Oh, the Glamour.
8 Apr 2011
Inside the Classics

I’m back home in Minneapolis after our midweek tour to points north and west of the Cities, with an unexpected free weekend stretching out in front of me. Traditional weekends so seldom happen for musicians that we tend to forget how to use them properly. My usual “weekend” is Monday, which is great, since all the grocery stores and home centers that are so choked with shoppers on Saturday and Sunday are like ghost towns just begging for my patronage on Monday. Still, with the snowpack in my backyard finally melted away, I’m thinking of braving the crowds and using my suddenly free days to construct a couple of raised beds for this year’s garden.

Before I do, though, just a couple of quick hits to wrap up the week. Our Brainerd tour stop, which consisted of a Wednesday evening concert for an extremely appreciative crowd at Tornstrom Auditorium and a special Thursday afternoon performance for students from Brainerd High School, was pretty much the classic outstate Minnesota experience. The venue staff went out of their way to make us welcome, and we went out of our way to appreciate their efforts to accommodate our outsized operation in what is a pretty limited and multipurpose space.

Just for instance, back home in Minneapolis, we change in carpeted (if still somewhat Spartan) locker rooms and relax in a comfortable musicians’ lounge just off the stage left wing. At Tornstrom, well, let’s just say more than one musician was overheard quoting lines from Hoosiers

Off the violist, around the flute, behind the horn: nothing but net.

The locker room was even better, so classic in its high-school-sports-movie-ness that a number of musicians started barking out sports cliches while we were all changing. (There’s really nothing like being told to “rub some dirt on it and get back out there” by a guy in white tie and tails.)

Of course, the best part about visiting Brainerd is that they don’t call it the “Brainerd Lakes Region” for nothing, and I just happen to have a very generous cousin who owns a lovely little lake cabin in Nisswa, so violists Megan Tam, Jen Strom and I let the orchestra save the cost of our hotel rooms, and instead spent our spare time up north in surroundings like this.

Chilly? Please. She's Canadian.

Okay, so it’ll be even more inviting once the ice is out, but there’s still nothing like waking up to a sunrise across the bay. As far as I’m concerned, Brainerd, you just go ahead and invite us back anytime.

<October 2019>

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