The WBS was invited to play at Carnegie Hall in 1997 as part of a mammoth celebration of the 850th anniversary of Moscow's founding -- the only orchestra of Russian folk instruments in a nearly-four-hour program of exhaustive commemoration by celebrities in many genres. Our invitation was arranged at the suggestion of Tamara Volskaya, who played first chair PD1 for the performance.
We'd gotten up at the crack of dawn on a Tuesday to meet our bus that took us to Manhattan with a couple of stops on the way to pick up extra people, got to Carnegie Hall around Noon, did a quick onstage sound check, grabbed something to eat, came back and waited and then played our short set which included 'Moskva' conducted by the head of the Yale Russian Chorus with choral vocal, and then Step' da step' krugom followed by Bright Moon [arranged as a continuous piece since we were only allowed one selection], which I conducted. Then back on the bus for a five-or-so hour drive back to Virginia where as I recall we arrived around 2 am, hyped and exhausted.
We'd gotten our bite of the Big Apple and it tasted good. Smiles all around and a good review.
- - - Max McCullough