… and the violists were about 30 measures into the Bach Brandenburg Number 6 when the power flickered once… twice…

“NO!” cried Dottie, “I’ve been waiting all year to play this, the power can’t go out!”

“Don’t tempt fate!” someone else yelled over the music.

With a final crash of thunder. The lights went out for the rest of the night. Although the viola club members made a valiant attempt to continue playing on… nobody remembered more than about one measure more from memory. (hey – it’s a piece with a LOT of notes in it and most of us only get to play it once a year)

A flurry of activity followed as violists dug out their flashlights (it’s a camp, everyone has flashlights to be able to find their cabins in the dark) and the hosts of the club meeting (Joel and Maria) found other light sources at the house.

Not to be deterred from their annual “playing of the Brandenburg 6” (a lovely and difficult piece written for two violists which we play in a large group 0every year), we quickly decided on an action plan. We would take turns holding the light on the music and switch light holders each movement.

So, with the storm raging (and I do mean, raging) in the background and the patio door thrown open so that we could hear the rain furiously beating down outside, the violists resumed the annual playing of the Brandenburg 6.

Mike, not to be deterred from his annual playing of the Viola de Gamba part, donned a headlamp to illuminate the accompanying music.

It was a Viola Club meeting that may never get to be repeated (unless a storm cooperates another year), and surely those who missed will wish they were there.

At the end of the evening, we packed up our instruments in the dark and were almost ready to go when one member realized that they were packing up the wrong instrument. In the dark, several of us had “swapped instruments” and had actually packed the wrong viola to take home (please no jokes about violists always being a little confused). So, we all opened our cases back up and tried to make sense of which instrument and bow belonged to whom (still in the dark).

Please, everyone… double check today to make sure you’ve brought home the correct Viola (and bow).

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