Orchestral Jabberwocky

Silly Verse Series, 5/?

At the beginning of undergrad, I came across a website of parodies of “Jabberwocky,” and promptly decided to do one of my own. This one came out as a homage to my experience in high school orchestra and string ensemble. Particularly in its only slightly anonymized portrayal of our music teacher and conductor Ms. Trudy Bradley, who was famed for (a) making food metaphors at every rehearsal; (b) associating people’s faces with instrument, position, and many details of personal life but never their names; (c) making the orchestra a chocolate sheet cake with Smarties (Canadian Smarties candy, which are very much like M&Ms) after successful performances. The quotations are directly taken from life. I hope she is enjoying her retirement.

Orchestral Jabberwocky

‘Twas pre-performance, and the clarinets
Were squeaking like banshees out of hell;
The trumpets were out-shouting the cornets
And the piano was flat as well.

“Beware Mozart’s 40th, concertmaster!
The notes are easy, the expression tough!
Some parts you rush faster and faster;
Some parts you don’t go fast enough.”

He put the chinrest ‘neath his chin
And everyone tuned to his A;
So rested he with his violin
And waited for the violas to play.

And as the conductor moved her stick
The violas came in, right on time.
They weren’t too slow, they weren’t too quick;
They were, in fact, sublime.

And on they played; they never strayed
From the baton’s one two three four.
The audience began to dance
And called for an encore.

“Did you hear THAT? Wasn’t that great?
Hurray for, um, violin boy!
We’ll have to bake a chocolate cake!”
The conductor cried for joy.

‘Twas post-performance, and the clarinets
Squeaked again like banshees out of hell;
The trumpets were out-shouting the cornets
And the piano was flat as well.

— Tamara Vardomskaya, 2003

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