Not to be anticlimactic, but it really did. From the moment I declared the first draft of the string orchestra piece finished, I had started thinking about rehearsing the piece. Which measures would pose problematic to which players? Which sections are particularly hard? Where will they drag? Will my conducting be clear? Will I have to cue the basses there? All of these questions ran through my mind, and I scribbled them down on the first draft score.
Then I sent the piece into my mentor/orchestra director for her approval. She caught a few note errors that I had failed to catch, and warned me to keep an eye out for some specific things during rehearsal, many of which I had already anticipated.
The time came and I stepped up to the podium to rehearse the orchestra. The first few measures were a little tough, due to a combination of keeping tempo and the orchestra getting used to me as a conductor. But we soon locked in and things went smoothly from then on.
Difficult rhythms such as the duple-triple switch went surprisingly well, as did the dynamics of the forte sections. Some anticipated difficulties such as hearing the crisp bass line or the viola syncopation were present, along with some tuning issues in chromatic passages, but these are all things that can be fixed.
It’s not to say that there aren’t revisions to be made before the next rehearsal; I’m already hard at work on those changes. But the orchestra seemed to receive the piece quite well, and I’m looking forward to recording it.