Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I made two somewhat working reeds today! Tomorrow I have a session with the mysterious G - who will hopefully turn them into works of art. I don't even have any gigs until the 11th, and after that a kind of hiatus until November. Weird. I must remember to enjoy it and possibly even PRACTICE! Seems like most of the time I'm just running around trying to keep up, so it is great to have some reflective time (let's see how reflective it actually turns out to be)

Monday, September 29, 2008


I haven't posted for a while and now the opera is OVER! I was just tired for this whole thing, although I think this is the best the orchestra has sounded for an opera with this company. Even though there were some interesting things going on with counting a couple times...It is such a drag to only do two performances, but the market just won't bear any more than that. We did have good crowds though, and I had a fan yesterday! My friend K drove 100 miles to come see it - what a gal. Now I have my excellent check to take care of, and turning my focus to Beethoven and Elgar. I've decided it is really easy to underestimate Beethoven.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Nonpartisan funniness

Ok, this is supposedly for Obama, but it really doesn't matter - this is hilarious! It is Les Mis "One Day More" performed (?) by office workers; they have McCain coming out as Javert and Palin is Lady Trenardie - I was totally cracking up when I watched this.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

back to work

Today I'm playing in church again; since we are between DOMs the choir director is getting special music. And the "act" for this week blew her off! So I offered, since these may be my last times of playing in church (dramtic sigh...)

Decided to do the Christmas Lullaby by Chip Davis (Fresh Aire) - we just left off Christmas in the bulletin. Totally different from last week (Marcello). Then tonight I have opera; but not onstage - this is weird. They were supposed to have it on stage, it is in our contracts, but DD thinks there is another show in there or something. Hmmm. So we will only have 2 run-throughs before opening. More importantly to me, we are really going to be crammed in the pit, which means if they don't get it right the first time we only have one night to fix it.

Recorder lessons are going along ok, I need to think of a song they can play for the class. It was so exciting last week to have them all playing by ear, and then I make them notate it. At this age it seems way more fun (and more like learning language) I believe the Suzuki method is somewhat like this.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Endless rehearsals...

Actually tomorrow I have a night off, but right at this moment I'm feeling sick of rehearsals. And the opera is in one week! How did that come up so fast?

We rehearsed the Artunian Trumpet Concerto tonight - our principle played the solo just for kicks. It is harder than I thought, nothing terrible but a couple places I should have looked at! Also Beethoven 6. I thought I had played it so many times this summer it was no problem, but we cut big parts of it; and there are some places to look at there too. *sigh*

I have a reed session with the mysterious G tomorrow (yay!) hopefully he will magically make everything work. J has an appt in the morning so I have to take D to school. This is messing up my usual morning routine (which includes sleeping in) and treading with Buffy, then painting the cabinets for the laundry room. Things are slowly shaping up in there, I decided not to sponge paint because I thought it would look stupid. I want to put some blue and green sea glass things on the shelves and I think that will look best with white walls.

The Biggest Loser started its new season this week - I love that show. Wish it would inspire me to loose weight, but that doesn't seem to be happening. Ah well.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Monday my recorder students had all practiced! I was really excited, and they actually sounded pretty good! I'm sure it is my superior teaching skills.

Tonight I had a new oboe student too. She is going to be fun I think - 8th grade. Her oboe is a nasty plastic Selmer, totally basic keywork. They are renting, and would consider renting a better horn, but of course the local businesses don't carry anything better...I wonder if Forrest's would be just ridiculous to try and rent from long-term. I guess I can find out!

After we had opera rehearsal with the singers! The leads are excellent (Violetta and Alfredo) and the papa is ok (although I think younger than Alfredo!) I love the Dr. Didn't really notice the chorus much, we are still just struggling with the horrible parts - still finding tons of wrong notes! These are the reduced orchestra scores from Kalmus, I guess when I played it before we used the full orchestra version, but didn't have all the parts? It is weird because the instrumentation was the same (1,1,2,1/2,1,1) although we have more strings (which don't count because their parts are the same)

But overall a decent rehearsal. We actually have 3 more, so the orchestra should be well rehearsed but only 2ce through with singers on stage! That seems a bit scanty to me, but I just play the oboe. I have a few nice solos in this, nothing like Les Mis! And I had to turn down the part in Sweeney Todd - so depressing. Would love to do it sometime.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Near Death Experience

Yesterday we had opera rehearsal - these parts are really the WORST I have ever seen, wrong notes everywhere, missing measures (many) and wrong transpositions...DD is very frustrated with things. So then the principle violist lost her keys (turned out they were locked in her car - which the concertmaster broke into with a hanger - fun)

So I'm headed home on the interstate (I drive about 30 minutes on that road every time). Since I'm driving my snazzy little convertible, it is very unpleasant going faster than 70 even with the back wind-shield, so I was moving from the left lane to the right because someone was coming up behind me. No problem - I checked the right lane and moved over (and I have GREAT visibility) when suddenly something blares their horn and sweeps by me at 80-90 mpi in the right lane.

Later J said this was probably someone coming on the on-ramp, which is sort of at the top of a hill so I may not have seen him when I checked back. Don't you just HATE people who don't check when they are merging onto the freeway???! So I jerk back to the left, apparently too hard and loose traction. Then I have no control of the steering and the car is sort of weaving back and forth (terrifying), but still in the left lane. Then I catch some of the dirt from the median and go into a spin. The people who stopped to see if I was ok (henceforth known as "the People") said I spun around 2-3 times, I have no idea. There was TONS of dust because it is so dry here.

I ended up in the oncoming traffic, facing the traffic, but on the right side of the yellow line (thank God) and totally unhurt. I didn't hit anything, and the People said we should roll the car into the median. I shifted into neutral and the car just rolled right into the middle, fortunately pretty flat and grassy (and really dusty) with no guard rails here. Again, I'm completely ok, but shaky. I tried to start the car and it started right up, but one of the People said there was gas coming out the back! So we stopped and I got out of the car.

They had called 911, and after 10 min a really nice woman came. I had called AAA and J. J was bringing the car trailer and we thought we would have the car towed to the mall parking lot (less than 5 miles, for which AAA is free) and then we'd load it onto our trailer where it was safer. But the officer was on her communication thing and they said the tow would be another 40 minutes so we decided it was flat enough for J to load it on the median.

J starts looking at the car (after he was very happy to see ME), and decides what was coming out the back was not gas, it was water! Later we figured out I had a gallon of water in the trunk from when I had radiator problems, and the spinning broke it. So actually the only damage to the car was that everything in the trunk was wet. Pretty fabulous considering! Anyway, J started the car and it seemed perfectly fine, so he gave me the choice of driving the car or the truck with the trailer. Yeah right. I had been standing around for about an hour, so I was feeling fine to drive, and we decided to meet at the next off-ramp gas station to regroup (about 2 mi).

Everything was fine, and aside from ingesting 3-4 pounds of dirt, I was in great shape! I did loose my hat. Think I'll get over that. Truly a miracle - just a few more inches into the oncoming traffic lanes and not only I but many others could have been in horrible shape. Just another crazy Freeway Philharmonic incident.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What a week!

So playing in church was pretty good, and my new shirt was highly complimented! Opera rehearsals went ok - TONS of mistakes in the parts, like 50+measures left out of various parts (in different places). These are Kalmus scores, and I don't remember every having this problem the last two times I played Traviata; anyone know if there is another edition? I sure hope so.

My new student is in 8th grade and she has played 3 years. Not bad, but her oboe is an Olds (?) and it only has the basic keys. It also is VERY leaky, I sent her to the local repair guy who I like. We'll see if she goes (sigh). I have another 8th grader starting Tuesday, and my senior had her first lesson since summer yesterday. She is trying out for All Northwest, which is a highly competitive honor orchestra//band. A lot of the stuff is over her ability now, but she is a real trooper for giving it a shot! I guess they make you audition on the web now - you get one shot to play the material (instead of making a recording and sending it in). Eeek.

Bells started up on Wed, I only had 5 ringers. Bad! But I convinced my new ringer's driver (who sadly, lives in a different state) to give it a try - they both did great! Hopefully I will have at least a couple more from last year. The whole mess at church with adding a new service (no bells needed, they want guitars and tambourines)has kind of messed things up. Maybe it is time to throw in the towel...

Orchestra started the new season Thurs, Beet 5, Artunian Tpt Conc, and Elgar Enigma Variations on the first concert. Nothing big for me, really. But there were big crises when the 2nd bsn shot off at the mouth again, now 4 people have told me they are ready to leave if he doesn't shape up. What a nightmare.

Grampa's visit was really fun. He and his friend L went on Ds field trip to the dairy farm! Lots of eating and visiting was done by all, and I really like L, she is a great person. We went on several long walks with the dog and one fabulous day to the Barnes and Noble...friends for life now!

Finally today nothing but picking up D from school! Tomorrow I am going with friend M to the big symphony in their fancy new hall - they are doing Strauss' Alpine Symphony. Should be great!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Add it to the pile...

Just in case I didn't complain enough in the last post; here are a couple more things I forgot! Sunday (after playing for church) we are going to the fair - possibly fun but an organizational nightmare, since going home after church is not really feasible. And that evening Js dad is coming (yay!) for a few days. NOT that I'm not excited for him to come, but the house is kind of a mess. Oh well, at least he is bringing his camper.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


The painting is done, at least the white part. Now I am thinking I might do some sponge painting to bring in a bit of color on one wall...

I am realizing I have a lot coming up - next week I start recorder classes, which I haven't ever done before. I am sure I can do it, but I decided the book they were using last year was awful, and I was just going to do my own thing. But the nice think about a book is that it give structure to your class! Maybe I will find something I like better, but for now I will just teach hand placement and basic scale (with no reading), give them all fingering charts and hope for the best. They all read music and have had lessons on piano or flute.

Also bells start next week. I haven't done anything. What to play is hard to decide when I don't know how many ringers I will have. *sigh*

AND the regular orchestra season starts next week! As well as private students. And the opera (La Traviata). And I got an email about doing Sweeney Todd - which may have been a mistake but I'd love to do it - Sondheim is one of the best.

And THIS Sunday (2days) I am playing in church, decided to go with the Marcello (short and sweet!)