Apparently, there's this thing where you can sign up to be part of an SF Symphony workshop! You go and rehearse, and then have sectionals that are lead by an SF Symphony member, and then you rehearse as a group and play.
I got an email about it, since I'm signed up for the newsletter, and thought...yeah, sure! Why not! That sounds fun!
There was a Thursday night rehearsal, and I thought do I really need to go? It's not mandatory...I'm kind of tired. The music isn't that hard. In the end, I figured...why not?
It was mostly professionals who had picked up cello later in life, or maybe had come back to it. I quickly realized that it probably wasn't fair to label myself as an "amateur", so I tried to discreetly warm up. I really didn't want to be show-off-y, or make anybody self conscious, so I did my normal scales and a little Bach.
Tonight was the rehearsal. I really wanted to sit 3rd chair - one of our pieces was the Elgar String Serenade, and there's a cello divisi part. I wanted to play the top because that's the fun part (and the melody). I didn't want to be the jerk who was like, "I am going to sit first chair! Because I'm SO AWESOME YOU GUYS!" But I also wanted to sit close enough so I could hear all the parts. Unfortunately, 3rd chair was taken when I got there, so I sat in the second row next to the second stand. I don't even know what chair that was.
People filtered in. A fun woman announced, "I will be brave!" and sat first chair. The guy sitting behind me covertly told me to save the seat next to me so that our coach, Sebastien (the sf symphony cellist), would sit there. I shrugged and put my purse on the chair, though at that point almost everybody had come in and....nobody wanted to sit with me :D
So that's how I ended up sitting next to an SF Symphony cellist.