As the MMEA All-State Orchestra and Bands prepare for the culminating concerts of their season on Saturday, February 15, at Orchestra Hall, bass player Meghan Weiss reflects on her experience rehearsing and performing side-by-side with the Minnesota Orchestra last October as part of the Orchestra’s “Hear Into The Future Week.”
My name is Meghan Weiss. I am a sophomore at Willmar Senior High School. I was honored with the great experience of being part of a MMEA All-State Orchestra that collaborated with the Minnesota Orchestra in October 2019. I was very excited about this event because I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It was an experience where I got to see where music could take me—and what hard work and dedication to music might bring me.
Part of our day involved a rehearsal with the Minnesota Orchestra. The All-State students were split into two groups; we each played one piece with the Minnesota Orchestra, and then watched the other group rehearse. It was fun to have a rehearsal with the Minnesota Orchestra. I play the bass, and all the members of the Minnesota Orchestra bass section were very friendly and excited to meet all the All-State students. They were genuine and asked many questions about who we are, what interests we have, other activities we are involved in, and how far we wanted to pressure our musical careers and talents.
Playing with professional musicians made me a better musician. At first it made me nervous to be playing with professionals. I was not confident because I didn’t want to mess up, but as the rehearsal went on, I grew more and more confident with my playing. It made me smile because everyone starts somewhere, and once upon a time they were in my shoes and playing with professionals for the first time. It was an opportunity for me to grow as a person and a musician.
After our rehearsal was done, we all thanked each other. We took our seats and got the pleasure of watching the Minnesota Orchestra rehearsing with the other group of All-State students. All the Minnesota Orchestra members set an example for me: seeing the passion they demonstrated each time they played, the technique they had, the movement and emotions they brought to the song. Music requires hard work and persistence, and there is always room for improvement. It was an experience I will never forget.