetry
The Reno High School Orchestra presented its spring concert with a bit of a twist this year, playing Camille Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals, with humorous narration written by poet Ogden Nash. The suite of musical movements has been played all over the world, but this may be the first playing of the famous piece by a high school orchestra in Reno.
I was invited to read Nash's narration which was written in 1949 to accompany the music. The Royal March of the Lion includes this passage: "The Lion is the king of beasts and husband of the lioness. Gazelles and things on which he feasts address him as your high-o-ness." The music was performed beautifully by the high school musicians and the audience laughed in all the right places.
A competition of sorts, called "Concerto for Faculty versus Orchestra" had to be re-worked with parents standing in for faculty members (who were watching the Reno High baseball team in an important game.) I was volunteered by the conductor to play the cymbals during the 1812 Overture which is much harder than it looks. I have to hand it to whoever usually plays those heavy discs; they weigh a ton. We had a deal that I'd miss my cue two times when the big moment for cymbals arrives.. and the audience was in stitches, thinking that I had no musical ear whatsoever. I may not be a pro, but it was great fun. It's always good to see the talent and hard work put in by everyone involved in all three orchestras at Reno High. It was also a chance to honor the seniors who are graduating and are headed off on their next adventures.