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Principal Violist of Local Orchestra Dies, Moved to Second Stand

An orchestra performing a concert
Audiences have not appeared to notice Alberts' demotion.

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI — After another unfortunate incident of uncontrollable hemorrhaging from the ears while practicing, principal violist John Alberts of the Audubon Philharmonic passed away and was demoted to third chair of the section. 

“It’s truly tragedy to demote the man, but there’s nothing else we can do,” said the conductor of the orchestra. “I need a principal who can lead the section in air-bowing Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite most effectively, and his current state kinda prevents that.”

Alberts’ death almost forced the orchestra to undergo the brutal process of listening to reseating auditions, but thankfully flutist Anna Lou concocted a “life saving” plan. “I suggested they just play musical chairs, and the winner gets to be principal," she said. "A violist having the capacity to notice when music is playing and when it is not and having the coordination to sit down while moving is truly an accomplishment—for their kind.” 

Although the orchestra is moving forward, Alberts’ legacy lives on. The concertmaster of the orchestra stores her violin in Alberts’ old viola case as an effective theft protection measure, while members of Alberts’ section are currently planning a small celebration of life centered around making s’mores by a fire created by burning Alberts’ viola.

“Burning his instrument was an interesting decision, I think, because he still needs to play,” said first violinist Dana Meyers. “Then I realized: he’s third chair, so even without his instrument and bereft of life he’ll still sound better than the people behind him.”

At press time, new principal Kevin Dinkins could be found attaching Alberts’ body to various strings and pulleys before a concert in order to achieve violists’ trademark “slouched and incapable” playing position.

 

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