Tales from the Pit: What's in my bag?

July 17, 2017

One of my favorite blog topics the Metropolitan Opera Musicians regularly post is their "What's in my Bag?" series, going into various musician's rehearsal bags and seeing what's inside. This week at the Miami Music Festival, my music folder was the heaviest, containing the most music it will ever hold during the course of the festival, so I figured, why not? Let's go inside my bag! Haven't been reading the Met Musicians' blog, and have no idea what I'm talking about? Check it out here!

1.  It may not be the official Met Musician's Tote bag, but I consider it the next best thing! My bag is a tote from Henri Bendel with a pop of pink to match my violin case and is the perfect size to hold an orchestra folder.

2. My planner - As much as I love technology, I will always physically write down my schedule.

3. This handy little music note bag holds anything and everything to save any type of violin emergency. Extra strings, mutes, chalk, metronome batteries, etc. You name the emergency, and I can guarantee I've got something to save it!

4. Sunglasses - Miami is sunny, and appears even brighter when coming outside after hours in the dark orchestra pit.

5. Umbrella - Miami is notorious for it's random and unplanned downpours. Even if it's a beautiful and sunny day, I've made it a point to always carry this with me

6. My orchestra folder - This week it was full of music for two operas, a Wagner concert, and conductor's institute performance. See additional photo below to see what's been on my music stand this week!

7. iPhone - Let's face it... I'd be lost without it!

8. S'well water bottle - because... hydration!

9. Post it Notes- The best music marking tool! In rehearsal and an excerpt isn't going so well? Slap a post it on it! Maestro says your section needs to work on a certain passage? Slap another post it on it! The best feeling is ripping on of these off the music once you've mastered what was once a difficult passage. 

10. Mini Pencils - Larsen Strings sent me a bunch of these, and they've become my favorite music pencils! They make the most perfect, dark, and clean markings in the music. I need a lifetime supply!

11. iPad - When I'm not using "real" sheet music, it's all on the iPad! I love going digital and being able to access so much repertoire quickly. Lately, I've been using this a lot to reference the full scores for our operas. Yay technology!

12. Flip Flops - Ever since getting caught in a spontaneous torrential downpour after rehearsal, I've gotten in the habit of carrying these regularly with my umbrella. No more having to walk back from rehearsal barefoot so my shoes don't get damaged!

13. Sweater - It may be hot outside, but the rehearsal rooms are cold! 

My orchestra folder at its fullest, containing repertoire for four different performances. Beethoven 7, Schumann Piano Concerto, Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Rossini's Barber of Seville Overture and operas Dead Man Walking, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Die Walkure. See those green post it's in action?!


This week was exciting as orchestra rehearsals for our final two operas: Dead Man Walking and Le Nozze di Figaro began. Friday night, the MMF Opera Orchestra performed on stage in a performance for the Conducting Institute, giving student conductors the opportunity to conduct orchestral masterpieces (pictured above) in concert. Of course, the violins took advantage of the great on stage lighting and took our traditional intermission picture!

 After two days off, I'm feeling energized and ready to take on... WAGNER WEEK! Tomorrow morning, we begin rehearsals for our Wagner concert including excerpts from Die Walkure and Gotterdammerung. Additionally, we're continuing Dead Man Walking and Le Nozze di Figaro rehearsals... it's a lot of opera but I love it so much, and just can't get enough of it! 






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