All of the instrumentalists at the NC School of the Arts were required to be in the reading orchestra. It was my favorite class. Although I enjoy solos, my favorite place to play flute is in an orchestra - I love the feel of being part of something that large and beautiful, and I love the way the different parts interact. Reading orchestra also had less pressure than the regular orchestra because it didn't perform. The point of reading orchestra was to be familiar with lots of different pieces so that the musicians would be ready to work on them in their future professional lives.
For me, it was like a musical all-you-can-sample buffet.
Usually, we would only work on a piece for one class. Prokofiev's Classical Symphony, however, was so complex that the conductor decided we would work on it again the following week. Everyone needed to practice it during the week.
I had been disappointed because, although we switched off each week which flutist would play the first flute part, it wasn't my turn that week. The Classical Symphony is one of my favorite pieces.
Well, at the end of class, M, who was playing first flute, turned to me and said that she had a terribly busy week,* and could I please play first flute the next week?
"Yes, I think I probably can," I quietly remarked, while inside yelling, "YES!" We were in most of the same classes so I wasn't really any less busy, but I was determined to make all the time I could to work on it.
We played it the next week, and I had an absolute blast! Afterwards, M turned to me and said that it was a pretty good piece - maybe she should have tried to make the time. What could I say? I just tried to smile sympathetically.
Here's the fourth movement. We didn't play it this fast, but it was so fun!