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orchestra matrix

The UM school of music has four orchestras with similar sounding names; it takes some digging to find the secret decoder ring:

more selective less selective
for majors USO UPO
for non-majors CSO CPO

U is for "University", C for "Campus", P for "philharmonia", and S for "symphony". You can figure out "O" for yourself. Presumably quality increases as you go northwest.

They're actually all open to everyone, so the major/non-major stuff appears to be just a suggestion, and of course they would never describe anything as "less selective", so they say "highly" and "most". Good grief.

Then of course there's the bands, and random other orchestras outside the school of music (like the "Life Sciences Orchestra").

So anyway, we saw a UPO concert last night. I could occasionally hear something a little out of tune or whatever, but not so much that it bothered me; they were really pretty good. They played a fun premiere (by someone I assume is a grad student), then a couple piano concertos, finishing with prokofiev's "Lieutenant Kije", which it turns out is one of those pieces you've heard most of before, even if you think you haven't. (And you've heard it before for good reason--it's got lots of interesting and fun stuff in it!)

The piano concertos were Prokofiev's first, and the first movement of Rachmaninoff's first. Both of them are packed with crazy loud fast technical stuff, so you can enjoy watching them played just as a sort of athletic event. I can't say I really love either of them, though.

Today I worked at home while I did laundry and some other odd chores, and then got into the office in the afternoon and stayed a little late. I rode home, and very much missed the balaklava I lost on the bus a couple weeks ago--my face and ears were in such pain that I had to just stop and walk a while at the end. Maybe tomorrow I could do some shopping for a replacement.