Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Monday, 12 March 2018


I feel so privileged, yesterday I spent the day with a couple of hundred of the most awesome women in the Country. I was part of an event which should not be needed, but I fear it will have to keep going for quite a few more years yet.   Just now I won't go into all of the issues that women still face today, I won't bang on about how women are obliterated from history, how women artists, composers and writers are forgotten while their male contemporises are celebrated ~ I suspect that I may be preaching to the choir, but then yesterday the choir was all women, just like the orchestra.

Quick selfie during rehearsals
I was a little disconcerted when I first heard that I was not going to be part of the orchestra this year, then I was pleased that there were other women tuba players applying, then please to be called up, and also sorry that the original Bass Trombone was too ill to take part. All a bit on an emotion rollercoaster.

I love my Orchestra, but the WOW Orchestra for Mirth Control is something very special.   We just gather once a year for this event, but I do believe it may well be the only all female orchestra on the planet.   A mixture of Professionals, Students and Amateurs we have a wide range of experience, and age, I think my trombone was older than any of the other brass players, I am certainly old enough to be their grand mother, but we all worked together for a great musical result, and had a lot of fun along the way.

Sneaky shot of the Royal Festival Hall audience ~ My Office Today
The Brass Section and Horns walked on stage first and sat there waiting for the beginning of the evening as we started the whole thing off with a fanfare. Joan Tower's Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman no.1, written in the 1960s as a response to Aron Copeland's Fanfare for the Common Man. To my shame it is the first time I have come across this remarkable piece.

We were asked to stand to play, so that did slightly restrict my choice of shoes ~ playing the trombone standing up, in front of 2,000 people while wearing stripper shoes with 6 inch stilettos felt like just too much of a risk. I also had a few restrictions on my choice of dress ~ having put on a bit of weight I found that on my first choice the zip wouldn't do up (actually it wouldn't even meet!) and my second choice made me look pregnant, I went for the classy option with my black velvet gown gold jewelry and nice shoes.   It was a good choice since I felt comfortable, but fabulous!

So pleased and proud to have been part of this truly fabulous section, I think these girls (sorry but they are all so young compared to me) show that you don't need to be butch, big or manly to play Tuba or Trombone! 

No comments: