There's always a sinking feeling when you get to a venue and you realise you made a mistake. Approaching, you realise that you've not seen any colleagues yet, and there's no sound of anyone warming up. Damn, wrong venue.
This week it was my turn .... again. Arrived in good time, sounds of warming up, lots of colleagues. But wait. Why were they all looking so smart?
I'd checked. It was a schools concert. Schools concerts for us is to wear a brightly coloured shirt with black trousers. Yes I was wearing black trousers with a purple shirt. But there was something wrong.
Then I noticed. Yes everyone was looking smart because they all had black shirts. Oh no.
Why? This wasn't a usual children's concert. It was a performance of Stravinsky's Rite Of Spring using projected images, and a darkened stage with stand lights.
It was wet and trying to snow outside. The assistant in the men's department on the second floor said unfortunately he had sold the last 17 inch black shirt. Yes I would take the last remaining black shirt even if it were a 18 1/2 inch collar. Even if it would look like a tent. That was when Andrew Marriner our principal clarinet came out of the fitting room. Yes his 17 inch was fine.