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J. Daniel Ashton

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Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, —Ecclesiastes 9:10a NIV
The LORD God has told us what is right and what he demands:
"See that justice is done,
let mercy be your first concern,
and humbly obey your God." —Micah 6:8, CEV
With all your heart you must trust the LORD and not your own judgment.
Always let Him lead you, and He will clear the road for you to follow. —Proverbs 3:5,6 CEV

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Name: Daniel Ashton
Location: Germantown, Maryland, United States

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Quartet Reading Session #3

Last night was the third get-together of our ACMP-connected string quartet, just reading for fun, and in spite of the icy roads, all five of us eventually showed up. Yes, five, because our coordinator and founder had suggested reading quintets this time, and had invited another violin/viola player.

When I arrived, the other three players from last month were already working on a Mozart trio. I enjoyed the sounds of music wafting from the house as I slipped my way up the icy driveway. We jumped into the first three movements of Schubert's Death and the Maiden quartet (D minor) while waiting for our fifth player. We had read this at the end of January's session, but only the first and third movement, I think, and I had been playing viola. This time I was reading first violin.

Towards the end of the third movement our new friend arrived, and I switched to second cello for Schubert's great C Major quintet. This was a big thrill for me, as I know the piece well, but had never played a cello part before. For the final movement, the other cellist offered to trade instruments with me. I was embarrassed to have him play my beginner-model cello (he's an incredible cellist), and worried that I would do damage to his. But I also wasn't going to let this opportunity flit by. It's difficult to express how rewarding that was!

We finished the evening with Mozart's K 516 G minor quintet for two violas, and I switched back to first violin. I think that none of us noticed until the end that we had run 45 minutes longer than planned.

Playing chamber music is usually a positive experience for me, but this evening was unusually rewarding. I can hardly wait for next month's session.


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