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Working extra holiday hours: violinist Aaron Schwebel

Working extra holiday hours: violinist Aaron Schwebel featured image

(Photo: Bo Huang)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

3/5B Aaron Schwebel
Concertmaster, National Ballet Orchestra
Associate Concertmaster, Canadian Opera Company

Q: The holidays can be a lot of fun for the fans who love to be entertained – but it’s a lot of fatigue for the staff. What is the hardest thing about working right through the holidays? Be honest.
A: At the National Ballet of Canada, we present as many as 26 Nutcrackers per season, so it’s challenging to bring fresh energy to each performance. For a lot of people in the audience, it’s their first time seeing the ballet and hearing this incredible score by Tchaikovsky, so I try to channel that sort of excitement each time I play it.

Q: What is the best thing about working over the holidays?
A: The orchestra pit gets quite festive during our Nutcracker run. If you look inside the pit on the last show before Christmas, you’ll see gifts piled up under everyone’s chairs, ornaments on music stands, and the dregs of the famous cannon confetti decorating the floor. Not to mention the heaps of baked goods we supply ourselves with in the green room. Every show doubles as a dessert potluck.

Q: How do you de-stress during the month of December?
A: nice glass of wine always goes a long way. Also, I take extra care to keep in shape over the holidays. With outside projects on top of the many Nutcracker performances, the holidays are a busy time and the hours of playing add up. Having a regular exercise routine helps me to stay fresh both physically and mentally, and also builds my appetite for the deluge of holiday food.

Q: What do you look forward to most when you’re done the last holiday shift?
A: Toasting a new year!

Previous Q+A:
Joseph Johnson, cellist:
Noel Edison, Artistic Director and Conductor:
Christopher Gerty, dancer with the National Ballet of Canada:

Tomorrow: James Parrett, General Manager, Cineplex Cinemas

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