Tag Archives: fun

Grand Pause

I just remembered this story, so here goes:

I used to play with these guys back at New England Conservatory on Friday nights. We had two violins, a viola, cello, and myself on bass, plus occasional guest artists on piano, clarinet, or whatever.

What we would do every Friday night is grab a bunch of beer, or Uncle Carlo Rossi’s Light Chianti, or maybe some Absolut, and stealthily smuggle it all into one of the practice rooms in the back of the building, lock the door, close the shades, and then play a game of Grand Pause, which is basically a drinking game that we invented for classical musicians. Here is how you too can play Grand Pause with your ensemble:

  1. Ensemble starts playing the chosen piece of music.
  2. If there is a significant amount of rest – one measure for a slow movement or two for a faster one, then you must drink. The basic goal is, if you’re not playing, you’re drinking. Try not to spill your drink on your Gofriller or your neighbor’s Amati.
  3. If you come to a grand pause/fermata, then everyone in the group must shout “Grand Pause!!!”, and then chug-a-lug whatever is left in their glass or bottle.
  4. Keep playing until it is impossible to continue due to laughter/inebriation/security guards.
  5. Once we actually got a gig playing at a Democratic Party fundraiser at the Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston. Two words: Free booze. Nuff said – you can guess what happened…