One of my favorite series of articles on Horn Matters is the Orchestra 101 series. The following is one of several upcoming short bonus articles.
“Back in the day” (it seems like a while ago) when cell phones were still more or less futuristic devices about the size of a brick I was playing in an orchestra that I will leave nameless. We were playing a pops concert. These charts can be boring with little to play, especially a second half of a concert with a featured artist or group. In this case I think it was a 1970s pop group of some sort.
We were to the second performance of a double and also the World Series was on that night. To keep up with the game a tenured member of another section brought on stage and put on their stand a miniature television! The personnel manager was not pleased but the player got off as the contract did not specifically say you could not bring a portable TV on stage during a concert.
Not surprisingly, the next contract negotiated had a clause in it that did not allow bringing a portable TV on stage. I don’t recall the exact contract language but the main thing was have a little common sense!
Today the temptation is even higher with texting and smart phones and you may even find you have great Wi-Fi connectivity in a rehearsal. During a rehearsal or performance though, no matter how boring, don’t make use of entertainment and messaging devices. It seems really basic but don’t put your phone on the stand to keep up with anything during the service. Turn it off; whatever it is can wait for a break. It will pay off.