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Instrument security - security in general


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I'm reviving a piece of an old thread (see below), but I'm curious about the experiences of other players with respect to instrument security - specifically, in your rehearsals and performances, where do you leave your cases while onstage? Have you had any problems with theft? How do your stage managers or personnel managers handle this issue?

Ben Zander told me that in England, female orchestra members do typically carry small purses onstage. And I have my valuables in my pockets, but I still am concerned about my case sometimes.

Here's the revived thread:

I have a BAM double violin/viola case (I play both professionally also), just to avoid this sort of thing - but I worry about leaving one of the instruments backstage sometimes when I'm using the other one. A friend of mine has the same concerns; he has a double case with his baroque violin and regular violin. He never thought about it until I pointed it out, but it's really kind of scary, leaving one instrument backstage (in some venues) while the other one is being used. Same thing with bows - I have several nice ones and I hate leaving them where passersby might be tempted to help themselves. Nothing has ever happened so far, but it does cross my mind that there might be a problem.

Anyone else have concerns like this? A lot of jobs, there is a locked room to leave the cases, but not always..especially pick up gigs with popular venues.

R.M.

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We usually have a cop on duty backstage so that no one who isn't supposed to be there can come in. I haven't heard of any problems, but on those occasions where I'm concerned about security, I take only the instrument and bow I'm going to be using and leave the others at home. I have insisted on keeping my case with me in the rehearsal room on some occasions.

Do you like your BAM double violin/viola case? I've been thinking about getting one. I have a very small (14.75 inches) viola and a ~7/8 size violin -- how adjustable would a BAM case be for these smaller instruments -- could I use padding to make it work (I do that with my Jaeger viola case)?

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Quote:


Do you like your BAM double violin/viola case? I've been thinking about getting one. I have a very small (14.75 inches) viola and a ~7/8 size violin -- how adjustable would a BAM case be for these smaller instruments -- could I use padding to make it work (I do that with my Jaeger viola case)?


We like the BAM cases (especially if we're helping with a student recital), but you would have to pad them pretty carefully if you were going to carry for any time. Maybe a silk bag with the instruments wrapped in something, I don't know. But the case itself is pretty light.

R.M.

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The Forum auditorium in Harrisburg has lockers in the backstage dressing rooms, but they don't really lock that well. If you rattle the handle enough, you can often get the locker open. Some of the women in the Harrisburg Symphony keep small dark purses on the stage, near their feet. Sure it looks tacky, but what can they do when the building is not too secure?

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When I play with my band, we leave the cases on the stage behind the amps and we allways have an eye on the stage when we pause.

When I play with an orchestra on a stage we leave the cases beside the stage where we can see it (and the audience can´t) but in a classic concert I have never seen anybody on the stage who is not allowed to. The only place where I would never leave an instrument during a concert is in my car.

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