The night of the Winter Solstice Concert was drawing near, and Strickland gave himself permission to indulge in a fantasy of being on stage with his hero Benjamin Brittain looking on. A particular favourite fantasy of his began with them walking together along a moonlit beach, rapturous applause ringing in their ears, and Ben whispering “…because you deserve it…”
Buoyant now, Strickland made his way to the concert hall for the final rehearsal.
out across the jumble of instruments and faces, the orchestra tuning up
and fiddling with sensitive strings, his excitement died. He spotted
Theo, sporting a chrome yellow cummerbund and a
matching jaundiced facial expression of sulk and stir, looked for all
the world like a spoilt teenager. Theo liked to imagine he brought
musical provocation to the staid orchestra with its dress code rules and
frumpy rituals. His outlandish solo take on Elgar had once brought
Strickland out in a rash, but mostly the conductor forgave Theo, as the
constant search for gifted musicians proved more difficult with every
new season. Strickland felt himself to be locked in so many battles
these days, what with provincial attitudes of Board members, the
unrealistic expectations of the locals, the fundraising committee and
the restrictions of the local authority.
Now there was Theo and his liking for chrome yellow.
Distress filled Strickland’s stomach. How to resolve the current dilemma?
The copyright of this post belongs to Valerie Anne Rule
19 December, 2014.