Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I am feeling like doing nothing...this is a bad time to feel that way! I have either rehearsals or gigs every night for the forseeable future. Tonight is the last rehearsal for the Black and White Ball (eye-roll here); still not sure what we are playing. Big D is being ridiculous about allowing the board to choose repertoire.

Tomorrow is bell choir, and THANK GOD the youth bells thing is over. YAY!!!! But still, I have to deal with who is actually going to show up, and the Soundwave is coming in less than two weeks, which means I have to organize entertainment and vegetarian dinners for 20! Of course, I got another gig for that afternoon, so that will add to the organizational nightmare.

Thursday is orchestra, whatever. Friday is the Black and white ball - AND I volunteered to drive for Ds school field trip to the ice skating that afternoon. Saturday at 5:50 AM I am flying to Idaho (another destination stop!) for a concert on Sunday - also not sure what will be played for that, but it sounds fun, and I'm really flattered they asked me.

Etc Etc.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Chamber Music Hero!

If you have seen those people rocking out in the Best Buy it is probably Guitar Hero - but here is the new improved version (note Jason's oboe-like instrument) Funny. Thanks to the Lone oboe for that one.


Thursday, February 21, 2008


So I saw this PBS version of Company last night, and it was pretty cool - they had the orchestra onstage and they were also the cast. Amazingly the oboe player doubled on sax and tuba as well as sang... and they did it all memorized! It was by far the best production of Company I had seen - not that I've seen it done many times. I understand the same director did this treatment to Sweeny Todd, which I can't imagine went over as well; I know Forbidden Broadway did a parody called Teeny Todd (referring to the small cast). But I liked how it worked for Company.

Long day

So yesterday I drove 300 miles (with child) and then had the "youth bells" or whatever, and then the adult bells. We are playing in church on Sunday - why is it that some people just don't show up??? Or casually mention that, oh yeah, I'm going out of town this weekend... It isn't like they didn't know we had a performance, I hate that about church groups. So many other things are really great, but that drives me crazy. So at the rehearsal I asked the people who did show up if they were going to be gone before Easter...(which I have repeatedly done) and TWO of them said yes! Argh.

Friday, February 15, 2008

New gigs

I love when people ask me to play and they actually expect to pay me! I'm kind of on the edge of getting paid, most people do at least have the grace to feel guilty to ask me to play for free...and sometimes I don't mind (like for church, at least my church because I reap other benefits there!). But finally we are getting about 1/2 the pay the big orchestra gets (although we do have fewer services), and most of the gigs I do I get some money for. I fluctuate from being excited to play for any money (talk to a singer about this sometime) to being resentful that as a student I regularly made WAY more money just because of the are (Ohio).

The northwest in general (with the possible exception of Seattle or Portland, where I do NOT live) seems to place very little value on the arts, although most people seem to love the concept of having music and visual arts available, no one actually wants to PAY for that.

Anyway, our concertmaster asked me to sub in his college orchestra in a few weeks and he will pay me more than we make in the symphony, so I'm really happy about that.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


So I spent about an hour at church figuring out who would play which parts for the next couple of bell services; and when I got home someone had called and said they were "opting out" of the next service! *sigh* This is my fault because I tell them they can do this if they let me know, and of course people get sick or go on vacation etc, but you CAN'T play the bells with people missing! Argh. It is not fair to the rest of the people, either. Maybe I can take the top part and move everyone down (since it usually doesn't have much), but I had planned this very carefully with different people's abilities in mind.
*grumble grumble*

On a happier note, I got H (director of music, organist and my boss) a lovely azalia from the bell choir (and me) just to thank her for helping us out all the time. Then I thought I should also get something for K (church secretary) since she does EVERYTHING and I found these cute little valentine votive candle holders for $4. She always has candles in the office so it was perfect. I felt better about the whole valentine experience after that. It is kind of a stupid holiday, but why not use it to tell people you appreciate them?

Friday, February 8, 2008

All the pretty solos

Our next concert (besides the Ball) highlights the Enescu Romanian Rhapsody 1. Such a fun piece, and cool oboe thingies, but we are going to have to put in some work to pull this off at a decent tempo! It was pretty rough last night. And the 2nd oboe was back after her skiing accident (dislocated shoulder); I think she was hurting but happy to be there. We are also doing our Young Artists stuff (6 concertos, 1 mvt each) and a premier which was pretty weird sounding but I'm willling to see how that goes before passing judgement. I guess he uses geographical maps and somehow makes that into music. The composer will be here later to help translate (probably a good thing!)

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Ash Wednesday is one of those services that often gets overlooked, and the past few years I have had the bells play since we have rehearsal at that time anyway. This year, I was sort of on autopilot when I offered this year, not really thinking of WHAT we would play. We had just done a perfect Lent-y sort of piece which I love, the famous chorale from Bach's Jesu Meine Freide. But Last year we played a piece that was very diatonic so there were NO bell changes, and we just had stands with music up in the balcony - no tables and all that!

But the Bach is very chromatic and we had to have tables. This wouldn't be a problem except when they designed our balcony, the wide step/seats are EXACTLY the same width as the tables - no room to stand behind. But my hero the DOM had a great idea! We stacked 10 hymnals in front of each leg (sadly, we hardly use them anymore) and put the front legs on the books. Not totally sturdy, but it worked great! And we are planning to have the "church men" build wooden boxes to use next time, which we can hopefully store up in the balcony. What a pain. Along with the big haul up stairs (no elevator!) and back down of everything...but they actually played pretty well!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Oboe gigs

Well, not exactly delightful, but I have a funeral gig tomorrow - I LOVE playing at this church because the director actually arranges ALL the music for whatever small ensemble he has - and is so organized! When I show up there is a binder with all the music in order (can you tell I've done many gigs where this is NOT the case); and we run anything weird and just play the service. Bonus: he is an excellent arranger - my favorite thing we always do at funerals is Take Me Home; he made this excellent oboe obbligato and people love it. It isn't just for funerals, but we always do seem to play it then. Also the pay is great.

And this week is Ash Wednesday - somehow I have to figure out how to stuff the bell tables onto the balcony at church. We will play Jesu, Meine Freude by Bach (just the chorale). Will be great I'm sure. And after having all rehearsals canceled last week (snow snow snow) we finally get to start the Enescu Romanian Rhapsody! Yay. Also doing Rach Pno Conc #1 and Tchaik Vln Conc for Young Artists - we have people from as far as FL and NY! Hard to believe people want to play with a group that badly - our little orchestra only offers a $500 prize if you win, and we had over 150 finalists this year.


Check this out (thanks Patty)!

And how 'bout those Giants (yay NY)...