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Salt Lake Magazine – On Stage with the Utah Symphony

by  Jen Hill

SL magazine sent me to the Utah Symphony with what we figured was a crazy idea. We asked if I could sit on stage during a performance. Turns out that this was, in fact, a crazy idea. People spend their whole lives to get on that stage, after all, and I just show up with a tuba? Bang on the tympani a bit? However, the symphony’s publicist, Renée Huang, suggested that perhaps a rehearsal might be arranged.

And thus, I entered Abravanel Hall, carrying nothing but my notepad and a pen (no tubas allowed) for the symphony’s rehearsal in advance of the Deer Valley performance on August 2, 2019. I entered in through the back entrance and was led onto the stage, a chair was waiting for me, right next to Second Bassoon Jennifer Rhodes.

“Hey, you may want one of these,” said one of the horn players behind me as he pointed to the plastic acoustic shield many of the members of the orchestra use and added, “It can get a little loud.” I showed them my set of earplugs but he assured me that I’d need additional measures to protect my ears while they were performing. This was after all to be a rehearsal for Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” you know, the one with the cannons.

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