Jauvon Gilliam is Principal Timpani of the National Symphony Orchestra.
I'm sitting at the back of the bus heading back to the hotel after our first concert in Wheeling, WV. My first few days on my first tour with the NSO have been a blast. I've gotten to know many of the orchestra members and have already made several friends in my first four weeks of being here.
We arrived at the hotel on Monday to a beautiful West Virginia day and I immediately went down to take a walk along the Monongahela River. After my short walk, I met with a few friends and we went to the welcome reception and then to grab a bite to eat before the NCAA National Championship game. I had a very special interest in the game, as I am a proud Butler Alum, c/o '01. We didn't win, but I'm very proud of my school!
Tuesday morning I went on a 3 mile run and then took a nice swim in the hotel pool and sat in the hot tub. After lunch and another walk, it was almost time to board the buses for our Wheeling concert.
The Capitol Theatre, our venue for the evening, is an historic building that has lots of old world charm. I'm not playing the first half of the concert, so I got a chance to sit out and enjoy the music. The audience loved it! I heard one couple comment on how they really enjoyed the cymbals. Go, Ken! [Ken Harbison, NSO percussion section]
After three curtain calls and The Stars and Stripes Forever encore, the audience left humming a very happy tune. If this is indication of how the rest of the tour is going to be, West Virginia, you're in for a royal treat!
Next stop, Morgantown!
Check back here for more blog posts from NSO musicians and staff as they tour the state of West Virginia, April 5-13 as part of the American Residencies program!