Finding places to rehearse
This is a constant struggle - particularly for composers who depend on other organisations for musician. I'd like to say, fortunately in Edinburgh there are a number of churches that have been turned into community centres, but I'm not sure what that says about the state of religious attendance here. Regardless, many of these old churches (and still functioning ones) allow their halls to be used for orchestral rehearsals. The one Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra uses is a nice "gymnasium" setup. The acoustics aren't the best, but there is ample space for the orchestra and good lighting.
With the opera, the leads are rehearsing at my house. I am fortunate to live in a flat with a large lounge (living room) - but then again, we had to have a place for the baby grand piano so we were rather forced to find something with some space. Again, the acoustics are the greatest, but for the intimate work with the leads it is just right. The chorus is rehearsing at a local college and the "orchestra" (read: pianist) is working out on his own. I'll pull them all together a week before out at the college (which is the only place where there is enough space for everyone) - but until then, rehearsals are scattered.
The Edinburgh Quartet are working on their own. We'll get together the last week to answer any questions they have or to make adjustments to how things are played in terms of what I was looking for - however, experience tells me this is likely to minimal if not non-existent. Prior to these I've worked with them in "workshop" situations, where they have the music and sit and "rehearse" the piece with me and several other composers sitting about "learning" about the process a quartet goes through when working a piece. It's a good way for composers to learn how to write for a quartet to translate what they want from the music onto the page that the musicians can understand. I feel blessed to have not needed to make many corrections/adjustments in the past. There seems to be a good line of communication between me and the quartet - which is a large reason why I'm thrilled to have them as part of the concert.
But all this is just for the upcoming concert. What of the future?
Well, I hope to attend Yale in their Masters program, 2009-2010. If that's the case, I'll be working with resources from the university, but also from the area. A new rehearsal space looks to be opening up in New York - and that's GREAT news! The Orchestra of St Luke's is hoping to purchase space to use for rehearsals and allow the other organisations in the area access.
- I'm not sure if there's another concert in the works after June and before heading off to Yale (pending acceptance) - but if so, I'm thankful I'm here in Edinburgh.