Yesterday, my school’s music department took a field trip to downtown Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall in order to listen to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra rehearse for one of their upcoming shows later in the evening. We also got a chance to ask a few questions for their bass clarinet specialist Miles Jaques and walk around downtown on our own for about an hour or so.
In order to make it on time for the rehearsal, we had to get to school early in order for the bus to get us there on time. The bus ride was around an hour-long, and I think being on a bus with the music department kids is different from other bus rides I’ve been on. Specifically, the band kids because on the way to and back from downtown all you could hear throughout the ride was them singing from the back.
Once we made it to the Roy Thompson Hall we took a group picture and then immediately went inside to get a rundown on the rehearsal schedule and what we’d be listening to. I didn’t get a look at the actual physical program for that night’s show, but all the four pieces they performed were composed within the 20th to 21st century if I remember correctly.
When listening to the rehearse we got the chance to see how the conductor gives notes to certain sections and how the whole orchestra works. Additionally, we moved around the auditorium between pieces in order to get a better look at the different sections of the orchestra. In terms of their playing, you can definitely that they are all professional musicians that have been playing for a long time.
Between the second and third performances was when we got a chance to ask questions for Miles Jaques. He has been playing for the TSO for around two years and has been playing the clarinet since he was twelve years old. We learned a bit about his background, how he got into professional music, what he does in his spare time, and what type of music he listens to outside of classical music.
After all the performances were finished we had a little over an hour to go wherever we wanted around downtown in order to eat lunch, so my friend and I went on Yelp to find places nearby to eat. We found a ramen place called Hakata Ikkousha Ramen which was pretty close by so we went there to eat. I think that compared to the ramen places in Richmond Hill it was a lot better. Once we finished, we had some extra time so we walked around the Metro Centre area before going back to our meeting place.
Overall, I had a lot of fun yesterday especially since I didn’t even have to do any work once I got back to my last period class because we were pretty much at the end of our unit. The rehearsal, question and answer session, and food was a fun way for me to end my week.