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I'm not going to say much in this post because I don't want to detract from the words I'm about to share.
This afternoon I finished practicing, opened my computer and found an e-mail in my inbox from a young saxophonist I accompany with the subject line, "The Glazunov." I opened up my calendar first, thinking this would be a rehearsal request, returned to my e-mail to start reading and my heart skipped a beat...or two. Here is what I read:
"I just wanted to let you know that I have been listening to the orchestral version of the Glazunouv [saxophone concerto] quite a bit over the last week or so, and I have a renewed appreciation of everything that you do as an accompanist. The sheer number of different parts that you have to cover and the orchestration in them which you emulate is absolutely crazy and a true testament to your musicianship. I am excited to give it another shot the next time that we play together."
I am grateful for the people that I accompany and collaborate with and I am regularly blessed with not only shared music with others but also with words of thanks and appreciation. This e-mail serves as yet another example of why I do what I do and it also gives me an opportunity to let folks in on an important truth - genuine appreciation for what we accompanists and collaborators do means the world to us. Our job is largely about other people so to know that we truly are seen as part of the equation can be a gift that keeps giving from one performance to another.
So go ahead...fill up your collaborator's inbox with some appreciation. It will be a welcome change of pace to all those rehearsal requests that we get.