Sunday, December 30, 2007


Ok, finally a picture of the serpent! NOT the most fabulous picture of me, but it's not really a picture of me, after all. My friend L from the big symphony is a big fan of old instruments, and he brought his second serpent for us to play - very fun! Notice the nice finger technique I'm demonstrating.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

One. More. Gig...

Argh - I can hardly face another thing to do, but hopefully Christmas eve services will be fun. I'm just playing bells, no reeds!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Yesterday was the only rehearsal for Messiah, and it was AMAZING!!! I haven't played the whole thing for years (no one seems to do it in the NW), and it never really seems like Christmas without it. But this is in an amazing church with a huge pipe organ, and all pro musicians (except 2nd trumpet, who is a church member). Listening to the arias (which the oboes mostly sit out on) I was just in awe of how great the strings sounded! It is also a neat thing, one of the violins (who is our concertmaster in the little symphony) was at grad school with me and we played this 100 times back in Ohio. Seems like everyone does Messiah back east. Oh well. Fun times.

Can't wait to do the concert tonight, hope the singalong part of it doesn't wreck everything. And the soloist are mediocre, although the baritone is quite good. But just playing with these fabulous musicians makes life funner.

Also this morning I played in church - one of the Mannheim Steamroller thingys for the predule (holly and ivy, I was fabulous but people talked through the whole thing) and then a lovely piece with our semi-pro baritone, who is really fun to work with. I can't even remember the piece but it was lovely. Of course no one will remember because this was the Children's program Sunday...and they were really cute.

Got the recordings back for Wizards of Winter (bells) - and they were really good! We play it about 1/2 speed, but considering all it was great. I am considering putting it out on Utube. We'll see.

Friday, December 14, 2007

not quite done...

What happened to being done with my responsible things??? At some point all this will be done (I guess when I'm dead). At least it is different stuff this week - mostly to do with our "Wicked Wodka" party (Jim started this party about 20 years ago, long before my time). For more on that see other blog.

This weekend is the one rehearsal and concert for Messiah, it is a sing-a-long; which I didn't realize until I looked it up online. Oh well, at least the musicians are all pros (with the possible exception of myself!) And I'm playing in church Sunday, suddenly more than I thought. But that is ok if I have a good reed. Which I do right now (fingers crossed). AND it is supposed to dump snow Friday night; really hope I can get through as my rehearsal is at 9am and the plow will probably not get to us until Sunday or Monday! The joys of being rural would be more if I had a 4WD. At least I now have studded snows on.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


Done with my responsible things!!! What a relief - now I can actually get the house ready for our Christmas party (THIS Saturday!!! eek), write our Christmas letter, start (yes start) Christmas shopping, practice the bells (hahaha), and plan for Christmas eve. Oh, I guess I am playing the oboe next week in church - we will do some of that Mannheim Steamroller stuff. I got the flute book. And since I'm playing there will probably be hymns (aren't there always?) And next weekend is Messiah at the beautiful old stone church, looking forward to playing 2nd! Less pressure (in a way) although I will be really making an effort to sound great since many of the "big orchestra" people are playing, and who knows who might be listening?

This morning the bells were great!! Not perfect, but certainly passable, and the overall effect was awesome (with the crazy lights and all). Fun fun fun. And OVER! I just feel so responsible for everything, now I can relax. And tonight is the church staff party at the pastor's house - so hopefully they will all be thinking how great the bells are (hehe). I am going stag since we couldn't find a sitter, and I really feel that I should go. Would LOVE to stay home as it is snowing and we just cut our tree (on our own property - Jim loves to go hiking and find a tree). They look a little sparse compared to a farm groomed tree, but it is fun to have our own. D always gets a little stick with a few branches that he likes to decorate with ancient garland and balls, Jim even found him a little 20 light set last year. Very "charlie brown".

oboes n bells

Ok, usually I make it a rule to only have one stressful thing going on if possible. And I guess this isn't really stressful, but if I can't complain in my blog, where can I?

Yesterday at the "tech rehearsal" the DOMs husband showed up with music he said I should play at church today. On the oboe. I have this huge bell undertaking today, and it keeps getting more and more complicated. First it was just our big piece, Wizards of Winter (TransSiberian orchestra). Then we added a hymn "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent" (one of my favs). Then another hymn at the end of service "Away in a Manger". Then the lighting guys at church did this whole choreographed light show of Wizards - kinda cool, but coordinating is going to be interesting. Then I find out I will be playing "lead" on this other hymn/praise song thing I don't know, and we have to rehearse it this morning...which I wouldn't mind except all these things take time away from what we really need to practice (wizards)! I'm sure it will be ok, but adding guitars, keyboards, lights and stuff makes it way more complicated. Hopefully everyone will show up on time. Oh, and the choir is doing a piece too (which I'm not involved in) but that takes some of the precious "hour before church" rehearsal time.

The lights...what can I say? I actually asked the light guy if he thought he could do something during our piece, thinking maybe they could flash the side lights at the end or something, but he has gone crazy (in a good way)! We have red and green gels on varous spots - there are dimmer lights - he even installed strings of white lights under our tables behind the "drapes" which are just black material so you can't see our legs from the front of the tables. You can't see those lights til the end when everything is flashing around...don't know if this is totally appropriate for church, but they are so excited about all thier lights and things, how can you deny them? And it will all be over soon - I will take the neighbors out for lunch after (5 of them are ringing this morning).

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Bells at Christmas...

I wonder why I do these things - my youngest ringer BEGGED me to play the Wizards of Winter once again this year, and I actually was able to bribe enough ringers to do it (we need about double our usual number) and found a guitarist (fun but not technically apt) and two keyboardists (to cover all the parts my bell-people don't quite manage). And so today (Saturday) I'm having an extra rehearsal. Which I never do, but we really need it - tomorrow is the big day! Hopefully they can remember their parts for one day.

I love directing in some ways, but the stress is not desirable. Also the uncertainty about budget (they won't tell us ANYTHING, and this year I only bought gloves, which I paid for myself) Since there is nothing I can really practice myself, I have to rely on everyone else! Of course, I can put countless hours into copying parts, setting up and organizing (all for my handsome salary).

Next weekend I have Messiah, which should be lovely as they hire all pros. I am just playing second, which will also be a nice destresser (I think!) - the mysterious G is playing first.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

More concerty stuff

The college orchestra concert went very well - I didn't play much (Beethoven Piano Concerto #5 with pianist Simone Dinnerstein-she was FABULOUS, and the Morning Noon and Night Overture by Suppe).

However, the next night I played for the community band - with no rehearsals, just because I *couldn't* come to any - but the music was not difficult and it wouldn't have been a problem EXCEPT, I had no reeds!!!! Before we left, I was giving the last minute instructions to the sitter, and helping J with his tux, getting my reeds wet (as I always do), and I got distracted (imagine that). Found reeds on the counter later that night, but as we live 40 minutes (one way) from the college, there was no way I could get home and back. I was the only oboe player. There are no oboe teachers/students at this community college. FORTUNATELY, I had just moved my oboe to the smaller case (no EH) and in my bag (which has many pockets) there was an old musty box of reeds (probably 10) - I had forgotten I even had that case - there were two others in my EH case and the one on the counter, this one must have been at least two years since I had seen it! Anyway, I got the reeds wet and found ONE that would actually crow decently, it was tired but it worked. What an adreniline rush that was - most exciting band concert ever. Wouldn't want to do that again just to make it interesting though...

Also, I went to little orchestra office to help sort music (cuz I'm so nice), and found out they are having trouble with the chamber concert in February (which was going to be all strings). I said I could play the Mozart Quartet with the people available, and the manager was really interested! Then she asked about the Bach Double (which she didn't realize was really for oboe and violin) which the concertmaster and I had been hoping to play this year but we got bumped for the silly strings only program...anyway, she wanted to know if I could do both! Yay - almost a recital, with orchestra! Nothing is set in stone, but I would love to do those pieces.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

First Concert (long)

Yay, the little orchestra concert is over, and I must say at initial inspection I felt pretty good about it!

Of course there was an annoying speech at the beginning, kinda funny but way too long and repetative (as usual). I want to recognise our sponsor, and maybe even draw attention to the next concert (which is in the program!!!) but that should take less than one minute. Nuf said.

The first half was Lt. Kije - hardest part is the nasty eb minor arpeggios in mvt 2. They all made some sort of upward movement, had all right notes and were within the right time, but not exactly even. But not awful.Ah well. Our trumpet player was awesome (and nice too!).

The second piece was the jazz piano concerto by my friend B. I really hope he publishes it - what a great addition to the rep. At least for the first oboe! I had lots of big solos in that, and all was great except one squawk out of nowhere! On a lower g, weird. Oh well.

Then we did Russian Christmas music, and I must say I was pretty superb on the massive EH solos (they are totally alone, with no one else playing in the group) EH was in fine shape, did just what I wanted. I was slightly annoyed that I didn't get a solo bow for that one, but apparently D was busy preparing for the stupid schlock we were going to play next. We did the horrendous version of "Refiner's Fire" from Messiah (with clarinets and horns and stuff) I have ranted about that enough in previous posts. The singer sounded great. An aside - the singer kept asking to move the tempo, and at dress D said, I listened to a recording (the first one???!!!) and I thought 172 was fast but they went even faster! Well, yeah. He finally took it in two and it was a recognizable tempo. I don't believe anyone but the other oboist and me (and perhaps a few vlns) had ever played Messiah before (at least not for real). *sigh*

Then our three great trumpeters came out in elf costumes. They played Bugelers Holiday - sounded great, but then D thought it would be really funny to have them do the whole thing again, faster. It was kinda funny, but not worth the time.

The alto came out to do "Oh Thou that Tellest Good Tidings" from Messiah. OMG, that was awful. And not her fault, she sounded at least ok- but the orchestration was AWFUL, and D had asked our sweet little pianist to play a non-exsistant harpsicord part. She is the first to admit she can''t improvise, but D is a wonderful jazz pianist/improviser, and he just doesn't understand those of us who need music. AND he asked her to do this AFTER dress - so she was faking it for the first time at the concert. Not good. At least he cut the winds (oboes were tacet anyway, the one winds actually scored in the real Messiah), strings alone would have been better.

Then a completely underrehearsed "Skiers Waltz" by Gould - should have been sightreadable, but we were all exhausted by this point, and we had only read it once in rehearsal.

After that we did a nice but not necessary "Christmas Song" with the baritone - that's Chestnuts roasting on an open fire - again, singer great, music fine but nothing special. Then the alto came on with him and they did "Baby It's Cold Outside", both of these we did last year and both nice but not adding anything to the concert (except time!!!)

Finally not one, but two singalongs - first Leroy Anderson, lovely, conducted by our "Golden Baton" winner (they auction off conducting the orchestra for $$, great fundraiser). He actually had his masters from Oberlin, so it was great. Usually the winners can't conduct at all and we just follow the concertmaster. Anyway, this guy did a great job, but because they made it into a singalong, I'm sure no one heard the orchestra at all. THEN B (the jazz piano concerto guy) did ANOTHER arrangement of Christmas stuff - nice, but just more of the same - and I'm sure he just threw it together because they asked him...SO too long. So this concert was an HOUR longer than usual, nearly three hours. I am good with 2 hours, but three is ridiculous unless you are doing a special piece like St. Matthew Passion (which I may get to play at the Bach Fest this year!!!!)

I would have cut both Handel arias, the Skiers Waltz, Christmas, Song Baby it's Cold, and one of the singalongs. Then it would have come in at just over 2 hours and that is ok. Rant rant rant. Anyway, today I have the 2ND dress for college orchestra, and tonight is the concert for that. Also the Advent festival at church (which Jim is forced to participate in, not totally unwillingly) But D will have fun there making gifts, I will hopefully get the the tail end of it before I have to go play again. And J has his dress tonight for the band concert, which is tomorrow. I will play that with NO rehearsals - kinda scary, but not too. Still looking for sitters for tomorrow and Thursday (Js company Xmas party - at VERY fancy hotel, considered one of the top 5 in the WORLD if you can believe that, so fun to dress up NOT in black!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chillin out

After my rant last week I am feeling much calmer. Still annoyed, but calmer. This week will be pretty insane with rehearsals/concerts, but I suppose I will live through it!

Tonight we have bells, and I am always a wreck trying to figure out who to put where. I was all excited because we had enough people to cover parts for our big piece (Wizards of Winter); but now one girl has basketball practice and my neighbor who plays father died last week, so she is in Arizona. Of course things come up, but none of them are good enough to sub for each other. It is just very concerning. Also, I have another 2 people showing up tonight who weren't here last week. I *could* put them on the two missing parts, but then they don't get to play for the concert (or whatever you call it when we play in church). That is a big problem. So I have to write out parts for people, and give them something to do! argh.

I have been very bad about playing the oboe. AND I must get the EH out, since I have huge moments in the Russian Xmas Music. But things have been crazy and I just haven't practiced.

On a funner note, the Mysterious G (my sometimes coach and reed supplier) has been growing his own oboe cane in the front yard - and this week he made his first reed! Apparently it looks greenish, because he didn't "sun" it for a year, but he said it plays great. So maybe aging the cane isn't all that important, what do I know? I guess if it plays...Now I need to get some cane and start growing!

Monday, November 19, 2007


A few days ago I realized I had written down the 1st dress rehearsal time wrong for College Orchestra (yes, there are two). Usually it is Saturday morning at 10, but this time it is at 2. The only thing they will rehearse is the Beet Pno Conc #5 (not exactly an oboe show-stopper). The problem is MY orchestra (the Little Orchestra, which I do actually get paid something for) has our concert that evening. I have a LOT to play. Since CO is having another dress on Sunday, AND we are rehearsing the Concerto again, as well as the other pieces, AND since I am totally volunteering to play, I wanted to miss the 1st dress.

Maestro K hires lots of ringers and has never offered to pay me, even though I come in to play EH for 2-3 concerts (just one rehearsal and the gig) each year. I must say I sound pretty great, and certainly am on par with the other paid people. So I am kind of annoyed that he actually argued with me about how HE has to play a BIG symphony gig (for which he gets full scale) that morning, and has other stuff after - AND he's a cellist for God's sake! He could doze off and no one would know because 10 other people are playing his exact part! Not that I'm dissing cellists - but honestly it is kind of a big difference from playing principal oboe. And I have at least 7 big solos (more than 10 bars) on oboe AND the huge solos on EH in the Russian Xmas Music. I just want time to focus, not be worried about the silly stuff we are doing for the college orch. Of course on Sunday I will give it my all for them, but seems like he could cut me some slack - especially since my baby (6) is going to bed an hour late every Monday just so I can do these dumb rehearsals.

That's the other thing - I could totally do this concert with one rehearsal, but I'm going to all the rehearsals because MK pleaded with me, that he needed an oboe for the group there every time...blah blah blah. I suggested some other people, but he wanted a strong player (I am such a sucker!) so I said I would do this one concert. Who knows what he will end up with next semester, as "new-mommy" oboist won't be back until fall. I was actually going to offer to come in and play the dress and concert if he paid me, (not every rehearsal!) but now I think I'm really done with this group. No real animosity, they are all nice people but the group plays at least a quarter step sharp - and I'm just tired of pulling the section along. Not that the Little Orchestra is fabulous, but they are MUCH better and I even get paid for my trouble! Rant rant rant. Sorry!

Friday, November 16, 2007

music in the night

Orchestra rehearsal last night was rather unorganized, it is too bad maestro K (with the college orchestra) isn't in charge of timing. Maestro D is a wonderful conductor, but his personality doesn't let him stay on schedule. *sigh*

Several interesting things happened though. We worked quite a bit on the jazz concerto, and it is really fun. Of course, there are lovely oboe solos (big) in 4 of the 6 movements. I hope people take it seriously as B (composer/pianist) wants to go faster in several places and we have just one more regular rehearsal and the dress, then the concert (3 days in a row). B actually went to school with Maestro D, M the clarinet and myself (a few years ago, like, 20). His wife was there too, a flute major, and she came last night! Haven't seen her since school. Fun fun fun.

Then we did the HORRIBLE Messiah (Prout version). If you aren't familiar, this is a baroque piece (old) written for baroque orchestra (in this case, 2 ob, bsn, 2 tpts, small string sections). The Prout version adds clarinets (didn't exsist then), flutes, a 2nd bassoon, horns, trumpets (which only play in 3 mvts of the original, etc, and M.D. has 10 cello/bass stands playing (instead of one). Then he wonders why it is bottom heavy!!!! Argh. We are only playing "But Who May Abide" (baritone solo) and "O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion". If you know that one, this version would kill you because the obbligato is in the flute and the oboes are tacet! And our wonderful flutist, sadly, has no idea how to play baroque music. Not that I'm an expert, but that was my teacher's specialty in grad school, so I at least know the style and how to play it without sucking.

Anyway, it was so awful M.D. told the flute not to play! And he said (we'll see) he would get a better version by next rehearsal. Whatever.

Then we played Lt. Kije - I HATE those arpeggios! I have played them a million times, but I guess I kind of freeze up in rehearsal and they come out jerkily (big solo Eb minor arpeggios up). I have no problem hitting the high Eb, and I have played them in front of people who make me nervous, guess I just have to play them more!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bells n recorders

Last night's bell rehearsal was actually WAY better than expected! Yay. We are playing "Wizards of Winter" by the TransSiberian Orchestra, although in the bulletin we put something ambiguous like "Winter Piece". Some people at church get offended by wizards, I don't really get it. But whatever.

I had plenty of ringers (what a joy) and I asked one to play keyboard and she surpassed my wildest dreams. I feel much better about the whole thing now. We are also doing "In the Bleak Midwinter" and "Away in a Manger" but those are just 1 page chord arrangements, no fancy stuff. Should be great - we have until Dec 9 (coming all too soon!)

Then today my horn playing friend, whose son goes to the same school as D called. I thought she wanted to carpool to orchestra tonight, but she is sick and she wanted me to sub for her as recorder teacher for the 3rd graders (4 students). Kinda fun although I could have gone for an hour (instead of 1/2), I always have so much knowledge to impart! Made me want to play my recorders - I never have learned the alto in the right key (it is down a 5th, but soprano is basically just like the oboe). Would be fun to do a consort for church or something. Like I have time to organize that~ we'll see! Orchestra tonight, doing Lt. Kije and our world premier jazz piano concerto, fun fun fun!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

rehearsal time

Last night I went to College Orchestra, which I'm subbing in for a pregnant friend. In fact, she may no longer be pregnant, as her horn playing husband was not at rehearsal last night! Hopefully I will hear soon.

Anyway, this orchestra is not made up of stellar players, it is mostly college students supplemented with locals. There is no pay. But the conductor (who is a professional cellist) does a MARVELOUS job of organizing rehearsals. I wish every rehearsal I had was set up by him. He stays focused on what he wants to accomplish in the amount of time and actually gets it done! Most rehearsals (including ones I run) tend to run by the seat of one's pants, and you just hope to get to everything.

The rehearsal itself was not that great, principle flute was missing; and pitch (as always) was very ambiguous. My reed was kinda sucky, it started out ok but became more honky (not horrible, but not impressive) as the evening went on. The really annoying thing was on the drive home my husband called and said, where are you??? Of course I tell him I was at rehearsal, and why wasn't he at band? Turns out we had both forgotten it was Veteran's Day and there was no band. So he drove all the way out (about 40 minutes each way) and found a dark hall. I could have left our son with him at home instead of dragging him to 1/2 an orchestra rehearsal! Argh. And it was written on the calendar too. We are both just too busy.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Yesterday I had a couple reeds that were really "whimpy" that I was going to break and then I thought I would give them to my student. Which I did, except one which I thought was too hard, so I worked on it a bit and suddenly it wasn't too I used it for orchestra. It doesn't quite vibrate enough, but other than that it was great. Hmm.

Orchestra was fun last night - again we played Russian Xmas and this time my reed wasn't leaking. Maybe because it has been raining for 2 days - but great news as of course I didn't get around to making new EH reeds.

The only really annoying thing was the Messiah. We are doing 2 solo mvts on the Xmas concert but we are using the Prout edition, which is a whole boatload of instruments that didn't even exsist when Handel wrote it. So I am tacet during Daughter of Zion, and the flute plays all the solo stuff. Which wouldn't bother me except she so obviously has no idea how to play baroque music! And she is a wonderful player, but there is a skill to that - I'm sure the jazzers in the orchestra are thinking the same thing when I play the solos in the world premier jazz piano concerto we're playing. Ah well. I have offered to buy the parts for a "real" orchestration but I don't think we can have them by this year - espcially since I'm not sure which version to buy. I want one (which I have played) that has only oboes, bsn, and tpts; and with the oboes on two parts (I have played versions where the 2nd doubles the first a LOT). Anyone have recommendations?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Music quiz!

What musical instrument are you most like?
You scored as a unique
You are a double reed player. YOu are a breed of your own.
unique 89%
Trumpet 89%
Snare 67%
Clarinet /Flute 67%
Trombone 67%
Saxaphone 56%
Timpani 44%

Heres the link

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

hells bells bells bells

I am really frustrated right now about the bell choir. We have a room in the basement where we can leave tables set up during the week (although we have to tear down the room) which is nice because the tables are very heavy. But we play in the sanctuary once a month, so I have the rehearsal before we play in the sanctuary (like a dress rehearsal!). This is complicated by the fact that the elevator is not operational, so we have to haul everything upstairs, but once we have it up there we can leave it until Sunday (unless there is a wedding or something). But there is storage upstairs, so at least we don't have to go up and down.

SO! This week I found out "they" decided to put the kid's group in the sanctuary, forever! Why, because there is a projector in there. The place they were before was near the adult group and I guess the kids made too much noise. I know this isn't a big thing but this week we have only one rehearsal and we have to play in church! That is a stretch for my group, and it would be nice to actually practice in the space we will play. Also, next month is Advent season, and we are doing a big thing with guitars and keyboard and drums (my favorite), and I just really can't do that in the tiny room they are shunting us off into. *sigh* I feel like the music program is really getting the shaft here, and I just want to quit. Hopefully I will be more positive after rehearsal tonight!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Today I took my Laubin back in because the C# was being sticky. The repairman was great - no charge and he spent a fair amount of time on it - works great now. I decided I need to be more proactive in my "lessons/coaching", today I really didn't have enough ready to go. I think I'd like to work on a solo, maybe I could play it for church or something.

I spent a ton of time at church today getting ready for bells. We only have one rehearsal and we play on Sunday, so I'm trying to make everything very easy and smooth. So I whited out the extra notes my bass bells can't cover, and added extra notes in the chords where possible because the arrangements are really lame. And I got the folders ready, and got things set up for the next week, when we are starting "Wizards of Winter" by the Transiberian Orchestra - you probably saw someone set their Xmas lights to this music and you can find it on YouTube.

Tonight I went to band for the first time this semester. I decided to "quit" so D could be in bed by 8; J still plays trumpet though. I did tell them I would play for the concert, and they are doing some pretty things, nothing remarkable. This is the only rehearsal I will be able to go to until the concert, because I'm subbing in the College Orchestra on Mondays. That was not part of my original plan, but D seems to be holding up ok, we just leave at the break (8:15). Kids really change things for musicians!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Orchestra was kind of a bust this week - we did do Russian Xmas, but then we did a lot on the Lt. Kije that winds don't play. I mean, more than an hour. I have no problem with them rehearsing stuff that needs it, but I wish they would just schedule sectionals (strings only!). They did end up letting us go 1/2 hour early, but it was kind of anticlimatic after sitting for 90 minutes and playing only 5 notes. I guess I would have been more excited about getting out if my carpool person had ALSO been dismissed. But I had a nice conversation with the 2nd oboist in the hall as we waited for our respective carpools to get out.

I NEED to make reeds. Or at least practice. I am really in a slump right now. I have a lesson with G on Monday, at least I can bring in the Laubin for him to see. Also my EH reed ALL leak! I have this thing about not using wire - hate it, but NEVER have my reeds leaked and now they all are. Weird. And I can't play on them like that. Especially not the big hurkin solo in RCM. I don't have much in College Orchestra - but since they are having string rehearsal this Monday I will go to band with J instead. INSANE. This is the ONLY rehearsal I can go to for the Dec Band concert, which is the day after College Orchestra's concert, which is the day after Little Orchestra's concert. Then I have nothing!

WHY do people keep moving December concerts earlier and earlier? The week after THanksgiving is awful for me, and then I have nothing to play except bells for Xmas Eve. This year I DO have a lovely Messiah gig - so weird I haven't gotten to play Messiah since I moved back to the west coast! In Ohio I

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New stuff

Not much to report on the Little Orchestra front - we did get to Russian Xmas Music this time and I am happy to have chosen the EH part. K (our new 2nd oboe) did a fine job on the 1st part, as expected. And L (student who played 2nd on last concert) even has a little solo on the 2nd part - she is playing vln on rest of concert. Glad the oboe section seems to be settling in.

The insane birthday party weekend (for my son) was all weekend so I didn't even practice - that will all be on the other blog if you're interested.

Monday I played principal for University Orchestra (where I have usually come in at the end to play EH). They are playing Suppe's Morning Noon and Night overture and Beethoven Piano Conc #5. Also Mozart 39, but of course we don't play that. It was ok, and the conductor is a MARVEL of organization. But the pitch was just awful, and I felt really weird in this sea of squawking, this will make me appreciate my other gig! It is only until December as their regular principal is having a baby.

In other oboe related news, I got my old teacher's Laubin oboe back. Janet Brackett was my first teacher, and her husband gave me this oboe when she died. I have never played it much, it was out of adjustment. But is seems delightful now - these are highly in demand oboes, and the repair guy was very impressed. There does seem to be a bit of binding in the low c#, but after 20 years of sitting there will be some oddities. But it plays great, and I would use it in the symphony (if I played it a bit more to get the tuning - it is different than my Loree!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


The concert Monday went fine, I only played the EH on mvt 3 of Scheherazade - pretty but short. I did not play the oboe part as they have a second oboist already - she is so cool - 76 and still going strong (well, mostly!). She brought me this little poem that apparently Danny Kaye recorded in the 40s:
I was forced to be a hobo
Because I played the oboe
For the oboe is clearly understood
To be an ill wind that no one blows good!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Amazing grace!

Wow, the bells actually sounded pretty good today! I was really worried but they pulled together and it was lovely. I guess I am just stressing about all the stuff going on - I actually forgot I have to play Scheherazade tomorrow - not a big part but I have to show up! And of course we have to find someplace to park D, I think he will just go to Jim's rehearsal with a color book - thank god we are at the point where he kind of entertains himself. I feel kind of badly because he will be up later and there is school, but that is the way it goes. If we get a sitter, we would be out $20 plus the extra 2 hours of my time driving to get her, driving to my house, going home, and driving her home! Big pain. One of my oboe blogger friends is having a baby and I know her folks don't live close, so I hope she has sitters lined up! That was the biggest problem we faced, finding good sitters so we CAN still play.

email updates

I'm trying a new thing, it seems I can have an email sent to people on "my list" if I have a new post - so I'm testing to see if it works...

church music

This morning I am trying to fit making two reeds in before running off to direct the bells. This is probably the worst I have felt about the bells since I have started. Seems like there is more dropping out than usual - although it is mostly people who are sick or on vacation. But I'm just so tired of begging people to play, trying not to make them feel guilty...I just want to say, fine! Don't come. Whatever. I just want to play, maybe alone. In my spare time I need to go to the bell store and get some music, but I don't even know what to say about how many ringers I have, which pretty much determines what we can ring. Perhaps I'm feeling a bit burnt out?

Tomorrow I have a lesson with G - the mysterious G as Patty calls him! hehehe. Although he does make fabulous reeds, he isn't taking new customers anymore. So I feel I must come up with something to play - making reeds seems to be the easy out. How did I ever do this in college? Oh yeah, that is ALL I did!

Friday, October 19, 2007


This week has been insanely busy...but more about that later (and probably mostly on my other blog). For now I will just say our first rehearsal for the Dec concert was great - we are doing Lt. Kije suite (fun fun) and a piece by my friend Brent that will be a world premier - it is his piano concerto, very Gershwiny and he will be the pianist! Sounds great - and he put in some lovely oboe bits (I'm sure just for me!). We are also doing Russian Christmas music by Reed but we didn't get to it, has big EH solos which I have decided to play (I love being in charge). I figure while our orchestra is little and they let us make these decisions, I will just play the good stuff!

Tonight we are going to see the big symphony play Verdi's Requiem - love that piece, I have sung it but never played. Our first tpt player (in the little orch) will be one of the many extra brass players offstage, and I know a lot of the symphony people so that makes it even more fun.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Always a relief when you can look back on the concert! Mostly I did ok, I was annoyed with myself for succumbing to what, nerves, finger stupidity? Anyway, in the Proc of the Nobles there is a pretty exposed downward passage in thirds with 5 flats that just does not lie well, and I just didn't play it! Fortunately the clarinets were very strong there and I don't think it was any big deal -- that song is all about the brass anyway. I played all the other stuff perfectly *sigh*.

The Haydn went surprisingly (?) well, the strings really cleaned up some of the hard little fuguey bits. And our poor flute didn't have a coughing fit - she is struggling with some sort of cold - and she has big solos in that symphony (101, the clock). The most interesting part was in the second mvt it really does sound like a clock, and there is a grand pause in the middle where I suppose you think the clock stops. Well David (conductor) and various other masterminds thought how funny if he just bent over like the doll from the aria in the Tales of Hoffman (which we did last year)and the concertmaster (Dr. Phil, hahaha) whips out this big key and winds him up (complete with ratchet sounds from the percussion section. I think the audience was kind of surprised (out of their sleep?!!) because when D bent over they all started to applaud. Then P holds up the giant silver key someone came up with and they all cracked up. I hope Haydn would have enjoyed the moment, at least for our (not terribly sophisticated) audience it brought their focus to the orchestra again, I think we probably have a lot of "drifters".

Oh and I got a solo bow at the end, always a good thing.

The Brahms Double was great, I think pitch was better than it had ever been and all the little solo-y bits in the orchestra went well. The soloists were both really good, and after the concert the cellist went out to TGIF with a bunch of us - fun although the service was REALLY slow.

We have tried to go to the Outback (which closes in our town at 10pm on Saturdays) and various other places, some people have their kids so we can't do bars very well. My friend in a far off place says she has an arrangement with a Thai restaurant where all the members of her chorus that want to go pay $20, and they basically get unlimited food (no ordering, just lots of yummy different stuff) and soft drinks. Great idea IMHO. It is fun to go out, but I want to eat immediately!

So a great opener for our season. My biggest annoying thing was before we actually started the president of the board comes out and makes a "greeting" speech. I have no problem with them upping visibility, but it should be SHORT!!! This poor woman went on, and read from the program (which I have to believe MOST of out audience can read for themselves) EVERY concert for the orchestra and the chamber group! And then she introduced a woman dressed as a pumpkin (??) who announced a few more things, not really sure why she was dressed as a pumpkin...ALL of which were in the program. Then she introduced David, but after he came out and we all stood and were ready to go, she still had her prepared speech, so while he stood there she read from him bio (in the program) about his accomplishments! Argh! This all could have been said in about 30 seconds - Welcome, special thanks to sponsor XXX (applause), please note our future concerts listed in your program on page X, and now here is David XXX! Pet peave of mine.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

concert week!

Tonight was our last rehearsal before dress - went ok. I made a few stupid mistakes, but overall everything went fine. This is the concert with the Brahms Double (nothing much for me - lovely soloists), the Haydn SYmphony 101 (clock, I actually have 2 really ALONE solos, very nice, easy; however I did play in the wrong key twice) and the R-K Procession of the Nobles (we finally had harp and all SIX horns- sounds great!)

Anyway, it is really fun carpooling home with M (clarinet and my college roommate), her husband plays bass trombone so he leaves after 1/2 hour and we go on for the rest. She meets him anyway after work at my exit so it works out perfectly for me to take her to her car. We have been listening to different versions of the Enescu Romanian Rhapsody #1 (which we play in March)...big clarinet and oboe thing at the beginning.

Monday, October 8, 2007

lesson, coaching, whatever

I had a great session with G today - first my reeds were good, and although he did take a bit off the tips I feel like I'm really getting them in the ballpark. Then when we were playing some Telemann duets (for pitch, which he said was really good too!) he pointed out I was using a stupid fingering for B-Bb (which is an awful trill). I just used the normal one, I know about the little plate you should hold down but I never manage to slide over for it while I'm sightreading. But he told me to hold down the Ab key and trill the A finger - wow!! Works great, is kinda like the Ab -Bb trill so it's easy to remember; and it sets you up perfectly for the naschlag at the end of the trill (lower neighbor, which is Ab in this case). YAY!!! I'm so excited I want to play the Mozart again just so I can nail that stupid trill (not really).

The third thing I was working on was my articulation - esp low notes, and I felt I made significant progress there also. I will play this etude (Singer IV, #10) again for him in two weeks, feeling really good about it.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

I actually practiced both oboe and EH today (!) AND I finished those 2 reeds for my lesson tomorrow! Yay. Since I teach myself I have extreme guilt if I'm not actually prepared when I go play for G. So I'm feeling pretty good - tomorrow I go to college orchestra to play the 2nd mvt of Scheherazade (spell that, whatever!) on EH - I've never done this piece but it should be fun. Their concert is the 22nd and I will also play for the dress. Any EHers out there who have comments on this piece I would love to hear about it.

I even worked on our music for orchestra - the only challenging thing is R-Ks Proc of the Nobles. Doesn't SEEM hard, but there are a few tricky exposed things which I really don't want to mess up in the name of "I'm too cool to practice this potboiler". Some of those potboiler pieces are really hard (eg: Sorcerer's Apprentice, NASTY, but fortunately not too exposed)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

reeds reeds reeds

It is a beautiful fall day today - but I am feeling very virutous working away indoors. Lots of laundry and moving D's closet into the new space my dad put in, but also I am making my 2 reeds of the week. I can't believe how hard it is to fit in just 2 reeds; but every week I get to the weekend and think, what has happened to my time??? I am glad I am having lessons on Mondays because that lets me cram on the weekend, and of course I can just take a week off if things get busy (aren't they always?) but being accountable for playing something every week is really good for me. Hopefully that is showing in my playing.

Friday, October 5, 2007


One of my blogging friends has a comment about how audiences perceive art, including music, and whether creators do or should change the art to satisfy a viewer/listener. ( Wow! Great subject, and since I can't seem to comment on her site (my problem) I will expound here.

When I was a full time graphic designer, it would totally crush me if I made some beautiful poster or brochure concept and the client didn't like it, especially if I had had a "vision" . Sometimes the idea would just come to me, and I knew just what to do (sadly, the client didn't always realize this). But it was really different for me than playing. When I play the oboe in the orchestra, I just try to get as close to what I think the "perfect" rendition of the piece would be, at least the oboe part. But I don't have control over so many things, like tempos, what the other sections are doing, even my reed squawking (although you could argue I should have made a better reed...)

I guess really when I'm making a piece of art, I am trying to get as close to the "perfect" vision I get in my head. So now that I've thought about it, it is more the same than I was aware. But I still have way more control over things in the graphics arena than the music arena, even when (maybe especially when) I did a solo concerto - I couldn't practice and make the various instruments sound better, or the tuning in the orchestra better, or the individuals be able to play more cleanly.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

happy day...

I had a fun rehearsal - I think I played ok, and I am really excited for the upcoming season. Just got some new cds from Amazon - went to their Used section and bought 3 "new" used disks. What a deal - all together about $15! We are doing the Enescu Romanian Rhapsody #1, big oboe clarinet thing. Can't wait. Pitch seemed good to me tonight, I want to start playing scales with a tuner again. And I had my one and only student for the first time this semester - I don't want any more since I would have to get a sitter if I had to be there earlier. Wouldn't mind if they came out to my house, but no one seems to want to...

My dad has been here all week and a lot has been done in the house (see other blog) and that makes me happy too. Tomorrow I want to get to the gym and make reeds as well as practice, and also take a huge load to the recycle plant. We don't have garbage service where we live, and today I went to the dump for the first time in 7 years - we recycle almost everything. But the great thing was it only cost $7 to get rid of all my trash! Yay.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

No more butterflies

Ahhh! Madama Butterfly has died for the last time (at least here) and we got paid (yay!) so I am moving on now. Yesterday was kinda crazy busy, started with a "coaching". I have too many goals I think, but the main ones for this fall are
1. REALLY work on reeds,
2. be more critical of myself about "squawky" notes when they don't articulate right away (I especially have trouble on real low notes and low A G# and G) and
3. pitch (as always).

It is not like I sound terrible, but I don't want to get into that middle aged rut where I never improve either. I am so lucky to have the ability to practice most days, unlike a lot of people my age who have full time jobs and families - yes, I worked a ton as a student and it is totally different now. Not that I'm complaining, it is great to be where I am, I just don't want to waste it!

So I found a great etude in the Singer book (newish aquisition for me, I didn't use this one in college) that works on staccato low notes, which I will play for G next week. I got one of those snazzy clip on tuners from Korg which I should actually use more - I think my pitch is a lot better but I want to be one of those "solid" people. Thank GOD our trumpet player is really good, he actually plays with a tuner on his stand much of the time. Not that he seems to need it, but that is probably WHY he doesn't seem to need it. But the flute and I have some issues, and also the clarinet (at the opera anyway), I really wish we could play in a quintet together but that doesn't seem to be happening anytime soon. Clarinet has heavy job commitments. But flute is married to bassoon, so maybe we could do trios (they have daytime hours free like me). suggestions?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Now I am totally awake - just got home from the opera, and I really need to rest so I can get through it again tomorrow!

It went pretty well, I actually forgot a cut in act 3 (getting a little loopy by then) but I didn't play anything wrong as the clarinet saw I was confused in my counting and got my back on SECONDS before a large and very high solo. Yay. Pitch wasn't all it could have been, but I was so happy I made a reed that played low and high and was good for the soft entrances.

The only big pain was after the breaks everyone didn't sit down in the pit, some people (who shall of course, remain nameless!) were doing whatever and I can't move my chair back into the pit until they are all in. SO frustrating. I have no where to sit during the break, but mostly I don't mind, if everyone would just get back so I could tune. After the 2nd intermission I actually had to tune standing up and the clarinet player brought in my chair from behind while the flute shut the door. NOT ideal. Can't wait to do it again!

Another openin

Today is the big day - opening night of Madama Butterfly! Ugh - I am tired already, but the dress went pretty well overall. I MUST find a better reed, I have one lovely low register one, but it gets wonkky if I play loudly higher (which I have to do a lot) or one that sounds great in the solos but lets me down big time on the low parts (when I should sound like an EH) Stupid reeds.

There were a couple of scary places where we were off from the stage, but it all worked out. David is great at letting you know where we are. And we had a sub for the bassoon part last night (reg bsn was leading her pep band for Homecoming!) and the sub did a great job! Not as much pressure as doing an actual show, but still it is so hard to follow all the changes; and no one bothered to tell her about a cut in act 1! But she was a trooper and got back on. And tonight we'll have our super bassoon goddess back.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


We had regular orchestra rehearsal tonight, nice easy rehearsal compared to the torture of the opera! I love doing the opera, but it is a challenge. And tonight was actually more fun than I had anticipated. We are doing the Haydn Clock Symphony, which actually has some good oboe stuff, glad I'm playing 1st though. The 2nd has to count about 80000 rests. Along with the other winds except the 1st flute who has a great part. Ah well, the flute always has a great part (except in the Bizet Symphony #1 - now THAT is an oboe symphony for sure)

My wrist is a bit sore, I probably should have used a strap tonight. I don't like to use it for concerts but will for rehearsals if I am playing so much I am sore. I'm such a delicate flower! And my lip is hurting too, I seem to have a sharp place on my front tooth. But I found a great reed (which I made myself, thank you!) so all is well in the world.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

on stage w/o rant

Yay, soooo much better today! The crew actually took out part of the floor so we had more "pit exposure", which turned out to be a GREAT idea. I was afraid we would be too loud, but I guess it didn't make that much difference in how much our sound came out to the audience, and we could actually HEAR the singers! And they are GREAT!!!! I'm very excited now. Biggest problem is the low ppp spots, I'm pretty sure these were originally EH parts. Has anyone out there done Madama Butterfly with the full parts (we have the reduced score)? I know it is for 2 ob and EH, and no one who could orchestrate worth a bean would write so much for the oboe so low and really soft, it sounds like a foghorn! I have a pretty good reed, but there is one place were it is just so tender and soft I am asking the clarinet to play 2 measures. I feel SLIGHTLY bad, but mostly relieved. There is plenty of other stuff to play.

Even though we got out about the same time tonight (10:30) I feel much perkier - probably because it went so much better. Tomorrow we have orchestra (Brahms Double, Haydn 101, blah) and then opera dress and opening Saturday! Of course closing is Sunday, so not much of a run, but at least it only destroys one weekend this way. Maybe next weekend I'll go to my college homecoming and play tuba in the alumni band (yes, I really played the tuba in marching band!).

on stage...rant

That was awful last night - for some reason they told us to be there early to set up in the pit, and then we weren't allowed in the pit until after 7. grr. Oh well. Then the balance was awful, and no one (including conductor) could hear the singers, and he was not high enough for them to see, etc etc. The good thing was that after the breatk balance was better, and for some reason we weren't as crowded as I had feared (it was still a squish though!). Worst part is that I am directly in front of the door. It seems I'm always last getting my Stuff together, and I like to spread out and make a "nest" in the pit, so this is a drag. And each night there will be TWO intermissions, so I have to move everything three times. ALSO I can't really set up until everyone is in, and Ijust HATE that, especially since I have to tune everyone. GRRR. AND my reeds sucked. So I'm off to try and remedy that at least!

Monday, September 24, 2007


We had the sitzprobe yesterday - LONG rehearsal. Thought I really needed an easier reed to make it through! But mostly it sounded good - we just need to get more familiar with it. I can't believe Patty at oboeinsight was worried about missing one note in the whole opera; but that is the difference between a real professional and, well, me! I will get most of it right. Singers sound great, should be a good show. I can't wait to see costumes/set (only from backstage of course, as I will be stuck in the back of the pit for the actual show).

Speaking of the pit, this is the most people we have tried to cram in. There are 6 vlns, vla, cel, bass (big w/amp), 2 fl, ob, 2cl, bsn, 2 tpt, tbn, LOTS of percussion(3) and David conducting. At least he won't have a keyboard around him this year, that is insane. So 22 people. Only double is picc, and the clarinets have Bb and A. M (clar1) seems to think it won't be a big deal, she played for Kiss Me Kate and they had 13 but lots of doubles (she played 5 horns) and big percussion (just one guy though). I think it will be AWFUL, and they are miking so there will be all that stuff too. Will let you know after tomorrow.


I just made two reeds this morning, and I tried a new thing G suggested. I tend to pull the thread very tight when I'm tieing on, but he said that chokes the vibrations and to tie looser. So I tried it, and so far, it is very good! My reeds still seem tighter than his, but it was MUCH easier to tie, I was pulling so hard the thread sometimes snapped while I was winding. Even my old college buddy P (who is visiting) remembers me (and the rest of the oboe studio from U of Akron) pulling really hard. Anyone care to comment?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bells bells bells

Can't believe I have to go to bells now, D is getting dropped off right at 5 at Jim's work - then I'm rushing over to church to set up. Usually only one person comes early to set up (they are supposed to either come early or stay after) and he is great - he likes to play duety things with me. I'm hoping we can play in church soon, but he has to get more comfortable. Also it would be good if I learned my part! We are set to play on Sunday, AND I think I'm also playing oboe. I guess I should confirm that...

Sadly, we have to tear down the setup because there is a memorial service on Saturday - I love when nothing big is going on and we can just leave our HEAVY tables and junk in the sanctuary until Sunday. At least we don't have to lug them all the way downstairs - just behind the wall. I probably never mentioned that our elevator is "out of use" because some brilliant soul never got it certified (or whatever) and now there are huge fines and it must be brought "up to code"; which basically means no elevator, and me and the little old ladies (LOLs) have to lug 5 cases of bells and 8 heavy tables up the stairs! Rant rant rant.

Time flies

Opera was great last night - our 2nd clarinet wasn't there though, we are kinda worried about her as she has just been diagnosed with parkinsons (sp?). Butterfly is LONG - as all operas seem to be; not that hard, a few spots to deal with but just staying really alert for that long! Even in orchestral stuff it seems like we get more places to regroup - but I feel like I have to be "on" the whole 3 hours for this.

Sunday will be the sitzprobe - someone asked me what that meant so I looked it up - a first, rough rehearsal of an opera or musical stageplay with singers and musicians, but without acting, scenery, or costumes. That's what I thought! But it had an Etymological Note: German for ‘seated test’ or ‘sitting trial.’ My HS German should have told me that, but I couldn't dredge it up from the depths. Anyway, can't wait although I hope everyone gets a chance to listen to the music. The problem with doing opera here is the NO ONE is familiar with it - there are no real companies and exposure is really limited. We have to drive over 300 miles to get to a company with an actual season (there are two feuding companies here that each put on one full opera per year). At least we are helping the situation!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

playing in the morning

Today I am playing for church, just oboe, which should be fun. After the responsibility of directing the bells, just showing up and making music is kind of a treat! Of course, we also make music when I direct (hopefully), but there are so many details I have to pay attention to; like is everyone here, are there enough tables set up, are the right bells out, does everyone know how many times to play through the hymn, WHY did so-and-so wear that orange beaded sweater, etc, etc, etc. But today is all about me (well, not really!)

P should be in the air right now, he is coming first to the east coast and working his way to the west! So exciting to see him, I think it has been two years. And to not even be in cell phone range just stinks.

Must go wake the child, we may actually make it to Sunday School this morning!

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I totally forgot that we went to TWO fairs this weekend - on Saturday D and I went 90 miles to a little county fair that my friend K was playing marimbas at with her band, which has some unpronouncable ethnic name. They are pretty fun, and I was feeling really badly that I hadn't heard her play for 2 years! Of course, while I'm there (and sick) they mentioned that they are coming to my city in November (thanks guys!). Oh well, it was a long drive home though.

Sunday we went to the big interstate fair. What a racket, there is more stuff but nothing really better - as far as rides for kiddies and "here's a goat" kind of looking at stuff. I'm sure the quality is higher, but the cost is too, and we had to park about a mile away (part of our fabulous exercise program!). I did get my favorite ice creme dipped in hot fudge and rolled in nuts thing, total ambrosia. Ds favorite thing Sat was a fun-house that he would never have made it through had I not carried him half of the way; and Sunday he liked the army display for their proposed museum because they had a great big model plane. We probably dropped over $100 on everything, certainly more if you count the gas! So we'll be staying home for a while now.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


So I have been sick sick sick, Monday I thought it was just a little coldy thing, but after my coaching session (hahaha) I basically came home and did nothing for 3 days. I am soooo glad D is in school all day! But I had great plans for this week- oh well, tomorrow I plan to rehearse SOMETHING (who knows what) for church. And tonight I actually showed up for bell choir (more than I can say for some of the ringers). And the DOM was so great, she had put copies of the music we will play on the 23rd in my box!!! This is a week earlier than I usually get it, and we really need at least two weeks even to play chords. It is hard for them to get it in their ears without endless repetition. So I survived, and I'm feeling pretty good right now - hopefully the afliction has passed!

Monday, September 10, 2007


I have reached a point in my "career" when it seems weird to talk about taking lessons - so I like to call them coaching sessions. But they really are lessons. Anyway, I haven't been doing it regularly, but now that D is in school I hope to practice more and maybe even make my own reeds all the time! G is my "coach" and also makes AWESOME reeds, which I have used since D was born. He isn't taking new clients or I would totally recommend these reeds. Lucky for me I can afford to just buy them, I think he charges $20 unless I get snazzy staples. But sometime I do reed-making lessons, sometimes I play for him, and usually it is very rewarding.

Today we played through the Bach double - he played the vln part and it was so fun! There is nothing like playing with another oboe to tell if you are really in tune - there is no hiding and there are several unison parts in the Bach. But this is excellent prep work for playing with P (our concertmaster) later. Having lessons seems to focus my attention on what exactly I'm working toward in my playing.

And the DOM asked me to play something in church this week, so I'm kicking around ideas - have already done Gabriel's Oboe (perfect for many things and easy), Abinoni, Bach Arioso and several solo arias, and a bunch of other stuff; was considering slow mvts from Saint Saens or Nielsen or one of the French Recital Pieces...if anyone has any thoughts please let me know!

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Thursday was our first official rehearsal of the season. I am kind of disappointed by the music, but I was prepared to have not much (and I was right!) We are playing the Haydn 101 (clock) and Brahms Double (vln & cello). Both kind of a snore for the oboe, although I'm sure the Brahms will be lovely when the soloists come. No Brahms Vln Conc kinda solo for me though! Which is many ways is a relief. Also doing the Rimsky-Korsakov Procession of the Nobles, which is fun but we won't rehearse that til Oct probably - our first concert is Oct 13th. This is a drag because we will play this boring music for SIX more rehearsals *sigh*.

I think our group is really ready for some serious management. Like these rehearsals - this concert could be put together in 3 rehearsals easily. And we could be looking at other music instead of twiddling our thumbs now.

My personal pet peeve - not telling people who only play in one or two things (like the EH player!) when they will be needed at rehearsal. Thursday our picc player came and she didn't even need to be at the rehearsal at all! Fortunately she was up for reading the 2nd oboe part on flute, so that was kinda fun.

We are still looking for someone to play oboe for this concert, but I'm staying out of it after the fiasco last January. I gave them a list of all the oboists around and I hope they get someone, it makes such a difference to have a good second. After this concert, K, who played the pops concert, has agreed to play the rest of the season. I don't know why they just don't have auditions for all the empty spots!!! They seem to think no one will audition, but honestly, what harm will it do to advertise? And then, they can always turn people down if they show up and aren't good enough - and then we would be no worse off than we are now (scrambling to fill the spot for EVERY concert!) I think the 2nd oboe is the only solo spot not filled, but we always have auditions for strings of every sort. *sigh*


Well, now that the first week of school is over (!) I thought I'd get a pic from the first day...also shows all the important things in Jim's life (except me, but I'm taking the picture!). His old boat which his family got when he was young, his old car which is actually our newest acquisition, and his sweet son who is being quite a pain in this pic. He calmed down a lot after school had actually happened, just like Dad he doesn't like change!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

why why why????

Why do I always put things off until the last minute??? I am scrambling to get music ready for bells tonight, but I just got the hymns for Sunday yesterday, so that part I couldn't have done ahead. I think I have some stuff to read for Sept 23 (coming right up) - we play about once a month.

I really must get a new version of Finale/Sibelius, don't laugh but I have Finale 1.0 - I don't know how many iterations it has gone through, but my copy is on floppy disks! I know we DO have computers (yes, plural) that could run that program, but I just don't want to deal with getting them running, and figuring out how to hook them to the printer/internet etc. Jim saves EVERYTHING, but the fact is I would rather buy new software than deal with the old!

The reason I need an engraving program is just to print quickie parts for accompaning praise songs (retch) and if hymns are too hard to simplify them - for instance this week we will just play chords on beats one and three - so much easier especially since it is our first week back. And of course I have no idea how many people will be there (rather important for bells! Most of my ringers are 2-bell people, so they would ring two consecutive notes on the scale (like D and E on the bottom of the treble clef) along with any accidentals on those notes. When ringers get more advanced, they can cover more notes depending on the music. Really great ringers (like Campanile) don't ring consecutive notes, they figure out what works best and just split up the parts. WAY beyond my choir (and me!) Although I did ring a duet last year and it would be fun to do a solo (easy!) sometime, now that I am loaded with free time. hahaha


Middle of the week, how did this happen?! D survived his first day of school. We went out for ice cream after, messy but fun. Then I had opera rehearsal - did I mention that this is rather long? I guess not as far as operas go...but we are guessing it will run about 3 hours and 20 minutes. GAHHHH. My chops tremble at the thought. That is longer than our rehearsals, and by the end I am barely coherant. So I guess it is back to the chop exercises, at least on the nights I don't have rehearsal.

We sound good though, at least I think so. We have one more rehearsal before the sitzprobe (with singers), and usually I would be unhappy that we are wasting time. But this opera I know *I* need the rehearsal, so I won't complain!

I am really hoping to get some good practicing in today, but of course I have procratinated about bell choir, and we start TONIGHT! Argh. I just got an email from the DOM about which hymns we are doing Sunday, and I hope I can figure something out before tonight.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

war is a science...

Hahaha, this was created by the son of an IDRS member - I had to put it up for all my bassoony friends.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bocal miracle

Yay! B found the missing bocal in her plastic oboe case (which she hasn't used since the Fireworks). So relief is all around.

We just had our last rehearsal before Labor Day - there are a few hard things! And sadly the 2nd oboe lady has stomach flu, she is planning to play the concert but she only had the one rehearsal; and we didn't play all the stuff. AND I imagine if she is sick she won't be making reeds or practicing, but she did ok. And she is very nice, I hope she will consider playing with us more.


Here are the new additions to our family - they are relegated to the downstairs bathroom until tomorrow, when they get snipped! We are still debating names, but we have a big boy and smaller girl. D took this picture himself!


There is nothing like being woken up by your gasping child to make you really aware of what's important in life. Just had a lovely couple of hours with D - apparently he has an allergic reaction, then panics and starts wheezing - I just think, what if all I had was a cold washcloth and prayers??? Makes me so grateful to whoever invented Albuterol, truly a miracle drug. It is weird because neither Jim nor I has these kind of problems.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Into the Woods

Now I am sad because I just found out there is no oboe part for Into the Woods! What kind of stupid orchestrator did that???? And the contractor must not have even checked her instrumentation, because she asked me (kind of begged even) several weeks ago. She still hasn't gotten back to me (which I think is rude, but hey, she's a contractor in town so I have to be nice right?!) but my friend M, who is playing in the show, told me the contractor had told HER there were no oboe parts and she was all sad about it. So I wonder how long she is going to keep me dangling here - I mean, there are only 4 services (it's a benefit show, so one night only) but still, those are 4 nights I am holding for her.

Maybe I should be nice and drop her an email. I'll think about it, but it annoys me when people drop the ball like that, especially people in charge of things like jobs. I will wait a bit and then email - maybe tomorrow.

And last night while putting the EH together, I noticed one of the bocals (little top piece) was gone! It was a Lickman bocal too (gold -probably around $200). Of course this EH is not MINE, it belongs to my old teacher B (plays in the big symphony). So I feel terrible, but it could be that B used it during the Fireworks concert and never put it back in my case - she was using
"my" horn as we were playing outside. So I have to ask her, but first I will tear up the house. I can't imagine it is here though, since I don't think I have played at all since the Fireworks concert (guilty admission!)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Fun fun fun, we played until I just couldn't keep my lips on the reed tonight! I don't know if that is because I was switching from EH? Of course I just did a show with 28 changes and that didn't kill me like this...probably it was 1812 overblowing more than anything else.

The new second oboe was there, she did a credible job, but I hope she gets a better reed and actually plays a bit more for the concert. She may have been really tired (although she left when David dismissed most of the orchestra so we could go through some of the opera at 9pm) It is really beautiful music, I really should practice! Speaking of which, I MUST go through the solo in William Tell and put in some breaths. I sound great (more or less) at the beginning, and then there is the endless passage-- I was DYING by the end. Unfortunately that was not the end of rehearsal. But it was really fun to play tonight, and I think I will get to play the Bach Double with P on the April concert - yay!

work work work

How can I get so tired "not working"???? I felt really good about getting three more widths of flooring in yesterday, but Jim was all grumpy that it wasn't close enough to the wall, blah blah blah. I'm sure it WAS close enough but he just needed to complain. It annoys me because I am doing this stupid floor because HE wanted it in there, but now he won't help. (except on my birthday he put in one width, which was a hard one I admit!) Oh well, I think I fixed it all up to his liking now.

Tomorrow we get our new kitties! We are driving 3 hours (what am I nuts???) to pick up the cats from my sister-in-law, but at least now they will be eternally in our debt for getting these felines off their hands! And they are exactly what we wanted, short-haired littermates, a bit older (5 months) but not too old to bond with dog (hopefully!!!). That should be interesting.

Went school shoe shopping today, D has promised to learn to tie his shoes now (we got the tie-ing kind); of course they were camo and he HAD to have them. They were also inexpensive (CHEAP!) so I thought we'd give it a try. I think he is really nervous about the whole school thing.

Tonight we actually have a second oboist! I am so excited to play with this lady, she is local and may be interested in playing all the time (we've been getting ringers to come in right before the concert for almost a year now). I haven't played with her when we could hear each other - just in the Fireworks (where there are 20 oboes, and I've never sat near her), but through the grapevine I understand she is good. Hopefully I won't make a fool of myself! We'll see. More tomorrow!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

party on dude

I've been celebrating my birthday for about 2 weeks now, with various friends and reletives...had three answering machine versions of Happy Birthday, and two cakes! My neighbor made me a beautiful professional cake for our cookout yesterday - I may have her do D's cake (I am rather awful at the whole cake business). Anyway, this afternoon we are going to a child's birthday, he will be 5 and D is sooo excited. I am just glad I'm not in charge.

We had our planning meeting for the music at church - very informal, but I thought it was great. Now we have dates through December for the bell choir! I have been very lethargic about planning, but now I'm kind of excited to get going. I MAY even have a bit of money for music, apparently it is a secret. Aren't church politics fun? But I suppose I should get it in gear and at least have some music for our first rehearsal picked out - I never know how many people will show up and in bell choir you have to play music with a specific amount of people. Such a trouble.

Friday, August 24, 2007

First day with Auntie C

Here is D on the first day of school (Tuesday)- actually just an orientation day...but the pics with mom and dad were so awful I can't put them up! Hopefully he will be better on the real first day. So this is my best friend C with our (somewhat) bratty child. He ended up loving his time at school, and I can't wait for him to start up full time. Then no more excuses for not practicing/exercising/making reeds/cleaning house...this could be bad.

older and wiser

My sweet man put in one row of fake hardwood floor for me today!!! Actually this was a hard row because of the vent - the next few should be easier. Hopefully we will get farther tonight.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I love comic strips. I guess I only love a few of them, but I check them every day - sort of like mini-soaps! I have always been very distainful of people who are addicted to soap operas, but I guess now I can see how they get that way.

The ones I really like are For Better or For Worse and Funky Winkerbean. I also like Luann, Zits, 9 Chickweed Lane and Sally Forth. I like the "Far Side-eske" ones, but usually I don't take the time to check those unless I am bored with time on my hands. It is kind of embarrassing to admit, but I really appreciate how you can get a "truth" into three little panels most days; and these strips all have certain characters I can relate to. That's all.

Another day

Today I had great plans but didn't get much done on the list...however, I did get a lot done in Ds room. Goodwill, trash, sort sort sort! And the piles of clothes - now he is going to be a big schoolboy I need to have playclothes and schoolclothes. We got new dressers from cousin B, and someday we will even put them in his room! Hopefully that will really happen before school, we have time, but there are so many things to move OUT before we can fit anything IN. *sigh*

Tonight is our first symphony rehearsal - since it is pops I guess some people won't come until after labor day, but most of the gang will be there. I am really excited, and I have reeds so hopefully I will even sound good! Almost forgot that tomorrow is my birthday, seems so weird to be 42, I still feel like I'm 24. Except I've done a lot of fun stuff in those years (and my poor body has been through a lot!). But I am really pretty happy with where I am right now, wish we were closer to family, but we have great neighbors and friends, and I'm playing a lot which makes me feel fulfilled. Jim and I should do more couple things this year I think, but other than that I wouldn't change anything!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Yay - first opera rehearsal went great (IMHO); can't wait to get with the singers. Our harpist wasn't there, but she is terrific; and the rest of the group was reading really well. I think this is by far the best this group has sounded for a first rehearsal.

Tomorrow many of the same people will meet for our first Labor Day Concert rehearsal - I believe we do William Tell again - fun for me!!! Also Fingal's Cave which is very fun, and mostly a bunch of schlock after that. I haven't done much today, not really feeling up to snuff (whatever that is).

Our lawn is very disreputable looking -- good thing no one can see it from the road! We need to do the weed and feed thing, tomorrow would be the perfect day for that - maybe if I write it here I will feel obliged to actually do it. I am excited because my dad (retired!) is coming in September for a week to help out around the place. Just because. What a guy! I can't wait, I have a million things he can help me with that Jim just never seems to have time for. I guess he is too busy buying cars (now he has a brilliant plan for the newest one, which he PROMISED to sell. Needless to say, the brilliant plan does not include selling the car)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

back in the saddle...

A lot has happened since I last blogged! But now suddenly summer is over and we're back from vacation (fun fun fun), my friend came for a whirlwind 27 hour visit from Ohio, and D had his first day of school (sort of). Actually it was a 2 hour kindergarden intro, they won't really get going until September, but it was a taste of the real thing. I am excited and sad, but mostly I haven't spent much time thinking about it. He had a great time, btw.

My biggest project is getting a "big boy" room ready before school starts...we got cousin B's old bunk bed and drawers (really nice ones) and my old desk, and I plan to move out the big old double bed and rocking chair and changing table (which we've been using as a dresser). There will be a lot more room, and I want to get some more bookcases as he seems to be infected with the same book disease that Jim and I have (too many books!!!!) Starting tomorrow for sure.

Tonight is the first opera rehearsal (yay!) MadameButterfly - should be interesting as I haven't played for 2 weeks (just tried a few reeds this morning - no actual playing). Could be real bad. But hopefully this year I will really focus on making reeds and practicing (with all my new free time). We'll see. I just got a call about doing a children's bell choir at church - would be fun but I hope they will pay me...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

bad laptop!

Sad news, my laptop is behaving badly (naughty naughty) and crashes whenever I try to post to this site. So I am downstairs in my lovely new office on the desktop machine (yay, lots of computers). We never run out of backup options at our house - 18 cars - countless computers - numerous instruments...

Anyway, today I played in church - lovely, sightreading, no-stress and high praise. All the best stuff. And then I went to see Kiss Me Kate, at the same theater series that I just played Putting It Together. I think they did a good job, but it really isn't my kind of show. Ah well. I'm really glad it worked out that I played the other one - thank you, nameless orchestrators!!!!

Now I just have to prepare for the church staff meeting (not just music, whole staff, all day - could be scary) and then we leave for a week of fun with relatives! Lots of driving, but I'm sure we'll have a great time. Going to the beach (in various spots along Oregon/WA coast) and other places too - we'll take our "reconditioned" camper. That means we bought it, assured that everything worked and it was in ok shape - THEN we discovered that everything didn't work (we DID try things at the seller's) and it apparently had been used as a chicken coop or rabbit hutch at some point. After MUCH painting, ripping out and replacing of walls, floors, various benches and other wood, and repairing all the electronics (thank goodness Jim is a genius at that) it all works and is in good shape. NEVER buy a camper in February.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Today Jim is buying (another ) car - how can this be? Amazingly he has now got about 16 cars but he promised that he will sell this one - it was just such an amazing deal! Anyway, for thrills you can check out the new rig (and all the old ones) here

Monday, July 30, 2007


What a weekend! I am soooo glad it is over, everything went well. Great weather - fireworks were better than ever. Today I had a lesson and brought my former teacher's Laubin. We were able to adjust it pretty well, but some binding on the C# and a couple weird things - so I left it with local repair genius Peter. He is very busy right now, but I figure I wasn't using it anyway, might as well get it in line. I'm also having him replace all the bladder pads (I think there were 5 on the lower keys) with nice cork. Should be a lovely horn when it's done.

Anyone out there have Laubin experience?

Friday, July 27, 2007


Wow, I had the greatest reeds of the century for the first act tonight! I felt amazing, it was so great. But in the morning I have not one, but two 2.5 hour rehearsals for the Fireworks concert (all baroque stuff; read: chop-killing) and then another show. Yikes. Because Sunday afternoon is closing for Putting It Together, then the Fireworks. It is the only gig I have ever played with security. That's how I know it's really cool.

In other news, we went to Goodwill today (my favorite store) and I got the cutest little potential reed case - it looks like a tiny briefcase, with little flippers and everything. Inside there is even a partition (I think it is for business cards) that would be great to hold a plaque. But I need to figure out how to make the "guts" of a reed case. I know people used to do this, seems like there should be directions somewhere on the the web!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

home decorating

No joy on the floor yet, but we actually discussed giving some of the old furniture away to needy relatives (you know who you are!) and Jim didn't have a heart attack. It would be my dream to get a new couch (which we can totally afford) and maybe a hide-a-bed too, which would even fit if we got rid of some of the obsolete computer equipment (or at least put it in the garage). *sigh*

But I am excited to have my office space - just have to empty one of the many bookcases (full of obsolete computer manuals) and then I'll have room for all my DR journals! (and a few other things)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

HP no spoilers

Well, I'm done with Harry - good book! I actually enjoyed all of them, so there.
Of course I should have been practicing the Fireworks music - we are doing the Royal Fireworks Music as always, but also a bit of Mahler's 4th, Beethoven's Turkish March, Nais by Rameau, and Danserye by Susato, along with several marchy things and Fanfare for the Common Man. Of course DD has arranged all these for our instrumentation, which is about 20 oboes, 4 EH, 16 bassoons, 8 horns, 8 picc tpts, and perc. Can't wait!

D has a cold right now, so we have stayed home all day and I actually cleaned! Maybe we'll make progress on the kitchen floor tonight (down to sub floor, has been for months).

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Yay! First week of the show is done...time for a much needed break. Today for the first time I had terrible water in the B, Bb and A keys. What a pain, only one really gurglly sounding exposed part - but I worked myself into a frenzy swabbing and papering and blowing (and fretting mostly). Other than that the show went very well, although my beloved was not a huge fan, he only liked the song about sex (Bang!) and the one about the crazy bride (Not Getting Married). These are both from Company, maybe I'll take him to that sometime. D was pretty good, but he said he likes shows with a story better.

Now for 2 days off!

Saturday, July 21, 2007


We joined the ranks of millions and purchased a copy of the new Harry Potter book. I figured I might as well since we have all the others even though I won't have time to read it for a while.

Tonight's show went pretty well, things are really starting to gel. I am kind of excited that my family is coming tomorrow for the matinee. D is very suspicious, he wants it to be just like Mame. I think Jim will appreciate the lyrics, Sondheim is much more clever than some other popular musical composers...


The review came out in the big city paper today...actually very nice but NO mention of the orchestra (not a huge surprise). Sadly, they mostly just kept pointing out that Putting It Together would never be the "crowd-pleaser" that the Full Monty was (previous show - they do 4 each summer). Of course the Full Monty is a totally different kind of show, and I'm glad everyone liked it, but I am LOVING the Sondheim! Maybe it isn't fun to watch, of course I wouldn't know, but the words are so clever (and I can only hear about 20% of them). Ah well.

I voted online for the theater's 2008 season shows, I checked on Bret Pimental's web site ( and voted for all the ones with oboe/eh parts!

Friday, July 20, 2007

I guess the show is settling in; many things were more solid tonight, but if you know the songs...There's Always a Woman seems to be hard for the vocalists to hear, we skipped ahead again tonight. But they are really professional about it, I doubt anyone could tell unless they had actually sung the song - it is sort of a gallumphing thing. In Marry Me A Little there is this offbeat thing that somehow got off the first verse - it was totally awful but again I doubt it was real noticed by anyone who didn't know it well - that's the thing about Sondheim!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

opening night

Well, I had typed up all the stuff I was worried about for tonight, and my computer crashed. *sigh* so you just get to hear what happened without all my pre-show concerns! Mostly it was great. The clarinet sub did a good job and he sounded great, although he said clarinet was not his main horn (sax). He plays really in tune and there were only a few places he was lost (not surprising) and they were all places that were covered. Vocals has a few blurps - but all was recovered without heroic measures, we skipped ahead twice but everyone stayed together. So it should be even better tomorrow. I really like this show, it is fun to play without huge blobs of dialog. We really don't have any time to read magazines or anything, which I prefer. AND the show is out in 2 hours!

Monday, July 16, 2007

hot hot hot

It is finally cooling down, lovely 93 today! And some of the garden even survived. Not that much grows in our rocky soil. But yesterday was the sitzprobe and rehearsal for Putting it Together. Since it is almost chamber music - 5 cast members and 7 musicians; we just played everything together (instead of doing an orch rehearsal first). It was great - everyone is very talented and the cast is amazing. WISH (as always) we could see the stage, but yesterday was as good as it will ever be, with the cast sort of wandering around and marking their parts in the band room. Tuesday we'll be in the pit and we open Thursday. And the show is short - probably 2 hours will do it! That is good news for closing, when I do a 2pm show and then have to be at the sound check for the Fireworks concert at 6. I could do it even if the show were longer, but this will make things easier.

I am excited for Fireworks this year - I understand they are taking photos for the IDRS journal cover! We'll all be famous (at least momentarily among DR players, a huge population)

Friday, July 13, 2007


My son is sound asleep and it is supposed to be 105 today, so I think we will skip the gym and just hang out at home (unless someone with a/c invites us over!). I want to organize my music and empty one of the MANY overly full bookcases in our house. Both J and I have tons of books, but several bookcases are full of (HIS) ancient computer manuals (like 1980s). We won't get rid of anything (horrors!) but hopefully I can put a lot of it into deep storage. And then maybe I will practice - I have 6 hours of rehearsal on Sunday, I really need to kick it into gear!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

If you had been paying attention, you know I got a roll-top desk a few weeks ago, and I was hoping to make an office in a corner of our living room. Well, I did it! Yay. And it looks pretty great, although I still want to move a bookcase (which requires emptying said bookcase). Best of all it is in the basement so it is about 15 degrees cooler than the upstairs (where I used to practice).

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

It is getting really HOT here - supposed to be over 100 for a couple of days. Also found out today I will be playing Quiet City (big english horn/trumpet duet) with the orchestra in August! It will be outdoors, but that could be fun. We did it in February, but this time they will pay the orchestra :^) It is for a big arts festival, I'm kind of excited that I get to be a soloist (and apparently they won't need me for anything else - nice to only have the eh)

On Sunday we start rehearsals for the Sondheim, I tried to buy a dvd of it but the web page was all messed up and it wouldn't come soon enough, so I'm going to wing it. It doesn't look like it will be super exposed, but I like to be prepared. So now I just need to have reeds, and I guess I should practice hard in the heat! I have moved down to the basement, but it is still getting about 85 down there. I dream of central air. In grad school we used to practice just because of the a/c; we would hide in the bathrooms until security left at night and then sleep in the practice rooms when it was really awful. Fun times!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My neighbor's son is going to organ camp. Suddenly I was all depressed, thinnking about how he will learn all kinds of new things, and get all inspired, and I'll be doing laundry and cleaning the house. Of course it is not really that bad, and I'm starting rehearsals for a show on Sunday, but I'd really love to go to a seminar or something. And what does it say about me that I want this for myself and I haven't even signed D up for swimming lessons? I guess I just miss the days of "doing my own thing" without regard for how long it's been since I've stayed home a night, or if I can get a sitter for a few hours, or if I've cooked enough this week! Probably everyone would be happier if I could get rid of my inner "scorekeeper" and just do the things I really want without waiting to earn enough points to go to the Stacy Seminar (or whatever).

In other news, it is really hot and getting hotter! SO glad we don't live where it is humid.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

name quiz

I found this on Prairie Oboe Companion's blog; decided I had to fill it out!
My 9 Names

Jill (bor-ing - actually used the name Gillian in HS trying to be cool, my HS diploma may not be valid as it has that name!)

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (first 3 letters of real name plus izzle)

3. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (fav color and fav animal)

4. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (your middle name and street you live on)
Marie Campbell

5. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 4 letters of your last name, first two letters of your first name)

6. YOUR SUPERHERO NAME: (Your 2nd favorite color, and favorite drink)
Green Frappachino (sounds nasty)

7. YOUR IRAQI NAME: (2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, 1st letter of your middle name, 2nd letter of your moms maiden name, 3rd letter of your dad's middle name, 1st letter of a siblings first name, and last letter of your grandma's first name.)

8. YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (parents middle names)
Jean Bruce

9. YOUR GOTH NAME: (black, and the name of one of your pets)
Black Donna


Last week we went to my friend's cabin in the Tetons (Wyoming) for kayaking and general visiting. Fun fun fun, beautiful weather - we kayaked twice and even left the boys at home one day and went "shopping" in Jackson
Hole. We got silly pictures where you dress up like old time gals (we both had guns just because). And I found yet another black outfit at the Coldwater Creek outlet, could be a good thing to wear if I do the Bach double (possibly in the works).
Today I actually made ti to the gym and picked up my music for "Putting it Together" a Sondheim review we will do next week. Doesn't look too bad...

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Wow, the concert has been over for more than a week now - but it went pretty well, no rain! And no real wind, but HOT interspersed with clouds. Unfortunately the only EH I played was William Tell, and the first few bars my reed was just not great - kinda spitty sounding! But it is so hard to get it right outdoors when you're doubling - either too wet or not wet enough.

But the solo went well, sadly the flutist did some weird thing and got lost - she is usually really on top of things. Oh well! I managed to find places to breathe; and suddenly another big solo moment is over.

Friday, June 29, 2007


We are leaving for my friend Cs cabin in the Tetons! Yay. So I have been stuffing the camper with every item possible - the problem with bringing the camper is that we DO have room to bring more, so we do! Tons of stuff. But once it is all in there it is a pretty nice ride (until it is time to unpack!)

So we'll be kayaking, and shopping and eating (hopefully in a responsible way mostly)...and having coffee on the beautiful new deck. Can't wait, maybe I will figure out how to post the pictures this week - I do bring all the manuals for camera, ipod etc since I will actually have time to look at them for a change.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I wish I could figure out how to post a picture, but who has time for that? Anyway, here is a link to Jim's webpage which has pictures of ALL our vehicles, this link featuring the boat. This boat was bought by his father when Jim was a teenager, and it has rotted in the barn for many years now but I guess it is sound. So we are having it reupolstered (will cost $$$, but way less than buying a boat!) and a few parts for the motor. I've never owned a boat before, but I love going out on the river/lake with friends who have boats. I understand it is best to be the friend and not the actual boat-owner, but I guess my time has come!

Other exciting side issues with the boat include where to store it - since we are spending big bucks to get it all nice we want it to stay that way. Jim wants to get a storage unit you buy from freight companies and stick it in the woods. This would be the perfect thing except for one tiny detail: storage unit is 8'x24'; boat is 7'9"x 23'. Sadly because it is actually smaller dimentions Jim thinks we can just squeeze it in, but I think we need just a tiny bit more room...


Tomorrow is our first summer concert - hightlights include William Tell (where are you supposed to breathe???) Mendolssohns Fingals Cave which is GREAT!, and Schumann Symphony #1 (m1 &3) And a bunch of pops stuff, should be fun. It appears the rain they forcast for Sunday earlier in the week is now coming on Monday (yay). We have a blow-up shell - very weird looking, you can check it out here(bottom of page):

Also I can't believe that next Friday we are leaving for a week to visit my friend in Wyoming - she has a cabin overlooking the Tetons (near Jackson Hole). Fun fun fun, we will go Kayaking and hiking and probably wander through Yellowstone.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Another week, shot to ****. I got a fab new desk yesterday on Craigslist - it is a rolltop in great shape - $250. I have always wanted one, and I would have bought a new one but this was in great condition and I love it! (happy dance) Now I can make my "oboe studio" in the middle of our living room.

We have a space issue, mainly because Jim lived in the house for 7 years before I did, and he won't move his stuff. I am fine with sharing most of the house, but I really wanted one room to myself for an office/practice room (we have plenty of space for this). He actually agreed to that before we were married, but he didn't understand that I actually wanted a room like when you move into a new house, cleaned out! So I could put my stuff in and make it my room, with no beds that his parents had, and no bookcases (full of his books) etc. I have tried about every room in the house, but I finally decided I would just go for a corner of a room, and move the nasty couch he got for $50 (that we must keep forever) out of the way; and put the weird and very uncomfortable Danish Modern lounge chair on the other side - and move the mountain of computer equipment a little bit and then I'd have a corner! Yay. Something to call my own, which is important to me even though I'm part of a team now. This is very threatening to him for some reason, I just don't get it. But I have a beautiful desk for a start!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

summer dayz

Seems like there is less to blog about these days. But for the update: Choir party was great, the house was just off the lake and PartyLady had just had her landscaping done - complete with a beautiful waterfall/walk-in pond. It was all huge boulders (no visible lining)and about the size of a large hot tub with seats and steps made out of boulders. D and the other kids started by dipping toes, and ended by being completely soaked. Not many people from the bell choir were there, just us and the K's, but we'll do something in the fall and hopefully more can come.

Orchestra tonight, I haven't been playing much. Too much socializing! But I realize we are playing this weekend - so I need to get it together. William T is long, I need to work out the breathing better. I am still basically sight-reading it; what IS my problem??? After this I have a couple of weeks until Puttin It Together starts, but I'd better be ready for serious playing by then.

I have been going to the gym religiously, 5 days last week. I still don't do much outside of the gym, today I have a session with the trainer. She wants me to do exercises morning and night, and I just don't want to. La! Also eating is problematic as I eat everything. But I'm doing better, just have to keep that in mind.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Choir party

So my bell choir job is basically over for the summer, just have our end of year picnic to organize...we thought this year it would be fun to have a music picnic instead of just the bell choir, since so many people are involved in both. However, the date we chose (a month ago) is this Saturday, and I STILL have not heard where and when! One of the bell people offered her place, but a vocal person REALLY wanted it at her house (according to the director, I don't know this person even by name) so we were going to have it there after the vocal director checked on times etc. Since then I have left various messages but have heard nothing. I haven't even called the bell people because I didn't want to call with the date and call again with directions, but now I wish I had! Of course I've been gone this weekend too. I just feel badly because probably some people won't be able to come because we weren't organized. Do I really want to do this job again next year??