I've been with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for over 30 years; and have been on more tours than I can count.
Every time I leave for a tour, people tell me how lucky I am to be able to travel to places like Europe, Asia, and throughout the United States, while listening to great music. They're right. I am lucky, I have a great job doing something that I am passionate about.
However, there are times when I do not feel lucky at all. Those times usually occur while we are on tour.
It’s TOUR TIME! As librarian for the orchestra, I’m now in a constant state of alert and orneriness, and spinning endless what-if scenarios in my mind to try and prepare for every situation, an affliction that I ascribe as PTS (pre-tour syndrome).…What if a musician forgets his part in a cab, what if a head of state decides to attend our concert, what if the conductor’s baton breaks, what if we unexpectedly need to open a program to honor someone famous, what if a soloist gets sick and cancels, what if we run out of encores, what if you get the idea. I’m not normally into doom and gloom, it’s just the PTS kicking in. And so, I pack extra music to take on the road such as the national anthems of every country we visit, additional scores and parts, substitute pieces, extra encores and batons, slow, beautiful, elegiac works, and whatever else I think appropriate to instantly pull out of the hat. So far thankfully I have not had to live out these imagined scenarios on tours though I’ve come very close to a few, just enough to not be able to rid myself of the PTS. As for my personal suitcase, I dread packing and will just throw a few things together and be done with it.