Welcome, welcome! After (minutes) hours of mulling over what our inaugural blog post should be, we thought it fitting to give you a glimpse into the life of the Verona Quartet. We brainstormed a few possible subjects -

 1. Rehearsal etiquette (too boring)

2. How to resolve disagreements (still in progress)

3. How to tune a quartet (too much trauma)

4.  Quartet travels (maybe later)

5. Quartet vacations (we have almost none)

6. Things we do to destress during rehearsals. Bingo!

As you can imagine, daily quartet rehearsals are an ever-evolving organic process. We start fresh every morning, invigorated by a night of restful slumber, laden with new ideas and inspirations that we boldly set out to explore. The ensuing hours are replete with bursts of imagination and lively banter. By the fourth hour someone has had a minor tuning-related meltdown, and by the sixth hour we resemble nothing more than a pack of walruses languishing in the midday heat. Rehearsals are hard work!  Which is why we have developed a number of outlets by which we de-stress and re-energize:

1. Drawing Contests

During one of the quartet breaks, we decided to make use of a whiteboard to hold a drawing competition. Two people would stand in front of a whiteboard, markers at the ready; one of the remaining quartet members would shout out an image, and then the two competitors were off to the races. The only rule: the competitors would have to draw said-image eyes closed.

Top: Jonathan, Bottom: Dorothy

Top: Jonathan, Bottom: Dorothy

As you can tell, we don't have a penchant for drawing dinosaurs. I believe Warren asked for a Pterodactyl.


2. Silly Pranks

Warren bought a toy spider from the dollar store. It looks like this:  


The boys found out that Dorothy scares easy, so they started hiding the spider in every nook and cranny available. Here are some of the successful spots, for those aspiring pranksters out there:

- Above the studio door, when someone is out on a bathroom break

- Behind a page of music, just after a page turn

- Inside a jacket sleeve

- On a cellphone

- Inside a violin case

Dorothy confiscated the spider after about two weeks. Jonathan is currently planning a rescue operation.


3. Basketball Contests

Remember that game on your iPhone where you try to throw a ball of paper into a trash can? We've taken it and gone life size. Coffee cups, crumpled up pieces of paper, empty water bottles, soda name it, we've used it. There's even a scoreboard. Jonathan racks up points indiscriminately, but someone keeps erasing them.


3. Eat!

Abigail is an amazing chef, so we take every opportunity to rehearse at her place if she even hints at the possibility of food and wine. Rehearsal usually ends up being sporadic and unproductive. Stop judging, you wouldn't be able to concentrate either, if this was in front of you: 

Decadent chocolate chip cookies with crushed peppermint chips and a candied peppermint glaze

Decadent chocolate chip cookies with crushed peppermint chips and a candied peppermint glaze

 Or this:

Baked phyllo with sautéed crimini mushrooms and basil.

Baked phyllo with sautéed crimini mushrooms and basil.

 Or this:

Breakfast DIY Crepes

Breakfast DIY Crepes

 You get the point.


4. Choreographing our Quartet Dance

In an effort to expand our artistic palette, we have taken to dancing. Unfortunately none of us are very good, so our best moves consist of:

- The Shopping Cart

- The Q-tip

- The Jellyfish

- The Two-Step

Notice that there are only four specific moves. We will release our demo video soon. Stay tuned.


Alas, that is all we have in our arsenal of stress-relieving tactics. But we are still young, and there is a vast terrain of uncharted territory we have yet to discover!

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