Thursday, August 9, 2012

Les Preludes

Les Preludes is so important at Interlochen that it deserves its own post.

Les Preludes is an event in which all of the students in the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, World Youth Wind Symphony, Interlochen Philharmonic, and Interlochen Symphony Band get together to play Liszt's tone poem Les Preludes. It occurs on Sunday of Week Six, following the weekly WYSO concert, and is the final event of the camp season.

This year, we had 435 students crammed onto the stage of the Bowl. Dancers are also involved.

Les Preludes comes with two additional rehearsals -- Tuesday evening and Saturday morning at 7am. I took these pictures at the 7am rehearsal, which is why there isn't much of an audience :P

Although this is the last time that the students play together, the piece also represents new beginnings. It's an extremely emotional event, and afterwards it's incredibly common to see students crying and hugging one another, all while trying to take some last minute group photos.

For the ensemble librarians, it's one of our biggest challenges of the season. Getting music back from 435 students is difficult enough, but doing so in the midst of the chaos following the performance adds a whole new level of difficulty. 

Because we did need to work the event, we got the perk of reserved seating in the front row. It made it a lot easier for us to spring into action once the piece was finished. 

The entire event went incredibly well, from planning to performance to music collection.

This year's performance was, as Les Preludes always is, an incredibly special moment in Interlochen's history, and I agree with those who say that it becomes more emotional each time that you witness it.

The end of Les Preludes means the end of camp.

To the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next.

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