And Then I Joined a London Orchestra

I have no memory of how it started.

Somehow, in 5th grade I started to play the violin.

I know. You’re jealous of my awesome dress.

Thus started what is (so far, at least) a lifelong love affair. I played all throughout middle school and high school, and joined the University Symphony Orchestra my freshman year at GW, completely accidentally. I hadn’t even been planning to bring my violin to college, but my mother persuaded me to do so, and in that first week when I was extremely homesick I decided that joining an orchestra would be a good distraction from my misery.

Unfortunately, due to increasing academic and professional responsibilities, I wasn’t able to continue with the GWUSO. I continued to practice on my own, but a little half-heartedly; it’s frankly just more fun for me to play in a group.

Then I get to do things like this! 

And so I decided once I became a grown-up I would join a community orchestra, wherever I was living, with fellow amateur musicians with day jobs who just like playing. I even researched orchestras in Boston, assuming that was where I would end up.

But you know how the story goes… I moved to London instead. And then decided to travel for a bit afterwards. And so I figured I would have to shelve my community orchestra plans for a year.

Life has a funny way of changing your plans, doesn’t it? Just two days after arrival in London, I was enjoying the sun with some of our UK co-workers when one asked the other how “the orchestra preparation” was going. My ears perked up and I immediately butted in: “Wait, are you in an orchestra?!”

Imagine my delight when I discovered that YES, my new co-worker is the CONDUCTOR of a community orchestra that recruits students, professionals, and neighbors to join! Joining was as easy as me saying, “So can I join? And where can I rent a violin?” Seriously, this dude didn’t even want to know how long I have been playing, my skill level, anything. The fact that I can pull the bow across the strings in a semi-straight fashion is good enough.

Unfortunately my Ole Faithful violin is still Stateside. Don’t tell him I’ve hired out another violin to fill the void.

It may sound cheesy, but I’ve learned since then to always be open to new opportunities. In the middle of the craziness that is moving to a new city, starting a new job, and building a support system, having the opportunity to slip back into something that is so me is invaluable. The first time I held my rented violin (the hiring of which was itself a fiasco) I was just so happy, playing those scales. With a violin in hand, Kristen in London is the same as Kristen in Chesapeake.

The concert is tonight. I’m excited! (Also, I am REALLY out of violin-playing shape. Ouch!)


One thought on “And Then I Joined a London Orchestra

  1. Pingback: Introspective Wednesday: The Last | Books. Food. Adventures. Life.

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