Thursday, November 27, 2008


So, I posted last week and I have no idea what happened to that post. It appears to be gone. Huh. Well, nothing stunning happened - we had orchestra and there was some weirdness in the section with the recently removed wind player. We actually sounded kinda bad on the Sibelius, which I thought would be so easy to put together. Ah well, it will be fine in 2 weeks.

I quit my church job. Just this week. I had an appt with the pastor, mostly to talk about how I was unhappy that no one told me I had a new boss; and no one told me the position was open, or asked my opinion about filling it. But between asking for the appt and our actual meeting (about 2 weeks due to scheduling); I decided I was just done. I think our new DOM will actually work out just fine, she is nice and has a great attitude. I wish her well, and I'm soooo relieved.

Here is something the pastor told me that just confirmed my decision: when they brought the future DOM back for her 2nd interview, he thought it would be good to have the music leaders in the church present. So he asked Terrible Praise Tune Guitar Man and Lovely Choir Director Lady to come. LCDL was not available, and so he asked Former Choir Director Lady to come instead. As the pastor was talking during our meeting, he said "I probably should have asked you to that interview too" - well, DUH! So they had this big process and talked about how the music would work during the new service and the old service - and I didn't even know this meeting/interview occurred! I was annoyed but vindicated, as it is obvious they never included me as part of the music staff. Stupid people.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Symphony, sick people, and stupidness

So - yesterday went to see the Big Symphony in their fabulously beautiful new hall, they did a world premier which I hated (Phillip Glass wannabe), Haydn Cello concerto (boring) and Sibelius 2 which was AWESOME!!! OMG they sounded amazing.

But perhaps even MORE amazing was that I saw L at the concert (heart surgery guy!). He was released from the hospital Saturday after they put in 2 or 3 stints. I had heard he was home but I never expected to see him out. His wife (my former boss) was playing, and he should have been but the sub they got did a great job (pretty exposed part for him in this piece). He should be playing by next week (at least practicing). WOW!

And then I suppose I will mention that I went to church before. The new boss was there, she is older than I had feared, which may be good. Not that I'm opposed to a young person, just a stupid young person. Or a stupid old person! Anyway, she played keyboards for the 2 praise tunes they had for the early service, then she left, I guess to go prepare for the 2nd service. She did a fine job, although praise tunes don't really stretch one's abilities! But she didn't screw it up, so that is good. The organist (our new pt lady) actually didn't do a bang-up job, couple of wrong turns and some extremely weird harmonizations for some of the hymns. But I had a revelation.

I realized it doesn't matter if I play praise tunes or the oldest hymns, or classical arrangements or something put together on the spot. I try to make it a special musical moment - something to add to the worship and perhaps open that communication with G*d. When I go in a beautiful cathedral, I feel something special - the glory of that building seems to confirm a presence. It is the same for me to have glorious music - no matter what style it is. I am NOT saying you need to have church in a beautiful building, or you must have fabulous music to connect - but it helps! I feel that this church used to do that but our new minister does not value music for this purpose. Maybe it doesn't work for him. But it seems like ALL he cares about it connecting with youth, NOT connecting with G*d. I am all for playing music the youth can relate to, but it has to be GOOD! And it isn't the way we are doing it now. Which is sad.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Guilt Guilt Guilt

So I was so unhappy about the situation described in the last posts, I called the old DOM (who was WONDERFUL, a seriously talented professional musician) and she was at the HOSPITAL! They are doing tests on her husband who has had brain cancer (I don't know if htis is related) and he was just leaving in an ambulance for the bigger downtown hosp. OMG I feel like such a whiner. Please send good thoughts (or prayers if you do that) this way for stupid job is just that.

UPDATE: L had heart surgery, but he is recovering well. Two stints were put in and they didn't have to "crack him open" so that is excellent news. Puts things into perspective on my job situation. I will most likely quit right after Xmas. Yay!

Now I am really POed

Just got the "resume" of our illustrious leader (my new boss, the DOM). I'm so mad I am shaking as I type. This girl is "working" on a bachelors degree in music. She has attended 4 different community colleges and has no degree or certificates from any of them. Her studies at one were music/gen studies, but the others were architecture, horticulture and gen studies. WTF???!!!

Also, her "resume" (which was hilarious, I would love to post it here but that would just be wrong) had bible quotes on it! She used bible quotes for her objective and goals. I'm sorry, I know this is a church job, and I guess that is why no one wanted me to know about the hiring process - because I would have wanted someone who could actually DO THE JOB, not just blather on about faith in G*d (which is a good and wonderful thing, but a resume is just not the appropriate place to do that). Obviously the minister is not concerned with her musical abilities.

I just have to say under experience she listed Unknown Community College From Distant State Jazz Band II as her "best" ensemble experience. She lists keyboard, a loud wind instrument and vocals as her areas of expertise. Which could be fine, but I am dreading this whole thing. I guess this is good, as I was considering leaving after Xmas anyway. The biggest thing now is I want to have a pt job so I can still deduct my symphony miles from my tax return (you can't deduct for your primary job, which amazingly, this church job was)

Orchestra players committee

Just in case you missed my blog, I will inundate you with news today!
Yesterday was orchestra - lots of Xmas Crap (which I can say in my own blog) we are actually doing a version of the Nutcracker by Duke Ellington - NOT my cuppa, KWIM? It is actually kinda hard, and the whole "sometimes play the 8ths swung, sometimes not and just figure it out by the sound" is confusing. After a couple rehearsals I'm sure it will come together, but we (the strings and oboes) are out of our comfort zone! I just want to play the REAL Nutcracker - sorry, but I just love it. Probably because I haven't had to play it 8million times. Oh well, not to be this year.

Also the same crappy Xmas sing-a-long. We have a fabulous singer coming in from Oregon, she has done the leads for the opera a couple of years, lovely voice. The only Xmas piece I am excited about a little is Xmas at the Movies, which is a medley and one of the parts is "Making Xmas" by Danny Elfman (my hero) from The Nightmare Before Xmas. There is also something from Home Alone and some other modern Xmasy movies. Also kinda hard, but nothing practice can't fix!

The big piece is Sibelius 2, which by weird coincidence, the Big Symphony is doing this weekend. So we're going on Sunday, hopefully to be inspired and not crushed by our incompetence. Last night was not my best rehearsal ever. I need to hit the reed table. And I HOPE people actually listen to this piece, they did pass out CDs yesterday (of that and the Ellington) so IF we use them that should help. I just hate when people obviously have NO IDEA how a hugely popular piece like this goes. And then I make some stupid mistake and I am humbled in my arrogance. We all make mistakes! The bassoonist sounded great on her huge thing in the 2nd mvt though, I think things are really better now the loud complaining person is not there.

After rehearsal the players committee met briefly, mostly to pick a time for our big repertoire meeting, which we did (tentatively)! Getting 8 schedules to match for a several hour block is hard. Also found out we will have to have 1-2 concerts in a different venue next year, they are reaming us on the price. It is a fabulous place to play - and if we leave those weekends are gone forever. So if you have pieces that would be great to play make a suggestion! Of course oboe intense pieces are best. And we are trying to stay away from rentals and piece that require lots of extra staff, but make any suggestion you like - I'd love to hear what you think!


Apprently, they have hired a new DOM (director of music) at church. Which I find extremely interesting, since this is my new boss, and I found out from my neighbor (who goes to the church). Would it kill someone (who?) to give me a call? I didn't even know they had any resumes! Actually, except for gossip, I didn't even know the job was open! No one asked me about doing it (gee, master's degree, 10 years of church experience, good with people, can conduct and organize'd think I'd at least get some consideration since this job doens't require keyboard skills)

Grrrr. I am super annoyed about all this. Can ya tell?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Oboe Royalty!

Hey the new DR journal is out and guess who is on the cover!!! Well, me and 50 other people. I'm third one in, and you can see the mysterious G (prinicpal oboe spot, although we kind of just sit wherever) and the serpent player - the one who loaned me his "spare" serpent last spring for our duet. There is a great article by my friend Michael who comes every year with his bassoon/piccolo playing wife; it mentions the number of years everyone has played. These are really messed up, LOTS of the women are listed under their married names and separately under maiden names (I am under Jill Cathy which is spelled wrong, and Jill Hooper). Also, I have shirts for the past 14 years, although they list me as only coming a total of 9 years. Whatever!

This is such a fun gig, you can read about it in last July's posts if you care to under Fireworks or something like that.