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 Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: VermontJM 
Date:   2005-04-22 03:35


The section leader showed up drunk to rehearsal the other night. (She admitted to spending most of the day drinking, but the smell was strong enough to clear up any doubts...)

I am already on the outs with the conductor (a REALLY long story I won't entertain you with...) so I don't feel that I can bring this to his attention. I don't think the other two clarinet players were impressed, either- I mean, this is supposed to be the principal player- she's been late to the last couple of rehearsals, didn't show for one and now shows up drunk.

Your thoughts?

Post Edited (2005-04-22 21:54)

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: mystery science dieter 
Date:   2005-04-22 03:39

Tell her to bring enough for everyone next time.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: ron b 
Date:   2005-04-22 03:42

Whatever your relationship with Maestro, the matter will present itself soon enough without your help. Be cool  :)

- ron b -

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: GBK 
Date:   2005-04-22 03:45

Top 7 Signs That You Have An Alcohol Problem

7. You nickname your Bb and A clarinets "barley" and "hops"

6. A worried music director calls you at home and asks you to return the podium.

5. For some reason, "starting at the next barline" always makes you thirsty.

4. You've suddenly noticed that the entire woodwind section all have exact twins.

3. For the money you spent on drinks at the buffet, you could've bought one.

2. You lose arguments with your music stand.

1. 24 hours in a day / 24 beers in a case: Not a coincidence! ...GBK

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: John J. Moses 
Date:   2005-04-22 04:09

Drunk or drinking at a Broadway Theater is grounds for immediate dismissal.
The surest way to get fired from most professional jobs is to be drunk or "stoned."
Drugs and alcohol don't make it in the "real" professional world.
Lose the habit, now!

Légère Artist
Clark W. Fobes Artist

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: Ralph G 
Date:   2005-04-22 04:31

I am shocked, SHOCKED, to hear there's a substance abuse problem in the music biz!


Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it.

- Pope John Paul II

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: Dano 
Date:   2005-04-22 05:07

Did her showing up drunk make her do her job any worse than if she had been sober? I have played with musicians that could not play very well if they were sober. I don't think anyone should be drunk or stoned when doing their job, but It is sad and true that some musicians play very well "under the influence". I would ignore the drinking unless it worsens her playing or that of others around her. If Maestro thinks she can do no wrong, she must be able to play while drunk. Not showing up for a rehearsal or not being able to do her job is worse than showing up drunk. I would focus on that instead of her drinking. Unless of course it is affecting the rest of the musicians in a negative way. Anyone that thinks musicians do not show up for rehearsals stoned or drunk, is kidding themselves. Some of them can hide it better than others. If they show up drunk for rehearsals you know they are showing up drunk for the real thing too.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2005-04-22 05:58

Like John said, I tried only one time to play "stoned" in a rehearsal, and it didn't work at all. It was the first and last time for me. I also agree with John that drugs and alcohol don't make it in the "real professional" world, as in playing in broadway, in an orchestra, or any other place you have to read a lot of sheet music.
I do think drugs or alcohol can sometimes even help (not that I recommend using them!) in the "fantasy professional" world. For example, Coltrane and Miles Davis if I'm not mistaken recorded a very good CD and all players were on LSD. They were not professionals in that sense, but they were making a living by playing music, and they only made the music they wanted usually.

Anyway, about this specific clarinetist, I agree with dano. If her drinking makes her play worse or affect anyone is a bad way, then it's a problem.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: kal 
Date:   2005-04-22 07:29

3. For the money you spent on drinks at the buffet, you could've bought one.

Haha, excellent!

I, too, am going with Dano on this one. For better or for worse, the standards of professional behavior are different for creative people (I should know; I'm an artist AND a musician!). If she gets the job done, all's well.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2005-04-22 11:11

Tell her maybe she should be a jazz musician  ;)

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: claril 
Date:   2005-04-22 11:15

Hmm.. under any circumstance I believe mixing alcohol with classical music is not right.. how can you justify it it is a disgrace..

There are other types of music like jazz and rock etc where it might be more acceptable.. as David say's tell her to swap to jazz impro

Post Edited (2005-04-22 11:16)

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2005-04-22 11:22

And not to say that it's acceptable there either, but it is a lot more common.

There are even a lot of substance adicted Country Music Artists!

who would have thought.......

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: VermontJM 
Date:   2005-04-22 11:26


I am kind of shocked at the responses... "If she gets the job done, all is well."

In all honesty, she played ok. I won't take that away from her. But there is the fact that, as principal, I think she should be setting some sort of example for all players under her. Does it change the fact that this is someone under the age of 21?

I think condoning this type of behavior in ANY level of performing is ridiculous. There have been threads here about beta-blockers, too, and, frankly, I am surprised that so many people are either apathetic or supportive of their use. Isn't it a sign of addiction when someone says they NEED a substance to perform daily tasks? I don't know about most of you, but to me this would include performing. If someone NEEDS drugs to perform, I am concerned about addiction.

What message are we sending to younger performers? Just as people condoned steriod use in baseball players and kids took that as a green light to use steriods, aren't we doing the same by condoning the use of drugs and alcohol for performing? Right here where I am, I hear of professors handing out beta-blockers like candy to students because they can't get their nerves under control to play. Nerves are part of performing- I think we all have them and all have to deal with them. The amount of people with true anxiety issues and truly in NEED of medication to function on stage is few - like with most medications in this society, we are overmedicating instead of dealing with the issues.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2005-04-22 11:36

That's a lot more unacceptable. (not that it ever was)

And if it isn't a professional job, you really should talk to the conductor or possibly the guidance officer as the girl really needs help.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: Morrigan 
Date:   2005-04-22 12:54

Perhaps she has a problem that you don't know about. Report this, if it hasn't been done already, because she obviously needs to sort something out in her personal life.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: David Peacham 
Date:   2005-04-22 13:07

If I understand you correctly, she has missed one rehearsal, been late for two, and been drunk (but sober enough to play just fine) at one.

Aren't you getting this a bit out of proportion? Did you never get drunk before you were 21?

If I were worried about anything, it'd be her safety getting home afterwards - and everyone else's safety too if she was foolish enough to drive.

One episode of drunkeness does not an alcoholic make. If she makes a habit of it, time enough to worry.

I recall getting horrendously drunk after performing Brandenburg 4 (playing first recorder) once, and I was only 19. At least that was after the concert.


If there are so many people on this board unwilling or unable to have a civil and balanced discussion about important issues, then I shan't bother to post here any more.

To the great relief of many of you, no doubt.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2005-04-22 13:16

#1 it's stupid

#2 it's illegal

#3 it's irresponsible

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: David Peacham 
Date:   2005-04-22 13:26

DavidBlumberg - just out of interest, is it really illegal to drink under 21 in the USA? It may be illegal to buy alcohol - but is it illegal to share a beer with your father in your own home?


If there are so many people on this board unwilling or unable to have a civil and balanced discussion about important issues, then I shan't bother to post here any more.

To the great relief of many of you, no doubt.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: RosewoodClarinet 
Date:   2005-04-22 13:36

It is illegal to drink under 21 in the US.......wait, it is true at least in Illinois State.......

In Japan, legal age for drinking is 20 not 21.


 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: luckyclarinettoenla 
Date:   2005-04-22 13:40

Are we to assume that this is an university orchestra? Is there perhaps a little animosity between you and the section leader? The reason I ask, is because in the orchestras I've been in, if something like this were to happen, I alone or with the rest of the section would sit down with the principal and say that showing up under the influence is not going to be tolerated. In a professional orchestra things would be different, but in this situation I would think that this suffices. Sometimes the direct approach is best. Coincidentally, during my undergraduate years we had this exact problem with the flute section. It was rectified immediately and the conductor did not have to get invloved. Just a question to ask yourself, what's the real motivation behind the dilemma? Do you want the section to be in tip-top shape, or is it more of wanting to be principal? I don't ask that as an insult, but if you ask yourself this perhaps it would helpyou in coming up with a course of action. Anyway, let us all know how it works out!

Lucky (how fitting is my signature for this posting?)

Never fool yourself into believing that today's 'good enough' will do tomorrow!

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2005-04-22 13:41

To me personally, if you are old enough to get blown up in a war, you are dang well old enough to drink.......

But yes, it is illegal asof July 1987 under 21

Point is that the girl shouldn't have been drinking before a rehearsal. That's not Saturday night partying, that's possibly an alcoholic .

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: OpusII 
Date:   2005-04-22 13:52

In our country it is illegal to drink under the age of 16... [toast]

But I've to agree with David on this one. She's only seen one time drunk at the rehearsal... I can't say that that never happened to me.... Didn’t you ever had a birthday party and drunk some beer before the rehearsal?

As long as it isn't quite common that she's drunk, then I think it isn't really a problem. Maybe she does have a live next to playing the clarinet ;)

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: clarispark 
Date:   2005-04-22 13:52

Don't worry about what Maestro thinks of you...
What if this person shows up to an important concert drunk like that? If anyone saw her stumble into rehearsal drunk, that makes the entire ensemble look bad. Don't let her get away with it!

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: ohsuzan 
Date:   2005-04-22 14:36

VermontJM --

This is a tough call. Like you, I am a little surprised at the tone and character of the responses on this thread.

The question I think we're all trying to get at is, is there a problem here that *you* need to deal with? And if we can agree that there is a problem, what, exactly, is it? And what can or should you do about it?

I think ron b is probably on the right track in saying that , from a musical standpoint, the problem, if there is one, will make itself apparent without anyone else's help, and when or if it does, will present the decision makers with much clearer choices. It is one thing to be personally offended by someone's behavior; it is quite another thing to presume that one's own standards ought to be enforced upon everyone else (which, IMHO, is another of those large societal problems with which we are struggling today).

However, in this case, you may be dealing with a situation which involves behavior which is not just distasteful or personally destructive, but is actually illegal and/or dangerous. Leaving aside the fact of so-called underage drinking (my attitude mirrors David B's), I'd like to know if this individual is driving herself to practice? For me, that's where the rubber hits the road . The fact is, lots of drunks -- especially maintenance drinkers, which this girl may be -- can function remarkably well with a load on, but as a society, we have decided they must do that out of their cars and off the streets.

Of course, anything you alone say to the player in question, or apparently to your director, is likely to not be well-received. It would have more impact if you and the whole rest of the section who is aware of this go to her or the director privately and express your concerns. Alternatively, does the organization itself have any leadership other than the director (like a board, or a band president) with whom you, or the section, can raise your concerns? If she is driving, are you willing or able to call the local law enforcement folks and alert them to a problem driver?

My first husband, a gifted microsurgeon and musician, died at the age of 45 from the effects of alcoholism. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if, instead of suffering in silence, I had called the highway patrol or the local cops or even the hospital authorities every time he went to work drunk (which, basically, was every time he went to work).

I didn't. He died.

Like I said, tough call.


 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: Dano 
Date:   2005-04-22 15:24

I think most people can agree that the U.S. is far behind most of the rest of the world when it comes to drinking age. I played in an combo in Argentina with plenty of young people in it and before the rehearsals, we drank a couple of glasses of wine without any problems at all. You ask what kind of example do we set for young people when we say "if it does not affect her playing, let her drink"? First of all, life is not "The Brady Bunch" so you better have your ducks in a row. Second, some people are stupid, hurt, depressed, unable to deal with their feelings and you better be ready for them.
"Tell her maybe she should be a jazz musician"???? It is not more acceptable to be stoned if you play jazz music. You are confused with the jazz musician of yesteryear and the venue in which the music takes place. Bars and places where it is ok to "let go". Jazz musicians are some of the hardest working musicians you will ever come across. Even more so with a clarinet. You can't get near the top or stay at the top if you are high on anything. I can hardly believe that this statement is coming from people who play music. I would expect that statement to come from people who pidgeon-hole music altoghether. It's like saying that classical musicians are more likley to be mild mannered and weak. I know enough classical musicians to know this to be wrong. I say just make sure you are doing your part as a musician and let the chips fall when it comes to someone elses drinking. They will fall and if you play it right, you will remain standing. Morality and creativity can accompany themselves only to a certain point. Then one or the other drifts away. It does not matter how moral or creative you may think you are. Cheers!!

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2005-04-22 15:38

Uhhh, Dano - I said it.

And I've promoted Jazz Musicians who DID EXACTLY THAT.

Bill Evans (yeah, bill the man - his son as well as his archives I promoted)
Another major top of the heap Jazz Sax player I worked with showed up to the Playboy festival drunk as a skunk.
A Jazz Sax player in Kansas City who though wasn't known as a superstar, played at that level (older guy) and his wife told me that she basically saved his life when they met as he was on the fast road to ending up like Bill Evans, Charlie Parker, RAY CHARLES, among others.

Yeah, drugs and alcoholism is rampant in the music world.

Really unfortunate as many lives have been ruined by it.

Post Edited (2005-04-22 16:01)

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: Hank Lehrer 
Date:   2005-04-22 15:42


I don't agree with your assertion that "Anyone that thinks musicians do not show up for rehearsals stoned or drunk, is kidding themselves." In over 50 years of being a working jazz musician, I have had only two occassions where fellow players have shown up drunk/stoned. One was Mahlon, a very good trombone player and the other was Cal, a keyboard player and wonderful singer. On the jobs in question, it was the last time I ever played with them; I turned down any more calls for more gigs and told them why.

Please don't think I have led a sheltered life as I have played in all sorts of clubs in many parts of the US. Among the players I worked with, an occasional drink on the stand was the limit. Sorry, but I have not had the challenge of working with someone that needed to be high to play better.

Actually, I don't even drink a glass of wine with dinner before a rehearsal. I don't want my colleagues to smell it on me and I also don't want to be anything but at my most alert state.


 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: David Spiegelthal 2017
Date:   2005-04-22 16:08

Professionals act like professionals, regardless of the genre of music they're performing, or the venue. Anyone who drinks on (or is drunk/stoned at) a gig is NOT a professional, and/or has a serious medical/psychological problem which should get attention. Just my opinion.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: Carol Dutcher 
Date:   2005-04-22 16:18

What if she falls down and hurts someone else, or crashes into the clarinet section? Then I think Maestro might notice.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   2005-04-22 16:52

David Spiegelthal wrote:

> Professionals act like professionals, regardless of the genre
> of music they're performing, or the venue. Anyone who drinks
> on (or is drunk/stoned at) a gig is NOT a professional, and/or
> has a serious medical/psychological problem which should get
> attention. Just my opinion.

And in my opinion, being what I consider to be a professional musician during a short period of my life ...

It's all a matter of degree. I can say that I and a lot of other professionals have consumed an alchoholic beverage during a break with no ill effect. "An" being the operant word. Two (for me) would have been one too many.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: clarinetwife 
Date:   2005-04-22 16:56

Dano wrote:
>I think most people can agree that the U.S. is far behind most of the rest of the world when it comes to drinking age.<

I truly think that the place of the motor vehicle in our lives really makes a big difference in the US. I have not travelled to a large number of countries, but where I have been the young do NOT get into a car and drive when they are out with their friends, either because they are walking or because there is public transportation that is available and widely used. We also have a trend in our country of issuing inexperienced drivers "intermediate" drivers licenses where they can't have teenage passengers except family members, and this does reduce accidents.

As far as playing the instrument, maybe this person did okay, but did she play the way she does when she is not drunk? I know that often when I practice after dinner with a couple (and only one or two) glasses of wine, that my ability to negotiate tricky licks is affected. But then, I am 4'10" and don't pack a lot of weight either, so a little probably affects me more

Post Edited (2005-04-22 16:58)

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: LarryBocaner 2017
Date:   2005-04-22 16:59

First time I ever played at the Royal Festival Hall in London, I visited the Artists' Buffet (pub) backstage at intermission and chatted with two local musicians (from the Royal Phil.) who were hired to sub for a couple of our players who had become sick on tour. They said they were thrilled to play with an American orchestra--why?--because with a British band it was usually too crowded to get to the bar at "interval!" I've also experience backstage "watering holes" at the Philharmonie in Berlin and in Cologne.
When the Berlin Opera did a residency here in Washington at the Kennedy Center, the backstage canteen suddenly had Lowenbrau (unfortunately in bottles, not on draft as in Berlin.) The beer disappeared as soon as the Opera left town!

This is to illustrate cultural differences about alchohol and the (musical) workplace--not to condone performing when sloshed. Never done it myself, but I have had colleagues whose lives were cut short by alchohol abuse.

I had the pleasure of playing behing Stephane Grapelli a couple of times. He and his quintet passed around a bottle copiously before they played--gloriously!

Post Edited (2005-04-22 17:04)

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: David Spiegelthal 2017
Date:   2005-04-22 17:24

I'd like to clarify my opinion -- when I wrote "drinks" I meant "drinks excessively" --- which of course varies from person to person. Certainly most people can perform quite well after just a beer or two. On the flip side, some people either are not aware of their own "acceptable" level, or ignore it. I used to share the bandstand with a local jazz player who drank and was convinced his playing improved as his sobriety level decreased. It certainly didn't, and his personality would become more and more abrasive as the evening progressed, until his attitude (and playing) became intolerable.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: A2Clarinetist 
Date:   2005-04-22 17:44

It doesn't really matter if the performance groups is high school, college, professional or a community group. Coming to rehearsal drunk is not professional nor is it appropriate.

High school - we are clearly dealing with underage drinking PLUS it is a CLASS and I am pretty sure most high schools have policies about coming to class under the influence.

College - sometimes it might be underage drinking but it is ALWAYS a class in college and thus should not be attended in a drunken state.

Professional - most jobs do not tolerate it's employees coming to work drunk.

Community groups...that's a little harder but one would like to think that drinking could be avoided until after rehearsal. We have someone who comes to rehearsal drunk quite often but he is not principal.

I would say something to the Maestro. I agree that it gives the performance group a bad image and since being "principal" is somewhat of a leader position, it is not resonsible to come to rehearsal drunk.


 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: rc_clarinetlady 
Date:   2005-04-22 17:46

I play in a community orchestra that is only in it's second season. We had a situation very much like this one happen with our trumpet section last summer. My 16 year old son sat in with the trumpet section for a few rehearsals and one concert. One of the trumpeters was quite drunk...regularly. Long story short, I had to make a decision much like you are having to make, VermontJM. I decided to go to the director and this is why.....
I had real concerns for all the people on the road that this man encountered with his car between either the bar or home and our rehearsal hall. In our state if you kill someone and have a blood alcohol level of a certain level it's considered vehicular homicide. Even if he injured someone and didn't kill them, he's still in a heap of trouble. I know it sounds incredibly selfish but we, as an orchestra, had to decide if we wanted to have that kind of liability sitting in our trumpet section. I'm not sure anyone is that good. The director was very open to me calling and talking to him. He had supsected the problem but had no proof.

Even though this isn't a professional group like JJM is part of it is run like one and we have to be very concerned about our reputation. Don't say that reputation shouldn't be what we're thinking of either. We all know it's very important. It's why we wear black tuxes, formals and why we stand when the director enters the stage etc.......We are putting a professional appearance forward and quite honestly I don't think a drunk or stoned person sitting in any section enhances that appearance. The trumpeter is no longer with our orchestra. Sometimes you have to do what's best for the group as a whole. It may just be what's best for your clarinetist too. If you're in a college orchestra there has to be someone else you could talk to. Maybe the head of the music dept. or a professor that could help. In our case we have a director and a CEO that are at every rehearsal. It seems like there should be someone that could help you.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: VermontJM 
Date:   2005-04-22 21:41

I feel the need to clarify a few things-

First, she was not coming in "fall down" drunk. She had been drinking over a period of many hours and was definitely buzzed and flushed, but not incapacitated... Like I said, she played the music. Maybe not her best playing, but she did it. (It also turned out being an easy rehearsal- the technically hard passages were not gone over and lots of time was spent with other sections.)

Second, I don't really feel the need to bring this to anyone's attention- I think she made quite the impression on our section and anyone within smelling distance of her. I really am in a MAJOR riff with the conductor and I feel that saying anything would be an issue.

Third- thanks for the concern, but she didn't drive anywhere. (I thought of that too.)

For me, it's a matter of respect- for those around her and for the ensemble. Showing up under the influence of anything is unacceptable in my eyes, whether you are 8th chair or 1st. I just feel that the fact that she is principal makes this all the worse because she is supposed to be LEADING the section- how can one do that when they are getting a hangover during rehearsal??

Oh yeah- and I am SO sick of hearing people use the "didn't you get drunk/stoned/high when you were in college?" excuse, I want to scream. No. I didn't. Not when I had a rehearsal or class to go to. Friday night? Fine. Saturday afternoon? Great. Mid-week knowing you have a rehearsal that evening? GIVE ME A BREAK - grow up- you've got to take responsiblity for your actions sometime.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: A2An 
Date:   2005-04-22 21:55

I never got drunk in school either. I've never ever been drunk.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: Dano 
Date:   2005-04-22 22:17

Clarinetwife, I think you are right about the automobile making a huge difference when it comes to our more conservative additude towards drinking. Driving and automobiles are almost one of our american rights. Not that it is great to see someone walking home drunk, but it sure beats watching someone drive home drunk.
Hank, I have played with drunks and people that get stoned and unless they make a huge fuss, people like you don't even know they are high. I have also played with people that walk out because they don't like it that someone is high. Both the people that are high and the people that refuse to play music with them loose out on some wonderful gigs. As a professional musician, I can't walk out on a gig because I don't like the fact that someone might be high. What about being a professional and being able to concentrate on the music and your job instead of if someone is high? I think that makes a pro more than if they get high or not. The true pro knows how to deal with the many personalities and quirks of these great, talented, creative drunks and drug addicts. I can't think of getting high and music as all black or white. There is a grey area there somewhere. We are not talking brain surgury or police work or flying an airplane. It would be the same as if a fellow musician was on a mission to save your soul by preaching to you as often as he could about the virtues of being Christian (it has happened to me). You need to look beyond that and stay with the job at hand. The music. If being Christian and telling me that I am not on the right track makes him play better, by all means preach away. I know where I stand. What he says or if he is drunk mean the same to me. Not much. Comfortable? No. Can I put up with it? Yes.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2005-04-22 22:43

Neither have I - never needed to.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: John O'Janpa 
Date:   2005-04-22 23:57

"Drunk" can be subjective when it comes to playing music. (not the legal blood alcohol level, or for driving purposes). What may be "relaxed" when playing Yakity Sax at the Dew Drop Inn, or Who Stole the Kieshka at the Slovenian Hall, would be unacceptable if playing principal in a Major Symphony Orchestra.

That being said, there are a lot of people who drink on a routine basis.
Some of them are alcoholics. To those of us who no longer drink (I drank mine and five other people's lifetime quotas by the time I was 32) the smell of alcohol on someone's breath is immediately apparent. If the smell is the only noticeable effect, I don't consider it a big problem (especially at the Dew Drop Inn). If words are slurred, or playing is noticeably off, it IS a problem. If the player isn't maintaining the "standards of the group", the problem usually takes care of itself soon enough. If the problem persists, and no one seems to notice, either bring it to someone's attention, or find another group. Not many substance abusers get cut as much slack as Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Charlie Parker, etc.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: Pam H. 
Date:   2005-04-23 00:04

My 2 cents, for what it's worth. If the maestro is a good one, he is not completely unaware of what is going on.

If her current track of behavior keeps up, there should be unavoidable consequences at some point, even if your group doesn't have rules or standards that are set in stone.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: clarinetist04 
Date:   2005-04-23 01:56


I have NEVER drank before a rehearsal, albeit I have other times (and I am under 21).

Certainly, the US is alone (almost) with having 21 as a drinking age. And having lived overseas in The Netherlands, I can totally understand why people want it lowered (myself included). First, I would make the age 16 and make driving at 18 or 19. Reason being, kids need to learn how to control their drinking before they learn how to drive a car. When one learns to drink responsibly before learning how to get behind the wheel, everyone is safer. In addition, the driving age being 16-18 depending on state, with drinking age at 21 precipitates underage drinking because of the thrill (for lack of a better word). I have seen so many more people who are under 21 (and drunk) try to get in a car and drive [than are over 21]. Why? Ask a psychologist, not me! That's my oppinion.

But that doesn't excuse her actions. She needs to have someone sit down with her and figure out the root of the problem. Does this happen often (drinking heavily)? Being in high school and drinking to that extent and taking the risks that she did by coming to a rehearsal and risking personal humiliation (which is something most high schoolers treasure more than most other things) is very interesting to me.

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: Dano 
Date:   2005-04-23 02:36

Clarinetist04, nice to hear reasonable thoughts from someone under 21! This is probably for some other board, but I have always wondered why anyone would want to "drink responsibly". The thought that one would consume alcohol and then pretend to be acting responsibly is crazy. We all know that most alcohol consumption is done to let yourself and your responsibilities go. If you want to drink responsibly, drink something non-alcoholic. How can we think that drinking alcohol in itself can be a responsible action? Most of us drink to feel the alcohol and until society admits that, we will have dumb, trite sayings like "drink responsibly". Which one of us can claim they have never driven after a couple of drinks and the knowledge that they are feeling "a little drunk"?

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: Alexis 
Date:   2005-04-23 02:57

VermontJM said.
"I think condoning this type of behavior in ANY level of performing is ridiculous. There have been threads here about beta-blockers, too, and, frankly, I am surprised that so many people are either apathetic or supportive of their use. Isn't it a sign of addiction when someone says they NEED a substance to perform daily tasks?"

What relevance does that have? Can this girl ONLY play after she has been drinking?

I'm sorry I can't believe how much preaching and moralising has been done on this thread, with such scant information about this girl. As has been mentioned a couple of times, she won't be able to hold down a job or even pass a trial if she drinks or shows up late. So it is her problem. If you get to speak to her out of the context of the rehearsal you could possibly bring it up. Her lack of responsibility will cost her gigs and possibly a stable career.

Try and resolve your differences with the conductor. Animosity is bad in any ensemble and you can be sure that this won't be the last thing you want to talk to your conductor about.

To me this whole thing seems like its been blown way out of proportion

 Re: Drunk at Rehearsal???
Author: VermontJM 
Date:   2005-04-23 03:21

I was NOT saying that she can only perform after drinking. This is the only time I have ever seen her arrive to a rehearsal in this form. I simply brought it up to get others impressions and/or ideas of how/if I should make any attempt at addressing it. (Because I think it's ridiculous to come to rehearsal like this.)

As for the whole beta-blocker deal- I was simply commenting on previous threads along this line (substance use/abuse) where I felt that use of substances was being condoned, if not all out supported, by some. This had no real relevance to this particular situation - I was just making a comparison to other posts (which I thought was REALLY clear in my post.)

Do I think this is something that's going to happen often? No.
Am I going to make any issues of it? Nope.
Will I speak directly to her about it? Maybe. (Still trying to decide if it's worth the possible bad response.)
I do think that this will end up working itself out- if she just comes to rehearsal and plays like she should, great. If not, fine- I guess it will work itself out come next season.
There are a LOT of assumptions being made about this- like the driving issue, alcoholism, etc, etc, etc... These are all incorrect- I was simply concerned by the lack of respect and responsibility - that's it. Other than that, she's a good player and nice person.

I think I can sum up what most people have said (more or less, anyway)

*Arriving at rehearsal under the influence of anything is disrespectful to others in the group and one must take responsibility for the job they have to do.
*Talking to her directly would be advisable over going over her to the director. (Both for her and me.)
*Yes, things were blown out of proportion- as far as I know, this is not an abuse problem and she isn't driving anywhere, so she isn't really endangering herself or others. (Other than ticking off people in the ensemble.)
*I agree that the drinking age sucks, but I think it's been made ABUNDANTLY clear that many legal *adults* can't handle drinking - we need to get out of this "more is better" outlook before lower drinking ages. (Everything in moderation!) Regardless, underage drinking's illegal at the moment. (not that that really matters for this situation.)

I seriously never expected this to be such a hot topic. Sorry for the controversy. Reading some of this, I feel like some fists would be coming up if this were a face to face conversation. "Can't we all just get along?!?" I think on a lot of this we have to agree to disagree.

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