March 1971 - France Tour (Parties/Receptions)


That appears to be me stuffing my face on the right. I recognize the other faces but can't place names. I am forever grateful to John Mauceri for selecting a piece with eight French horns for the tour. I had played in YSO my freshman and sophomore years, but had not been a member for 1970-71. When John contacted me about joining for the tour, I probably had not played my horn for months. I quickly got on a regimen to strengthen my embouchure and was ready when rehearsals began. Finding eight horns was not easy and one of the other "extras" was a physician who I believe had been a college classmate of Mauceri's. I have to say that getting a free ten-day tour of France for playing in one piece at the concerts is still the best travel deal I've ever gotten.

I was taking a history seminar at the time on the European Left since the French Revolution. My professor sent me on a mission to purchase a couple of books for him from a leftwing bookstore on the Left Bank, and to find a book for the junior history thesis I was writing for the course. He told me about a Tunisian sandwich shop nearby that had great cheap sandwiches. I ordered one. It was excellent but was also the hottest food I had ever eaten at the time. A memorable day and a memorable tour.

That's me with the long hair, talking with Tom Halpin, who was concertmaster at the time. My most vivid memory of that evening was that there was no food (or very little) served with the cocktails . . . and then we were slated to perform live on French radio. I was very grateful that the cello part for Ives' "Central Park in the Dark" ends with measures and measures of a low G. I decided I could just keep playing until John Mauceri stopped conducting and I'd be okay.

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