Schools have just started again and that means my orchestras have also. Sensational! I have been reminded, however, of the huge amount of preparation required to get them underway. Repertoire, auditions, photocopying, sweet-talking, begging, music sorting, rehearsal setup and pack down, chasing up students, score preparation, rehearsal camps - by the time I hit the podium ready to do some real work I'm more ready for a nap than a rehearsal. Still though, every time the tuning A sounds and a hush filters across the ensemble, I, amongst the exhilaration, seem to remember exactly why we are there, why we love it and why all of this perspiration is all of a sudden completely and utterly worth it.