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I just played in concert with high schoolers!!


Katie
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Wow! I'm in 8th grade, but I just played a concert with the local high school, as 4TH CHAIR 1ST VIOLIN!!!!!! I'm just thrilled. Also, I noticed that I played out more and had a lot better posture than most of the highschool people.

Katie

P.S. What's up with the practice of hitting your bow against your stand to applaud the conducter? I thought it was awful, and I can imagine my bow breaking because of that, so I just clapped hte old fashined way

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: P.S. What's up with the practice of hitting your bow against your stand to applaud the conducter?

First of all, congratulations!

Now, I've never heard or seen *this* custom before. Usually in my orchestras we either clap, or more conveniently, we stomp our feet, to applaud for the conductor. Especially the stomping our feet part I think it's fairly standard, at least for youth orchestras, because other people and I have been doing that in my high school orchestra, several regional level youth symphony orchestras, and the symphony orchestra in my own college right now.

Certainly banging the bow on the stand is something you would *never* do, especially with a nice bow. In fact, I'm surprised that your conductor hasn't addressed that. Back in my high school orchestra, since it's a high school orchestra (and an oversized one), some of the people there sometimes are not very serious-minded and do stuff like banging bows on the stand, and the conductor always told them to stop making those noises (in addition to all those background talking which gets worse and worse every year as the orchestra grew larger and larger) and more important, stop doing that because it's bad for the bow.

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These people hitting their bows on their stands are probably the same ones who "whip" their bows to remove excess rosin. Both are harmful to the stick. In my regional symphony I have an idiot stand partner who does this. I read in Strad you shouldn't do this, but you can pretend to be hitting the stand (without actually hitting it) and no one can tell the difference from the audience. I prefer to clap the old fashioned way. Congrats on 4th chair!

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In my small city symphony (semi-professional level) we also "clap" by tapping our bows not on the top of the stand but on the music in front of us, as well as stomp. I was at a performance of the Moscow State Radio Symphony last night and noticed a few of their members also clap by tapping...so I was thinking it was universal. Perhaps not.

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Hmm...I guess maybe a number of different customs must've evolved over the years. It's not too surprising, because anyone who has tried to clap while having their own instrument around knows that it's harder than it sounds. So over the years different people must've come up (perhaps even on the fly)different alternative ways to clapping, and they get passed on. For example, I've only knew about the foot-stomping mainly in the regional youth orchestras I've been with.

In any case, any clapping alternatives that could potentially damage the bow is wisest to be avoided.

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: In my small city symphony (semi-professional level) we also "clap" by tapping our bows not on the top of the stand but on the music in front of us, as well as stomp. I was at a performance of the Moscow State Radio Symphony last night and noticed a few of their members also clap by tapping...so I was thinking it was universal. Perhaps not.

In my college/community string ensemble, we would also clap by slapping our thighs with one hand. Makes a similar sound to clapping, and can be done either sitting, or standing like bass players.

Laurel

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