Arts + Culture

An Inside Look at the Naples Philharmonic’s Opening Night

How the first concert of the 2018-19 season took shape.

  The day before the Naples Philharmonic’s opening night performance of the 2018-2019 season, the orchestra’s musicians gather at Artis—Naples for rehearsal. It’s Wednesday morning, a quarter to 10, and this is rehearsal three of five. The musicians arrive in their street clothes, sunglasses perched on their heads and instrument cases slung over their shoulders. They line up the cases on tables backstage, carefully remove their instruments and take their places beneath the bright lights onstage. The dissonant sound of instruments tuning fills the hall as they warm up. Piano keys click, bells chime, a viola plays a single high note. As the clock approaches 10, the activity onstage increases. The violinists’ bows rise up and down, the kettle drum thunders. A woman in sweatpants and sneakers walks by carrying a French horn. There is the low chatter of conversation, the flipping of sheet music, the shaking of a tambourine. Glenn Basham, the principal violinist, or concertmaster, arrives and takes his seat. The sound onstage mounts to a mad frenzy. Woodwinds playing. Horns blowing. Backstage, fluorescent lights shine down. Onstage, the yellow stage lights glow. But then 10 a.m. is nearly here, and the cacophony edges toward stillness. Soon it’s just the French horn and the percussion and an occasional plucking from the violins. At exactly 10 o’clock, Basham stands and says, “Good morning.” The orchestra falls silent. On
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