Hangin’ with the OSEM

So I went the CJ’s concert yesterday. First I have to say the Lehman College campus? Beautiful! I’ve never been up there before, but it’s quite lovely. The Center for the Performing Arts is quite nice. Granted, I’m a sucker for college campuses — they always make me want to quit work and go back to school — but I did feel comfortable there, and it was pretty.

Second, I have to comment on the crazier than crazy schedule the OSEM has on this tour. It’s more than two months — 67 days — during which they will play 48 concerts in 19 states. By the time they head back to Mexico at the end of March, they will have slept in 52 cities and criss-crossed the US, playing in Iowa, Florida, California, New York, Missouri, South Carolina, New Mexico, Delaware … leapfrogging around, backtracking to states they’ve already played to do one more show. Gaah! Reasons to be glad I’m not a touring musician! I can’t imagine living this tour. As CJ commented yesterday, as crazy-making as it is for her, at least she’s single. The people who have to leave spouses and children behind have it much worse than she does.

But all that miserable touring business aside, it was so great to be able to go to the concert. I’ve only seen the OSEM perform twice before. The concert hall at Lehman is small enough to be fairly intimate, and I had tickets in the 3rd row, practically right in front of CJ. So when I was ushered to my seat, she came right to the edge of the stage to greet me. I also know other people in the orchestra, and it was great to see them, too, to be able to walk right up to the stage at intermission and get a hug and a kiss and a quick hello.

After the show, we drove down to the Park Lane hotel to check CJ in. (Yeah, no joke. The rest of the orch stayed somewhere in NJ, but CJ and one of her friends wanted to stay in Manhattan so they found a deal at the Park Lane.) Then it was off for a chilly, rainy walk around the neighborhood where CJ lived before she moved to Mexico all those years ago, and then dinner.

I’ve known CJ since I was 17 … a LONG time now. She’s one of my dearest friends, but we see each other, at most, only a couple of days a year. And, as I said, I almost never get to see her perform with the orch, so yesterday was a double pleasure. I really liked the program, too. My favorites were the overture to Candide, the Manuel de Falla with a beautifully talented guitar soloist and the Sibelius in the second half. We also got a great set of encore performances. A lot of fun.

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