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Orchestra Shushed

By Nate Odenkirk | Staff Writer

JERSEY CITY—Genteel patrons of the Jersey City Orchestra stood their ground last night when they aggressively shushed the loud orchestra midway through the recital. “I mean, it was ridiculous,” said Dan Ranch, a socialite who attended the fateful event with a friend for once. “We’re trying to listen to a performance, and these people think it’s appropriate to start playing their instruments right into a mic! It was so rude to the poor conductor. Also, the conductor should have turned around, because we couldn’t see what he was doing at all!”

“Shut up, we’re trying to cough!”

The absolute nightmare was compounded by even more issues that apparently bothered the audience. Their unforeseen complaints threw a wrench into the evening’s disfunction. Throughout the event, a small group of concertgoers eagerly lined up by stage right, apparently expecting that they would get a chance to try the instruments themselves. “I had camped out by the stage for two days so I could be the first one to try out the flute,” said Fred Krugel, a well-traveled man of good taste, and a car owner. “It’s not fair, they hogged the instruments the whole time. They should have told us in advance, because I was practicing my flute-blowing face for hours in preparation. But the conductor was great.”

“The Great Sneeze-O” traveled all the way from his house to perform an impromptu recital of his best and loudest sneezes and coughs.

Many in the audience also lamented that the orchestra seemed to take up everybody’s attention to the detriment of other overlooked acts in the seats. Reid Horsley, better known by his stage name, “The Great Sneeze-O,” traveled all the way from his house to perform an impromptu recital of his best and loudest sneezes and coughs. Much to his chagrin, many audience members mistook him as an annoying sick person who didn’t cover his mouth on purpose. “If I had known The Great Sneeze-O was in the audience, I would have asked him to sneeze on me,” said Jack Pebble, who sat just one row behind. Pebble, himself a legendary throat clearer, was also disappointed that the orchestra drowned out his act.

This is not the first time the Jersey City Orchestra has run into trouble. Yesterday’s interruptions mark the 44th consecutive time the entire orchestra—except for the conductor—was shushed during a performance. “I apologize to our valued guests for the unacceptable philharmonic experience,” said Dr. Yeardly Smitts, director at the center. “We will of course be launching an investigation into the disruptions.” When asked about possible disciplinary action, Dr. Smitts said “everything is on the table,” including taking away the instrument, time out, and in extreme circumstances, calling the accomplished musician’s parents to pick them up. Conversely, the Philharmonic is also reportedly looking into a reward for the conductor’s good behavior, like a free baton shining or a novelty sized music sheet stand.

This no doubt comes as a welcome surprise to the Jersey City Philharmonic, located just across the street from Jersey City Orchestra. They promise their guests a night of “complete silence, so they could watch the conductor do the funny hand movements without any distractions.” In a swipe at the Orchestra, the Philharmonic pledged that the Great Sneeze-O was always welcome at their performances, as long as he promises to sneeze on as many people as possible. ♦

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