I was erasing a Minidisc and discovered a track of the first rehearsal of our little community orchestra together with the student pianist who played with us for "Bashana Haba'ah." The whole piece is about four minutes long, so I edited it down to get it under 2 MB. Living in a communications backwater off the beaten track I'm sensitive to bandwidth issues, so I've linked to the file here, which you can pull up in a separate window if you like.
That's Erin playing the violin solos at the beginning and end. We needed her on violin, which is why we pulled R. into the orchestra for the piano part. R. is a senior in high school who is one of two Japanese exchange students living in our community; both have become friends of Erin's, S. through choir and R. through the Schubert Fantasie in f-minor four-hands piano duet they're working on. I think R. did very well for never having played with an ensemble before! This was Erin's first go at playing music with Hebrew folk influences; she's now working on the "Nigun" from the Baal Shem suite by Bloch with her teacher in Calgary, so she'll be getting plenty of experience with that style -- and lots of technical challenge.
So anyway, I listened to the Bashana rehearsal this morning and thought "wow, that's a nice sound we're getting out of a motley collection of twenty string players in a tiny rural community!" And I'm proud of them all over again.