Greetings from Randy!


Greetings Detroit Symphony Orchestra Fans!!

This is my 24th year in the DSO , and although I’ve lost track of how many tours
I’ve been on with the orchestra, I’m fairly sure it’s somewhere around 15.  3
European, 1 Japan, 2 Florida, 1 California (Hollywood Bowl) and countless Upper
Peninsula tours add up to a lot of traveling, hotel rooms, lost socks and time away
from family.  The idea of a tour may seem glamorous to many, but in the orchestra
business it can be grueling and a necessity.

This current tour is taking us all over Florida and to some interesting and very
different concert venues. Last night was called the Church Distributed at Northland.
It was a mega church that seats probably around 3200 people. A very unusual venue
for an major symphony orchestra, but they have a series called Great Orchestras of
the World , the same words shown on a large video screen in the back of the
orchestra while we performed.

This hall was rather on the dead side acoustically, compared to our beloved
Orchestra Hall. The technicians at the hall counter act that deadness by
electronically “enhancing” the sound produced onstage. It was very subtle. Onstage I
did not notice the amplification but out in the hall while listening to the Barber
Cello Concerto (no trombones in that score!), I thought I heard a slight delay then
an echo between what I saw and heard. Very strange, but the audience that is
familiar with that hall is probably used to it.

The orchestra on tour seems to be hitting it’s stride and adjusting to these
different acoustics is just part of the job for us. the Rachmaninov Symphony 2 is
really sounding great and I’m proud of the recording (with Leonard Slatkin and the
DSO) that was just released a few weeks ago. Tonight we play at the Van Wezel
Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota and it’ll be special for me because my parents will
both be there. Both 81, they are the reason I’m a musician. They are both still
performing in local groups (clarinet and violin) in northern Michigan near Beulah.

We all miss our families and wish they were all here, but realize the importance of
getting the orchestra out on tour and interacting with the public, and especially
letting the donors who make all of our music making possible how much we appreciate
them and their love of music and their monetary support. I see that interaction as a
really important part of my job!

Orchestras are vital living organizations, that are constantly evolving and adapting
to current climates, both cultural and economic. The way an orchestra is perceived
by the public both locally and away from home is very important to it’s health.

Musicians know this better than most, as our lives involve many hours striving to
maintain our skills and growing musically by playing chamber music home and away.
One of the best side benefits from this job is to listen to and observe the feedback
of what we do on stage from you, our audience!

I look forward to seeing you back in Detroit at Orchestra Hall!!

All the best,

Randy Hawes , DSO bass trombonist

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One Response to “Greetings from Randy!”

  1. avatar Priscilla Hawkins on February 14th, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your long letter of your tour comments. Your comments about your parents was so lovely. It sounds like everyone is having a great time, and I am so happy that the DSO is receiveing such great reviews.

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