The Annals of Life in the Orchestra Pit

Just before a performance of “Serenade” on February 12, 2015, on one of our annual “Art Series” performances after the house lights went down, our resident conductor Clotilde Otranto discovered that her adjustable podium was stuck in a slightly disjointed position and she was unable to have good eye contact with a number of the musicians.  The performance was delayed for a couple of minutes, while our intrepid associate-principal cellist Eugene Moye saved the day when he jumped out of his seat, crouched under the podium and “fiddled” with the various hand cranks that control its height and angle.  For reasons only known to the industrial designer of this high-tech music stand, which must weigh about 150 pounds, it can’t be adjusted from the conductorial position, only from the back, which is the side that faces the musicians.

After this short delay, we went on to have one of our most successful performances of the year.  Most tickets for this special event are priced under $30 which brings in a younger, super-enthusiastic crowd. (There is also free beer and a very cool art installation on the promenade) It is always nice for us to perform for this kind of audience, perhaps many of them first-timers, and sense their amazement as they get drawn into the magical world of Balanchine and the NYC Ballet.

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