THE ORCHESTRA PLAYER
A good friend from church sent me a link to a wonderful clip with Imogene Coca and Sid Caesar from “Our Show of Shows”. The link is below if you want to see it and have a good laugh.
When I was a High School student, I played percussion in the local symphony orchestra and the High School band/orchestra. In the band, I played a variety of drums, but mostly “triples” and we played through most of every song, if we had measures of rest it was usually not for more than 4 to 8 measures of counting.
However, when playing symphonic music, even with the variety of instruments that a percussionist is playing during one piece, there is a lot of counting empty measures. Sometimes the percussionist may play a crash cymbal at the crescendo of a phrase and not play again for 200 or more measures, then play one or two strikes on the triangle. Sometimes the percussion enhances or echoes another instrument during the piece, sometimes a drum gives a little extra and added pulse to the orchestra for movement. Sometimes it is the color that is added: sleighbells or woodblock. And once-in-a-while, when the moon is blue, the percussionist gets a solo line.
That’s what it’s like to play, not only in the percussion section, but in ANY section of a symphonic orchestra: sometimes you harmonize, sometimes you amplify, sometimes you echo, sometimes you solo, and many times you are silent. The composer and the conductor see how it all works together…but they are oftentimes the only people who see the whole picture…and balances it out for the ears of the audience.
That is a lesson to be learned by those of us in a “community of faith”, where we each have a role, a gift, a “part” to be performed within the whole of this “symphony of faith.”
Each of us, for the most part, receive a copy of our own part. To believe that we are looking at the ENTIRE SCORE is as ridiculous as believing that the timpani is the only instrument playing in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. There are times when what WE do enhances or harmonizes with another “player”. There are times to echo what is playing in some other section of Body of Christ. There are times when the entire symphony plays together, and we are a part of that magnificent crescendo. There are times when we need to sit, wait, and be silent as other players perform. And then there are times when we are the soloists, and the other players support us. The One who wrote the song is the One who knows how and when everyone should play their part. And the conductor follows the instructions set by the Composer.
It is that way in the Kingdom. We are, for the most part, playing a part that we alone can see. We don’t know anyone else’s part until we hear it, even then, it is not our job to do anything but assure that OUR part is played when it should be, and that we don’t play when we shouldn’t…so that that symphony is heard by the world in the way the Composer intended.
Sid Caesar & Imogene Coca – Your Show of Shows – Classical Musicians