Mighty 5® Tour
As reported earlier, the Utah Symphony embarked on Aug. 12 for a tour of five national parks in southern Utah. Music Director Thierry Fischer has agreed to jot down his thoughts about the trip along the way. Here is his first installment.
I arrived at Teasdale Community Park (several miles on the outskirts of Capitol Reef National Park) on Aug. 12 shortly before 7 p.m.–just one hour before our first full orchestra concert. Dark thunderclouds gathered, the wind was blowing, and lightning struck in the distance. But there was a double rainbow arced over the red sandstone cliffs of Capitol Reef and I was awestruck by the majestic beauty of it all.
I felt exhilarated by the evening that lay before us.
The first thoughts that raced through my head were, “So many things can happen tonight!” But with so much outside the realm of our control, I realized that we had to trust the elements, to surrender completely to the unpredictability of it all.
Plus, we had not rehearsed at this venue, so absolutely everything lay in the balance. I was excited: I couldn’t wait to have the sound in my hands–to stand on the podium, give the down beat, and let the energies collide among the musicians, the audience, myself, and nature. This synergy is what truly inspires me as a music director and conductor; it makes me love what I do.
The players, too, were excited to be in this landscape, and their enthusiasm was contagious.
Everything about the situation–the rainbow, the portable stage and lights that had taken the crew about 10 hours to mount from a semi-trailer–was hugely inspiring to me.
Although the staff has been planning this tour for months, I could never have imagined how well it has all come together. It has been a major accomplishment that has stretched the limits of our organization, and I could not be more proud of everyone involved, from an operational as well as an artistic standpoint.
It’s easy to grow accustomed to our schedules of rehearsals and concerts in our regular venues. But when our routines are shattered, and we’re thrust into unexpected situations such as this one, the impact of the rewards is all that much more thrilling.
Pictured: The maestro poses in front of the portable stage, less than one hour before to the downbeat.
August 14, 2014
Thierry Fischer, Music Director, Utah Symphony