My name is Hayley Grainger and I am so happy to be a part of your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, playing Second Flute and Piccolo. I’ve been asked to share some thoughts on my first year in Rochester with the RPO and wanted to talk a little bit about my most memorable concert thus far.
I grew up down the road in Canandaigua, so being a part of my “hometown orchestra” is such a dream come true. I started playing the flute in fourth grade and in seventh grade, began studying with Rebecca Gilbert, RPO’s Principal Flutist. I could have never imagined that one day I would get to sit next to her as a colleague. This first season has been filled with many wonderful concerts, but perhaps the most memorable for me was our November Philharmonics concert featuring Rebecca performing the Rouse Flute Concerto. I have always loved this piece of music and found it a beautifully emotive and touching elegy. Especially with Christopher Rouse’s untimely passing just prior to RPO’s concerts, I knew that this would be a powerful performance.
Additionally, one of my earliest musical memories was Rebecca’s 2009 performance of the Nielsen Flute Concerto. Not only was this my first time hearing my teacher perform, it was my first time hearing a flute concerto and first time hearing a live symphony orchestra concert. My mom and I sat pretty close to the front and from the moment she walked on stage to the final notes left ringing in the hall, I was completely mesmerized. The story that my mom likes to tell is that I actually sat there with my mouth open the whole time and it’s possible that I might have drooled in my completely spellbound state.
A decade later, to be listening to her perform the Rouse Concerto from my seat on stage was a very special moment. It’s pretty difficult to form a proper flute embouchure when you’re smiling, so I had to work hard to keep my composure as she walked on stage this time! Although so much has changed since that first concert, it was still just as magical to hear this performance.
I am so humbled to be a part of this fabulous orchestra. The artistry of my colleagues inspires me to work hard to contribute my best to the final product that we share with you. I find myself missing this so much right now and cannot wait until the day when we can be back in the concert hall with you. Wishing safety and health for you and your family until then.