Sunday, May 31, 2009

I survived!

So the recital thingy went pretty well, I thought. Of course there are always things that could have been better, but overall I was quite pleased. It would be nice to do that set a couple more times so we could be really tight, but oh well. There were three performing "groups" at this little gathering - me and H (pianist), another pianist (and her fabulous student), and a singer with yet another pianist. I knew the singer's accompanist - her husband is the contractor for the summer theater stuff. It was a little awkward (for me) but nothing was mentioned and she was complimentary afterward (but that was just politeness). *sigh* The singer was really good and she had been singing this stuff at all the area schools trying to drum up business for opera camp - they'd obviously done it a lot! Glad I was first.

Now I'm trying to focus on the next thing, which in my mind is my STUPID promise to accompany the recorder class on the harp if they all memorized Scarborough Fair. I can do it, but of course that adds a whole level of complexity I did NOT want, and it may take focus off the students. Of course, it would be no big deal if I accompanied on piano (which is funny - I would never think of playing piano since I don't really play, but I could probably do it easier than the harp! Then again, everyone thinks you are wonderful on the harp no matter how bad you are)

And the real next thing is Js band concert, which I'm playing, tomorrow! Dress tonight. After the Church Choir picnic, which is after choir this morning which I guess is REALLY the next thing since I will be sight singing. Not super worried about that, more concerned about leaving on time so I can grab a coffee before practice!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

what am I doing?!

Tomorrow is my "mini-recital", I am still trying to figure out the order. That is the problem with doing little pieces instead of one big piece. Hmmm. Should be ok, I have some reeds and of course stamina is always an issue, but hopefully not too bad since I chose little pieces. I plan to talk about them in between, and the fabulous H is going to talk too. We are having lunch and then a rehearsal today - it is really fun to play with her.

She played the Schumann Romances back in grad school (some decades ago) so we are both good with that. She hadn't ever heard the Neilsen Fantasy Pieces and the Romance goes faster than she was expecting. But I think it will be fine. We both really like the Capriccio from the Contemporary French Recital Pieces, it is by Murgier who I have not heard of except for this one piece. And I'm doing 1/2 of a Telemann Sonata, but her part is easy. We have done the Bizet (solo from the Symphony in C) in church already and also Gabriel's Oboe, gotta end with that! Every time I play that I get swarmed with people who say it is their favorite oboe piece - who am I to argue? I wish there was a better arrangement out there; my friend JB used to improvise this great accompaniment and I offered to pay him to write it out (he's a professional engraver, would have been easy) but he never did. Oh well!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Tonight J and I are playing in the band concert at Local State University. We will play with the community college band, and there will be a HS band playing as well and the university band. Our group sounds ok - no big oboe-y solos so I'm not sure what they brought me in for, maybe just pitch centering! So we'll play three numbers which will also be on the June 1 Final Concert. Fun.

I'm also working on a mini-recital; for one of those noon music clubs where they have a program once a month. Hopefully it will be good exposure. I'm sort of worried because my summer theater gig, which I thought was kind of "mine" and they usually have 1-2 shows with oboe parts (out of 4) they ask me to play. But this year they have someone else doing both shows. I am disappointed, but last year they asked me to do 3 shows, and I felt I could only do 2 with all the time commitment. So the woman they hired to do the other show is playing this year. She is married to a wonderful clarinetist, so maybe they like getting the pair of them. Of course, they could just like her playing better. And then the same woman played (as a ringer) with the Youth Orchestra this Sunday - they were doing Pines of Rome! She got that fab EH solo - and the director of the YO has told me he loves my EH playing, and how he would call if he ever needed anyone (because I was begging him to get me a gig playing in the great new hall here) he is an old friend and I feel kinda disappointed about that too. The girl is actually an alumnus of the YO, so maybe that is why they called her, but I'm starting to feel like this is a sign. Oh well, I'll just do my little recital and spend the rest of the summer moving furniture around!

Monday, May 11, 2009

not my symphony stuff

Now that our season in the symphony is over, I am still playing a bit even though it looks like a slow summer. Went to community band tonight for 1/2 rehearsal (little guy bedtime) and they are doing some hard stuff! Nothing I really need to practice but I will look at a few places before next time. I am the only oboe (as I like it) and they are so grateful! Makes me feel all special.

This weekend we went to the big symphony's season finale, they did Beethoven 9 and a choral piece by Brahms that I can't spell. It is "song of fate" in German. The acoustics in their new hall are just great, it is such a joy to go hear them. This is the first time I've really noticed the choir sounding amazing, their diction was really good and it was like listening to another instrument (with words). I've heard them in the hall before but for whatever reason this concert really showed them off. Sadly it was my friend the choral conductor's last concert, and we went out to the fancy hotel after. Fun fun fun.

I'm also working on what to play for the music club - my 20 minutes of fame (or going down in flames...)Anyway, I thought I'd do easy stuff, and I wanted to do real oboe pieces for the most part anyway. Here are some of the things I want to do but I'll need to pare it down (no particular order):
1. Murgier Cappricio from the French Recital Pieces
2. Schumann Romance #1
3. Bach Aria from Cantata #89 (Gerechter Gott - this arrangement is w/o voice, weird)
4. Nielsen Romanze from Two Fantasy Pieces
5. Bizet Theme from the Symphony in C (as found in the lovely Tustin book)
6. Gabriel's Oboe by Morricone
7. Telemann Allegro from one of the concertos - can't remember which one but it's in Am
8. Christmas Lullaby by Chip Davis - probably wouldn't mention the Christmas part - but this is pretty. Probably wouldn't do both this and the Morricone.

I think that is all, just want to go over things with my accompanist (who is generously volunteering so I don't want to overtax her). Many of these things we have done at church sometime, so it should be easy to throw together.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Saturday was our season finale - all I played was the Beethoven 5 and (IMHO) it went great! My little moment of glory (the teeny cadenza) was good, I don't think I rushed through it (the tendancy since it is alllll alone). Will have to listen to the CD.

Monday I played with the youth orchestra since they only have one, and it was somewhat rewarding since they were doing a couple of Mozart concertos (lots of oboes in thirds). I probably played more than our 2nd oboe on the Beethoven! Which is sad - this was her last concert. They are auditioning all the 2nd winds (DD has been going through the whole orchestra slowly, this is the last group that has never auditioned). Don't know if that scared her off, but I think the long drive and 2nd oboe parts being what they are...but she is so silly, next year we are doing both Dvorak New World and Berlioz Symphony Fantastique! BIG english horn solos. She would probably get the part if she auditioned, but I don't see us using her if we have to bring someone in (there are lots of more qualified oboists that would come in to play those solos) Oh well. I may even try to do the Dvorak myself, we'll see how the parts work. Of course the Berlioz wouldn't work for that (big duetty thing with 1st oboe and EH)

This summer looks like I have a very light playing schedule. I'm doing a mini-recital (20 min) at the end of this month, but no shows (sad face), and no parks concerts (not too sad face). In July we are doing the fabulous Fireworks concert (recently featured in the Double Reed Journal!) and that's always fun. But that's about it until Labor Day.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bad blogger

Wow, it has been weeks since I blogged. I guess not much is going on in the musical world for me. But that is all about to change (well, a little bit) This weekend the orchestra has our season finale (Mozart Requiem and Beethoven 5). Of course there are no oboe parts for the Mozart, but it's been kinda nice to leave rehearsal early. The Beethoven has more exposed parts than I remembered, including that somewhat terrifying baby cadenza in mvt 1.

The choir director at church asked me to play this Sunday, should be fine although I won't have any rehearsals with them. But it's just a little cutesy part. Then later this month I'm playing a couple concerts with the community band (J's group) and I'm doing a mini-recital for the Friday Music Club - I think pretty low key but might be fun. I've been thinking I might do the Hummel Theme and Variations, one of the French Recital Pieces (the one in 5/8, can't remember title offhand) and we could always end with Gabriel's Oboe, I think this crowd would really love it. I thought about doing the Poulenc but that might be a little out there for this group...don't know.

It looks like I'm not getting a call for the summer theater at all - there was only one show (Ms Saigon) that had an ob/eh part, but they have called me first every year til now. I'm really hoping they didn't call this other oboist in town, who is married to a fabulous clarinetist - and she is the new manager of the big symphony (which is the group the contractor plays with). I have a feeling my days are over there - so sad since last year they asked me to do THREE shows. Oh well, makes summer vacation planning easier!