Tonight I played timpani at a St. John's Waterloo concert for the first time with a new orchestra called Pico Players. It was fun and there was an appreciative audience. It was a good programme of music for the percussionists (Berlioz: Carnaval Romain, Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol, Smetana: Vysehrad and Vltava from Ma Vlast) and there was a nice percussion section of 4 students from the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. I couldn’t help thinking they could probably ALL do a better job at the timpani parts than I would given their conservatory training. But there was enough actual practical stuff to think about (following my parts, pitch changes on the timpani, following the conductor etc) that a lack of confidence wasn’t going to do anyone any favours - the strength of your playing impacts the whole orchestra, so I tried to put it out of my mind that they would probably notice any mistakes and just focused on playing confidently and at my best.
I had one music stand with the sheet music tonight, and one stand with an iPad with notes and annotations from the score that I’d done at home. It worked out pretty well, it was a friendly section and we all made little slip ups here and there but overall it felt good and the orchestra as a whole played well.. As always, it was nice to meet new players.