At 11:00, I went to the chorus room and worked with the vocal majors on “Blake Leads a Walk on the Milky Way.” They learned it quickly and it sounded good. They seemed to enjoy it and appreciate it.
At 11:30, we moved into Whitehead Auditorium, where the orchestra was just beginning to sightread the piece. There were too many woodwinds, which I gently fixed, and there were issues with the legato-ness of the playing, which I can correct in the score. All the arpeggiation in the cellos was a problem as well.
Other problems for the reading were the multiple time signatures and the players trying to count their rests. Also, Stephen was conducting in 9 or 12; maybe this was helpful for subdividing the triplets, but it was confusing to me and the choir.
In short, we didn’t get a solid reading of the piece in the short time we had available. Still, it was fun to hear an orchestra working on it, and I think they would have been able to knock it out of the ballpark if they’d had the usual Czarkowski treatment of it.
They ended up playing Alex Depew’s “Winds of Autumn,” and it was quite lovely. They were a little further along with his piece than mine, since it was simpler to play. I wish Stephen had it a little more polished, because it would be entirely appropriate to play at Convocation as the concluding piece.