It was Jets vs. Sharks in church this weekend. We did most of Parts II and III of the Messiah Sunday after a rehearsal with the orchestra on Saturday. It's always fun to sing with the orchestra but it never fails that there is some incident that highlights the ginormous egos that seem to plague some instrumentalists.
The orchestra is all union and the choir is all volunteer with the exception of the four soloists/section leaders. The fight was about air conditioning. The air kicked on in the sanctuary about one-third of the way through rehearsal and the psycho oboes had a fit. "We can't POSSIBLY play with this AIR BLOWING on us! Our reeds will dry out!" They both had water right there by their chairs upon which, I would like to remind them, they were allowed to SIT. The choir, of course in robes, had to stand for the 75 minutes. Not such a big deal for most but there are a few singers who are over 70. So some choir members were saying leave the air on so we don't pass out while the orchestra people were huffing and puffing about air blowing on them.
Our very nice interim director worked it out. It was his first time conducting a big professional orchestra. He's the music director at Hopkins High and after the Messiah he had to race to school for dress rehearsal for The Music Man. So he had a lot going on and probably has had little sleep since Easter. He couldn't be a nicer guy. He shared this with the choir after the rehearsal and after the musicians had scampered away: He said one of the violists tested him before the reheasal got going by asking him what senza misura means. He knew. He's a fairly accomplished musician. He said in hindsight he wished he'd asked the violist why the hell he didn't know what it meant.
Moral of the story. Don't be snooty in church or someone might link to a picture of you on their blog so that the next time the five readers of said blog attend a performance of the Minnesota Orchestra they can applaud for everyone except that guy.