Saturday, December 26, 2009

Like New!

I sort of inherited a Laubin oboe from my first teacher about 20 years ago. It has been languishing in my possession for all this time, and I finally decided to send it off to it's place of birth (the Laubin factory) for an overhaul. It just came back (like a Christmas gift) and although I haven't played with others it seems to be fabulous! I'm really looking forward to seeing how it works in a group (I usually play a Loree).

Only thing is it seems to be very dark (lovely) but I've been having trouble projecting my sound in the orchestra - so this oboe may not work for that setting. We'll see, it's fun to play anyway. Think I'll bring it along just to get used to it for our week of visiting reletives, I'm sure they will all be thrilled for me to play! hahaha.

In gig news, I am annoyed to hear that they are doing a show (Curtains) at the local theater but only hiring ONE wind player to cover FIVE books. Grrr. The most annoying thing is the 2nd book would be perfect for me, oboe/EH/clar/tsax - I'm really trying to get my doubling career going. Why won't people work with me here?!!! Ah well. At least the one person they DID hire is someone I know and like!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Wow, first rehearsal this am with the pianist for the Dring Trio - what a fun piece! And overall we sound great (IMHO) - can't wait for faculty recital (April, we are way ahead of the game). Looking for other fl/ob/pno trios, preferrably NOT baroque unless the keyboard part is more than continuo. Anyone?

This afternoon is my recorder student "recital" - actually I think only one of them can play Jingle Bells, but I'm bring the oboe to drown them out. Should be fine, they are WAY more interested in the santa hats and jingle bell bracelets. Silly girls.

Tonight I have a fun gig with two awesome wind players at the local HS choir concert. And I volunteered to sort/pass out music for our Jan orchestra concert, so I will be the fun person who give out music in my area (the orchestra is located in a town 30 miles away, so many people drive over from the "big city") Anyway, should be good - then two cantatas Sunday and I'm done. Kinda sad I have nothing on Christmas eve, but I guess that is nice for a change. Merry Merry, everyone!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Swans a swimmin

The big piece on our winter concert was Swan Lake (yeah baby!) which starts out with this huge oboe solo. What a great experience, but as always we get to the day and I'm wondering how time flew by so fast. I feel that it actually went pretty well, but I guess I'll know more when I hear the recording.

Orchestra is over until January, except for a party - which is unfortunately the same day as another gig. I'm playing for a HS choir concert, the conductor is a good friend who makes these fabulous arrangements and always gives me great solos. LOVE to play for him! Also doing a cantata on Sunday, not with my church, by some guy named Pepper. It seems like it will be "nice", but I won't hear it with singers til the gig.

The only other music-y thing going on is my recorder students - last year we played Christmas carols for the rest of the school (20 kids). Fun and low key, so I figured we'd do it again. THIS year they are SO not ready to play. Except one student, they can't get through 8 bars of Jingle Bells! I feel bad, not sure what the deal is. They can play the notes - and last year I did a kind of "suzuki" type approach with no music for a while. This year that playing by ear thing doesn't seem to be catching on. Oh well. They'll have a great time with their santa hats and jingle bells even if they can't play! I'm bringing my oboe to blast over their sound. Will report on the insanity after Thursday!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Yep, it's Christmas!

Burst of activity! Band concert went pretty well on Monday - I was NOT perfect but I think I did contribute; J sounded great on his solo (trumpet). Fun to come in and play the concerts, but while I miss the people it is so nice to have my Mondays at home.

We saw the most amazing concert Tuesday - it is a chamber music series that we actually got season tix for (three concerts); you sit at little tables in this beautifully restored ballroom from a 5star hotel (turn of the last century), each table has a lovely bottle of wine and cheese/crackers chocolate-covered strawberries for nibbling. The performers all announce their own pieces and give a little What to Listen For speech. It is somewhat more casual than the usual orchestra concerts. LOVE it - there was a Mark O'conn@ll trio (fiddle-inspired), the B@rber Summer Music (ww5 - they were so good!) and Br@hms Sextet (Sectstet? for my mom- hehe) which was awe inspiring.

Tonight we had our first ww5 rehearsal - at my house!! after a crazy day of school meetings, oboe lesson (teaching), swimming lesson (for D across town) and dashing back to rehearsal. Also made dinner for the boys somehow. I was kind of nervous so I didn't eat but it went great. It was just fun making music with such musicians, we are hoping to have a fairly regular weekly rehearsal schedule and are considering which direction (gigs or recitals) to go - right now I want to just work on playing well with these people - this is going to be great for our symphony playing. So any of you musicians with ww5 suggestions please weigh in!

We currently have Ib@rt Trois Pieces, Hind@mith, Arn0ld Three Shanties, and the Poul@nc Sextet, and a few ditties.

Monday, November 30, 2009

At last some action!

Tonight I'm playing with the local community band (that J plays in) as a ringer - they are actually doing some music that has excellent sightreading twisties for my fingers. I've been working on reading faster stuff without mistakes, not one of my better skills, and this is a good opportunity. Also nice to support the band.

And then the dearth of activity is over (hopefully!) Our ww5 has been talking the talk for three or more YEARS, and we will finally meet at my house for the first time Wednesday! I'm very excited about playing chamber music with these people (principals in the orchestra mostly).

This weekend we have our first Messiah Singalong. I hate singalongs, but they can be great crowd pleasers. I am worried the powers that be are charging too much, since so many churches offer singalongs for free around here. Love to play the Messiah, even part of it (as long as it has the normal orchestration!) at Christmas - really gets me in the holiday spirit.

Then next week is our orchestra concert - we're doing a bunch of Christmas music (probably too much!) and Swan Lake Suite, yay, big oboe solo right up front! And all the fun little dances, some of which have nasty little parts. But all very doable, nothing too stressful this year (so far). I'm playing for a church cantata later in the month, sort of weird to have all this available time since I'm not directing the bells.

So maybe I'll be better about posting now I have some musical things going on...

Monday, November 9, 2009


I have been terrible at keeping up this blog, it is so hard when there are no gigs! We haven't even had a rehearsal due to budget cuts, so next week will be the first one since the concert. Which I haven't written about either!

The concert went as well as I could have hoped for - it was a big one for me. The Dvorak New World (I played EH on the 2nd mvt) was probably the best I've played it. So glad I was able to use the fabulous Lau bin bocal. The sad thing is for the Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue they did NOT tune the piano!!! Such a shame, DD did an amazing job, my high Es came out great and the clarinet player rocked. I am so annoyed with our venue - they are now charging us for each piece of equipment (including the out of tune piano). We bring much of the percussion equipment from the local HS, but they are just pricing us out of the building. We don't rehearse there anymore, and 3 of our concerts will be at another venue.

So we rehearse this week on Thursday, but Friday I am getting my first gig in the big arena downtown - with the snazzy group (whose name I will spell wrong in an attempt to not get hits) Man hime Steem Roler. Hmmmm. Ok that is stupid, maybe I shouldn't care if people find my blog. But I'm very excited about this! We don't get music til the actual gig, but I've been assured this is not a hard book. Hope not!

And today I'm sending off my Laubin oboe to the "factory" - hopefully it will play delightfully when it comes back. I haven't been playing it at all (it was a hand-me-down from my teacher) because it is pretty gummy, but it may have some twisty rods or something too. The sound is amazing though.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

New World

The opera is over, went very well and we had decent crowds. I was so happy to have it be over just to have some time off! But only a week before our season opener for the symphony. And it is a big one for me, which is nice but stressful.

My brother and his family are coming the day of our dress rehearsal - which is great but I wish I would be able to spend more time with them. They will leave Sunday am, and are not going to the concert so I only get to visit Saturday morning (when I will be totally focused as a great hostess, not thinking about the concert and my REEDS at all!)

Anyway, I hope we have fun, but the concert is Rhapsody in Blue with our fabulous conductor playing piano. I had forgotten the orchestra part is way better for the oboe than the band part, which is nothing. Yay. Then Hanson Symphony #2, which has some lovely oboe moments. This would be great except I am also playing EH. We do not have any money for any extra personel, so I'm just covering the parts. Love EH stuff too, just stressing.

And the big piece, New World which has great oboe stuff; and once again I'm covering the EH part. Not to say I'm not excited about doing it! I can't wait - and I am borrowing a Laubin bocal that makes my horn sound MAGICAL; but I am stressing. After this weekend I have NOTHING until the first week of December! Hopefully I will live through it and play well, it would make me so disappointed to get the opportunity to do this great music and then not do it justice.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

La Cenerentola!

I'm being a bad blogger - no updates for weeks! But nothing much is happening - opera opens tomorrow (and closes Sunday - operas don't last long up in the hinterlands!) Dress rehearsal went great (mostly) and we cut off over an hour from the night before. LOTS of start/stop Tuesday, always amazing how much longer that all takes.

Apparently this version (the Rossini) has only Cinderella and the 2 stepsisters - all other parts are men. They are really hamming it up and using a 50s theme - of course the king is Elvis! Everyone but C and the prince have huge funny hair and over the top costumes, but even with all the corny stuff some of the singing is just fabulous. And the orchestra is sounding pretty good if I do say so - we only have 1 flute and one oboe - so I'm playing some 2nd flute stuff (and even picc parts where there is two ; on oboe of course!) and a couple places the flute or clarinet is covering 2nd oboe. Fun times.

Tonight is our first rehearsal for orchestra! Strings had a sectional last week, but due to budget cuts we have lost 2 rehearsals for most concerts. Eek. Hopefully people will step up and be prepared. We are doing New World (!!!) and I'm playing the EH part since our 2nd oboe doesn't have one and there is no money to hire another person. So we will just switch for mvt 2 - I'm pretty excited. Of course the 1st oboe part has some great stuff too; and I would have been happy just playing that.

Also doing Howard Hanson's 2nd Symphony - also an EH part but I'll just cover as best I can - really unfortunate they programed all this stuff for a larger orchestra. Hopefully they will THINK about these things more in the future! And we're doing Rhapsody in Blue (total snooze for me) which audiences always like - and I'm looking forward to our conductor playing the solo - he really is a fab pianist. Of course M is really excited about the clarinet part with the big scoop.

Guess that is about all I have to report. All my students are back at it, looks like I'll have 3 this year. Which is just fine, since I don't want the hassle of more. Trying to get D in for piano but I'm not having much luck with the teachers around here, and of course many of them just annoy me with their complete lack of skill and knowledge. Such a diva I am!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

First day of recorder class!

I'm getting all giddy, making new worksheets and notebooks for my little recorder class tomorrow. I basically hate all the books I've seen for beginning recorder (if anyone has one they recommend I'd love to hear about it!) so I write my own stuff. This is for my VOLUNTEER position with my son's school - so much for not taking too much time. But it is fun and I liked it last year.

Only 4 students, so it isn't too much of a madhouse (usually). I do like them to have notebooks so I buy them all because I always forget to ask for that to be put on the school supplies list. Oh well. It's my contribution to the school. Also going to try to get them to come see Cinderella (Rossini, in English) but it's a hard sell at $18 for student tix. Hopefully I can get a deal, but they are so slow to get back to us about that...

Also called about Ds piano lessons. This could be the year - one of my oboe students has piano right near here and I thought we'd try it out. He is reluctant but resigned - but he never wants to try ANYTHING new so that's not news. He spent the morning telling us he didn't want to go to the fair today; he's too OLD for that (7). Of course he had a great time; no rides except the llamas, but he won prizes at the shooting gallery and for hitting the hammer thing.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Cinderelly Cinderelly...

Been ages since I posted - things were pretty quiet on the music front. Til last week - I started teaching at the little college where I haven't had a student for 2 years! Yay. I have one this semester, but several HS students (they encourage us to teach at the college). So that is great, and I figured everything was fine.

If you remember my little plaque was gone from the Adjunct Faculty office, there are about 12 of us that have our names on the door. Last spring mine mysteriously dissappeared, but I figured I'd eventually call and check up on it. They hadn't mentioned anything to me, and I still had keys to the whole building.

So they called this fall with a student, and I asked if there were any problems. No, they had just taken my name down because there hadn't been any oboe students for 2 years (which makes no sense - anyone walking through would assume they didn't HAVE and oboe teacher) But no problem with me just starting back up.

THEN I got an email Thursday night (after I spent the day in this out-of-the-way town) saying there WAS a problem, apparently HR had TERMINATED me in April of 2007! This is weird, because I never heard about it. No one seems to know WHY, there is no reason listed and there is a new Dean and new secretary since then. I assume it has something to do with no students signing up for the summer session that year (which would be unheard of for this tiny 2 year school), but who knows.

Anyway, the new secretary said it was all HRs fault, and would be no problem, they could just re-sign me up but I needed to come in to show ID in person and fill out more paperwork. Of course they want this paperwork 3 days into the semester (it is now day 14). If she had sent the email 1 hour earlier I would have gotten it before I left Thursday and could have taken care of it then! But I'm not going in next week, so now it will be a month into the semester before I can go in. Cuz I'm NOT making a special trip. What are they gonna do? Hire another oboist? HAHAHA. This is acually one job I am totally NOT worried about losing, there IS no one else who would drive that far for so little pay. I do get mileage, but the only reason it is worth it is the Little Symphony rehearsals are there too, and no other oboe players have that going for them. I'm so unique.

Ah well, I love the education system! The Little Symphony actually isn't starting up (for winds) til the end of this month, but we have been having opera rehearsals for La Cenerentola (Rossini). Fun, no big oboe stuff, couple of fast places but mostly the strings are sweating it. It actually sounds amazingly good - often our strings are pretty raggy but we have excellent people this time around. I'm really excited to hear it with the singers. I guess they are doing it in English (meh), and to a 50's theme. Huh. Don't know what I think of that. But it pays well, and I can wear whatever I want in the pit!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Audition Tale

So the audition is over! This was the local "Big Symphony" 2nd oboe/EH chair. I was in the 2nd group of hopefuls - apparently there were 16 people and they heard us 6 at a time or something like that. The first group started at 9:30 am, and I was told to be there at 10 for position drawing.

I was first in the 2nd group to play. Good spot, who wants to wait around getting more and more nervous? They gave us the order of excerpts and we could use our own music. It was Mozart exposition, Brahms Vln, La Scala, Don Juan fast and slow, and New World on EH.

We each got a practice room (which was very nice). The moment I stepped into the practice room my heart started pounding like crazy. Before that I was pretty calm. So I'm trying to deep breathe and get my heart rate at some more normal tempo so I can even try to warm up. I played a bit but I almost passed out - my logical brain was thinking how ridiculous it all was, but when your body reacts there isn't much you can do about it!

So I was wishing for beta blockers, wondering how much time I had when there was a knock at the door. The proctor told me they were listening to the last person in the first group and then they were taking a break. Thank God. So I had some time to pull myself together. Eventually I think my heart and adrenyline just ran out - glad I had enough time for that to happen.

I was able to run through things, a bit shaky but after a few minutes things were going ok. I thought I would just take a tiny bit off the tip of my reed and I realized I had LEFT my reed knife on the table at home. HOW stupid was that? Then the proctor came back and it was time.

We went to the stage door and the stage manager (who I know) wished me luck and asked if I had any questions. I was really glad there was a water cooler right there and I asked if I could bring a cup of water with me. The hall is beautiful and I was really excited to finally get a chance to play in there. They had set it up a table, where I put the water and EH. There was an instrument stand provided but I figured I might knock it over (klutz that I am). There was even a chair but I had been playing standing so I just moved that out of the way.

The panel was out in the orchestra seats - big screen covering any sign of them. I didn't hear a peep from them, so different from our hilarious attempt to screen the Little Orchestra auditions (where you could see our feet under the table). Time to start. I tried taking deep breaths, but after a couple I figured it wasn't going to get any better, so I started. Opening was pretty good, not the best I've ever done, but I got all the notes in there. The Mozart went ok, OMG the hall was AMAZING. I really did sound great in there. But I wasn't super even on the fast passages, although I don't think I actually messed up, and a couple of the low Gs didn't speak (stupid inattention).

After I finished there was no noise. I just got the Brahms up and played. It actually went great, but the evil 8th note blips at the end the A didn't speak! But I was happy with it except for that. Still nothing from the panel, on the La Scala. I got through at a reasonable tempo, but it was kind of uneven. I have to double tongue it cuz my single tongue is the slowest known to man, and I think when I am nervous it exacerbates the unevenness. Oh well. I was super delighted I nailed the low C at the end and got through it with no actual note issues, but then I heard K say "thank you".

So no Strauss (probably my best of the set) or EH for me. I wasn't really surprised but I wish I could have played those. But the job of the panel is to weed us out. I did hang around for almost TWO HOURS for the official word on who would go on, I didn't realize that not playing all the stuff meant I could leave right then. But it was great to visit with some of the other oboists, after we'd played everyone was in a more chatty mood.

Four people from my group went on, and two from the earlier group. I heard they chose three people from the 2nd round to go on to a 3rd round, and they offered the job to someone. I guess we'll see if they take it within a week. It really seems amazing that people would fly in, pay for hotels food and airfare for a 16K job. But what do I know - some of the auditionees were from NYC, Boston, Florida, Chicago - only 4 were "locals" (Pacific NW). All the people in the 3rd round were from far off places. The level of talent was really remarkable.

So overall, I am totally relieved! And I think it was a great experience. In between terror I loved the way I sounded on the fabulous stage, and I certainly can hear a big difference in my playing. I am glad I wasn't too invested in the whole process, I was mainly doing it because it was right here. I am thinking I may audition for the sub list (apparently that has to be a separate thing) in September. Right now I am enjoying an oboe-free day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Back. from. another. vacation... Was lovely at the beach but WHY do auditions always seem to fall at these inconvenient times??! My family was great about giving me space and time to practice, we ended up in the big suite with a huge walk-in closet (which was my practice room). Made about 2 hours each day - although I didn't do the playing in front of people thing. So much harder to ask non-music people, I just felt like I was imposing enough by leaving every morning and squacking away.

In the afternoons I really tried to not think about anything but vacation stuff - we went to the beach, one day beautiful and sunny, but rain is far more typical on the WA coast. I kind of love that misty rain and clouds on the beach, but the sunny day was great too.

Today I don't feel terrific but after sleeping in I did get up and played a couple hours. I will be so glad when this is all over. I do know my playing is improved, looking forward to the opera (end of Sept) and orch season.

I am in the second group to play, 10:00. That is ok with me! I think there are two groups in the first round, then they will choose who goes to the 2nd round right then. I believe the whole thing will be over by lunch, but I could be wrong. J is staying home so I don't have to get a sitter (thank god) always a nightmare to ask someone to come for an indefinite period of time.

I was actually kind of impressed with myself - I played on all my own reeds today (as opposed to the mysterious Gs reeds) and they were pretty good. I'd love to play on my own, just because. And G is auditioning too, so it seems kind of like cheating to play on his reeds. But I will if his are better that morning!

Mozart seems to be shaping up nicely - wish I had played it this well when I did it with the symphony. Sometimes I still get tangled up in my fingers, or I am not concentrating and I miss an attack - so frustrating as I KNOW I can play it with no mistakes. But playing it with no mistakes in front of judges is another thing.

Brahms is pretty good, Scala is surprisingly stable although I think my tonguing is a bit on the jerky side. But I'm willing to accept that if I get through it with no mistakes! Don Wan (hehe) is my fav, I really think I can nail the beginning (have I just jinxed it?) and I am doing pretty good on all the low Ds in the tune. Low notes are not my "forte", funny that I'm taking a 2nd oboe audition! All the 2nd stuff is starting low notes without the squawk, so hard for me but I'm much better than a month ago. And I figure I'll never get to the EH round, but those sound ok too. So big day is Friday, I'll post all about it at some point this weekend!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

practice, practice, practice

Back from the Tetons! Fun fun fun. BUT, since the audition is less than 2 weeks away I practiced 2 hours every day before any fun stuff. I'm so impressed with myself (sort of). I know I should be doing more, but really I just want to get on the sub list! And not be awful.

So, one good way to practice is ask your (former) friends to listen to your audition! They can even pretend to be judges and critique. It's really great because the easy stuff you think is nailed suddenly isn't - nothing like a little adrenaline. While my friends were enjoying their first coffee of the day, I forced them to be my "panel" and they picked from the list of 12 excerpts for me to play. I was in the middle of the Mozart oboe concerto (exposition only) when one of the neighbor heard my siren call and stopped by. I had never met this guy (guitarist) but we were all in our pjs! Funny, at least I was completely covered. AND, I didn't stop or lose my place when he came in (without knocking - it's kind of a casual place).

Tomorrow I'm playing for my college teacher, who is actually the reason they are having the auditions (she's retiring from the symphony). Hopefully she will have great insight and I will be able to keep myself focused.

2 days til our next vacation (will they ever stop?) this time to the coast. Hopefully I can find a good place to play where I don't disturb everyone too much as this time there will be 15 people in the house! Should be interesting, but I have to do it because there are only two days left when we get back.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


It has been forever since I posted, but I guess not that much is going on (sob, sob) Oh well, my time is coming, fool that I am. Big orchestra auditions are Aug 14, and I have two 5 day vacations before then. Why do I always have some vacation right before auditions? Stupid. Progress is being made, but I feel woefully inept.

The Fireworks concert was great this year - as always. So lovely to see all the other oboists (and bassoonists, tpts, horns and perc, not to mention the serpent) without all the competition since we ALL get hired. This year we didn't play that much, although the Fireworks Music is plenty all by itself! My son was really excited by the crawdads found on the side of the river this year, much more interesting than the "baroque faire" or the concert, which takes place on a floating stage in the river. I personally did ok - nailing the 16th passage (that every 1st oboe player will know) the second time through - the first time I actually watched the conductor and got a bit lost in the insanity. I think it went very well though, and since there were 9 other 1st oboes it is hard to tell who is "getting" it and who isn't. Sat in the back row for the first time ever, fun to play in the back!

Several other people at the concert are also auditioning, I'm probably the weakest of those I know taking it. Sigh. But my goal is to play well for ME, not to actually win a job I don't really want. So, it would be great to get on the sub list, but as that hasn't happened in the past I'm not holding my breath. Still have the Little Orchestra - and as we are doing Dvorak 9 and have no EH player, I will probably be playing that for our first concert! Should be all set as it is one of the excerpts for the Big Symphony audition. Also doing Hanson Symphony #2, does anyone know if there is EH on that?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Auditions everywhere

Our little orchestra just had auditions for many of the 2nd wind positions. At this point every chair has now been auditioned, which is a big step for what used to be a warm-body group. I was on the hearing committee, my first time to do that. There was only one oboist, so not a big decision, but it was a great experience for me. I was thinking the whole time about my audition for the big symphony and it made me really nervous! I guess I'm not really ready yet, but I still have a month to go.

A funny thing was that the auditions were advertised to be blind. It is probably not that big of a deal since the 2nd positions are not paid, and we are not unionized, but the conductor wanted to follow through. Unfortunately no one had thought about a screen ahead of time. We were in a high school choir room, and there was one of those big velvet curtains for sound absorbing along the back wall. They put a long table about 2 feet out from the wall and draped the curtain over it. Great - except of course the curtain only covered about 6" past the table top, so our legs were all sticking out! Hilarious. I'm sure most of the auditionees were too nervous to pay much attention.

It was wild listening to people and really trying to be critical - of course listening for good things but I found myself really honing in on ANY mistake. It was very enlightening, and one of the flutists (who was offered the job) is really a great player, far better than the other winds but she is here (in the cultural wasteland) with her SO. But her audition was not flawless! I was sort of weirdly comforted by that. Auditioning is such a bizarre thing, but I'm glad to have had the experience of being on the other side.

I had a session with the mysterious G at my place yesterday - a new situation. He has 2 kids and my son usually comes with me to his place and they all play (or fight) while we have a lesson. But we decided it would be fun for them to see our newly remodeled place and my cool studio, so they came to me. Fun! I didn't play fabulously, but progress is being made. I chose not a great reed, will have to be way more on top of things by next month. He did bring me some great new cane (I don't have a gouger) so perhaps I'll make reeds tonight.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

audition comin'

So the Big Orchestra is having auditions for 2nd oboe. I am hoping the current aux oboe will move up, my big competition in town will take that spot and I will be on the sub list. Of course this would mean that no one from out of town wins. Which COULD happen! And I'm sure they won't be filling the sub list from out of town people, so my chances are not awful.

But as always the list is daunting. Not as long as some, but really perfecting any number of excerpts (and that d*#^@ Mozart) is a challenge. The Mysterious G has a system for auditions when he's on the panel - he just tallies every mistake. While this may seem obvious, it was kind of a shock to me! EACH mistake carrying that much weight. It is a really good way to get me to the next level though, I'm kind of a overall sound person as opposed to the notes on the page are the law person. But in an audition you have to play for the panel, and that is the easiest way to weed out people. No mistakes. Thats my new motto. HA!

So any die hard oboe people will want to know the list so here it is: Mozart oboe conc exposition, Brahms Vln Conc, Rossini Silken Ladder, Strauss Don Juan (fast AND slow); 2nd oboe parts: Brahms Variations on a theme by Haydn, Dvorak Cello Concerto (LOW stuff) Prokofiev Classical Symphony, Bach Brandenburg #1; EH parts: Dvorak New World, Rossini William Tell and Strauss Ein Heldenlaben. And there ya go. I have playedat least the excerpts before except Prokofiev, THAT is a true pain. But this will be good for me right?

Went for a coaching with the MG and he actually sat down and acted like it was a real audition! Keep in mind I just got this list a couple days ago, and most of this stuff I'd only played through. But it was surprisingly good experience, not that I sounded great, but I was ok AND now I really know what needs work. Will see him again next week. Audition isn't til August.

Friday, June 12, 2009


My little recorder crew was great! They all played well, we didn't get off on the round (which was harder in the big echo=y room) and they all got through their solo pieces without freaking out (which is the main worry for me). I was kind of freaked out about accompaning on the harp, but it went fine. And of course the harp is an excellent distraction!

I got a lovely rose for helping out this year, and the head teacher made a sweet little speech. I was just one of many "helping staff" or whatever they call us, but it was nice to be recognized. The piano teacher asked if I gave harp lessons! Hahahaha! Guess I fooled her, into thinking I could actually play the harp! Funny how crappy I play the harp and people come up asking for lessons and offering wedding gigs - and that NEVER happens with the oboe. Maybe I should take a hint?

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Tonight is my little recorder class's recital. I am funkily nervous, mostly because I foolishly offered to accompany them on my harp for one piece. I figured it would be no big deal, but harp is not really my "thing". So I'm nervous. Which is crazy, this is a recital for the KIDS, I'm just the accompanist, blah blah blah. Now I know how accompanists feel (sort of!)

In other oboe-y news, I planted my arundo donax (cane plant) from the mysterious G - he has some growing in his yard. I think he planted it two years ago and has made quite a few lovely reeds with the stuff that is the right size. Hopefully mine will grow as well, although D is eyeing it for pikestaffs.

No exciting playing news, but maybe I'll get something done in the garden!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I survived!

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

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

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

Thursday, May 28, 2009

what am I doing?!

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

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


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

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

Monday, May 11, 2009

not my symphony stuff

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


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

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

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

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bad blogger

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

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

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

Friday, April 10, 2009

Gooood Friday

Wow. I always love our Tenebrae service. My organist friend says we should have Tenebrae on Thursday. Oh well, I couldn't do it if it were Thursdays because of orchestra! So I played the EH; that first arrangement in the Thomas Stacey Solos for the EH book - When I am Laid to Rest. PERFECT for Good Friday. And I actually had a reed that worked well - I am so tempting the fates here. MUST work on reeds, but my EH playing is done for the forseeable future.

Yesterday we had Beet 5 rehearsal, I have only played this once, and I was 2nd then. There are actually quite a few exposed places. Yay. This is the only piece I play on this concert, although I love the Mozart Requiem, maybe I will sing since I'm sure they can use people. I have sung it three times, just because every choir I have been in sings it the first thing when I join. Weird.

So Sunday is my big brass moment of the year. Hoping I don't suck. Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Today I auditioned the 7th grade tbone for Easter - I think he'll be ok. It's not like most of the rest of us are super good! He probably sounded as good as I did, and he was able to follow, and skip if he flubbed on the eighths or something. So all good - esp since he is the minister's kid! I was reminded why I'm SOOO glad to not be working there anymore - the minister just drives me nuts. Glad to get a chance to play my "fun" horn, but just as a volunteer!

No orchestra tonight due to spring break (we rehearse at a college), so that is a nice little hiatus. Of course I am not practicing, WISH I could get inspired but all I'm playing on the last concert is Beethoven 5. Not a lot for me, nice little cadenza and a few spots of glory; but not a big oboe concert. I need to get some stuff together for a music club recital in May - just 30-40 minutes worth. Was considering the Dring but we need a good piano (and pianist, who can get noon hour off); would be easier to do things that don't require such. Really not into the whole solo oboe thing, maybe some flute/oboe duets? I also have an excellent cellist.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Feelin LOW

Haha, I've been practicing the Euphonium! Yay for me. J got me one for Xmas, and this (Easter) is the first time I've had a chance to play. Actually, since they DOM at church (who replace the fabulous DOM we had for many years at Christmas) quit a couple weeks ago....this is the one where they FORGOT I was on the music staff when they hired her. I found out from my neighbor. Kinda pushed me to "retire". Mostly I was really mad they had her second interview with the music staff (except me, cuz they forgot) and since the choir director couldn't come, they brought in a former director! I'm annoyed. Let's move on.

Anyway, new DOM quit - too much work, not enough hours, no appreciation - blah blah blah. This poor girl didn't have any real experience and so of course it was taking forever with kinda mediocre results. Oh well. So we are left before Easter with no music planned (to give her props - she did offer to do the Easter service but the pastor said no). But this worked out great for me, I just offered to put together a brass ensemble (read: any brass players I could find that will play for free). There are several people that have done this before, and I just printed out parts from the hymnal for 2 hymns and there we go! Yay.

Only hitch is the pastor (can you tell he's kind of a thorn in the music dept's side?) is asking for his 7th grade son to play trombone. That COULD be ok, if he is really good for a 7th grader. Which he may be - so I said he would have to audition for me. What do I care, he's not my boss anymore. I don't even have a relationship with him as pastor/congregant - the only conversation we've really had is when I quit. He was EXTREMELY grateful when I offered to do the brass for Easter though. So hopefully his son will be up to scratch, cuz I'm NOT putting up with him screwing around (like he did for jr. bell choir) or playing really out of tune or behind. We are only having one rehearsal, and I don't need him so I feel ok about being brutal.

In oboe news, I am putting off practicing the Dring Trio. Anyone know it? Our picc player did it on her recital and thought it would be great - I just started looking at it and it appears to be a counting nightmare (1st mvt). Oh well. Orchestra we have our first Beethoven 5 rehearsal tomorrow - no oboes on the Mozart Requiem so that's it for the year!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Easy concert

The concert actually went amazingly well. Here is that sentence in excruciating detail:
Schwantner: Terrifying, but no big mistakes. The first mvt the bass drum and timps were not super together, but you could just feel the nerves. Also the whole mvt was a bit tentative, but we stayed together and I think it got the point across (whatever that was). Mvt 2, which is a palendrome for sound, went great. Perhaps it would have been better had we played a bit softer at the beginning and end, but still, great.

Mvt 3 is the big oboe mvt. I must say I think it was fine. Not that if I messed it up totally anyone would have known, but *I* was happy with how it went. And my reed responded for all those weird intervals, yay. Mvt 4 is basically review of the previous mvts and it was ok, we even got a Bravo! at the end.

The soloists all did really well every one getting a S.O. The Stravinsky was surprisingly good, esp considering we got the music (and even heard we were doing it) the day before. I mean, it is one thing to spring a Mozart aria on you last minute, but Stravinsky?! Eeek.

The worst part was definately tuning. My reed just wasn't responding during that part - during the actual playing it was great. I don't know if I'm psyching myself out or what, but I MUST do better. So annoying to have all my hard work shot down by a squawky A at the beginning, cuz EVERYONE hears that; and most people have no clue what instrument is playing once the music starts.

Friday, March 13, 2009

And another argh!

Well, tonight is supposed to be our "easy" concert - winners of the concerto competition play (usually) one movement of their piece and we do one orchestral piece. There are 7 winners this year and who would have thought they would all play hard stuff for the orchestra?!!! Actually that isn't true, only most of them are hard. Prokofiev Piano Conc #2 (hard), Ravel Tzaigne (or something like that) ppp high f# solo, Liszt Piano Concerto oboe solo 3x as fast as it should be (IMHO!), Stravinsky Rake's Progress (do you know this Patty?) Anne Somebody's aria - HUGE oboe/EH/bsn solo trio (oxymoron? no one else plays) for like, 20 bars!!!

And all this plus more, but the crowning horror (I say this meaning MY horror of playing it, not that the piece is horrible - that is yet TBD) Schwantner's new piece. We actually played it through last night, but I wish we had another month (!) to work on it. There are so many things about this piece that aren't quite lining up (our fault). The huge oboe solo mvt (3) I have spent hours on with the metronome, and it is really pi$$ing me off that when the other winds come in (joining me), they are playing consistantly wrong rhythms! I can totally understand playing it wrong, because it is quite complicated and looks very scary, but it is quite repetitive. So if they just played it like I did (by myself for say 8 bars, then they join in on the same thing for 20 bars)....Makes me mad. Maybe it will be better tonight - we have only had 2 chances to play that mvt.

The first mvt is probably the most scary - TONS of meter changes, basically every bar. It is fast, and the WWs have these swoopy parts that I think we are all just getting the "shape" of the swoops, not the actual notes (which are more or less 12-tone).

Sorry to rant, but nerve-wracking and my reeds are sucky. As always it seems! I keep getting one and then the weather (or the gods of bad luck) changes and it is terrible. Anyway, I'm sure I will feel better about it after tonight! Next concert we are doing Mozart Requiem, so a nice break for me. Also Beethoven 5 which will be great. I'm doing some solo stuff for church and a little recital thing, but my next big thing will be playing euphonium for Easter!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Schwantner n stuff

This has been a nice little hiatus, but now we have Wednesday and Thursday rehearsals for Friday's concert. Mostly concerto winners, but we are also playing the "premier" of Chasing Light. It was a special commission that will be played in all 50 states, we are somewhere in the middle. I think the actual premier was in Reno last fall.

As far as I'm concerned, it is really hard. I have actually been practicing, but there are parts I won't be getting. How annoying. The only other notable part I have is in the Liszt piano concerto. We should be hearing the soloists tomorrow, usually it is just amazing the talent we get. I can't believe people come from all over the country to play for $500! And lots of them don't win, so they come for nothing.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

on to the next thing

Secret Garden closed last night - kind of a relief! Pitch was really a problem in the pit, but I've heard the audiences really liked the show. Yay. Honestly, if the story gets across and the actors do a good job, the pit is really secondary (sadly). But it is so great to play in a really good pit.

Today I go to the youth orchestra's dress rehearsal - they need an extra oboe so i'll play 2nd with my student playing 1st. The only thing I know they are playing is Braham's Academic Overture. Can't remember ever playing 2nd, but hopefully there won't be anything too stressful (like nasty super soft low notes). After that I really need to look at the evil Schwantner - so hard! I think everything else will be fine (on the orchestra concert, 2 weeks out)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Secret Garden

Tomorrow is opening - kinda terrifying but it was SOOOO much better last night. This is a HS production, they hire a few pros to scatter through the orchestra to sort of "coach". It is so great that they hired me AND my friend M to play clarinet, she was my college roomie and it is so fun to play with her (we also play together in orch, but in this show we actually sit next to each other, fun!) Also a form of sanity as she is a pitch ROCK. The horn player is great too, and the HS players are really coming around. This isn't the craziest show, but it isn't easy if it's your first experience; LOTS of cuts and added vamps and "after m35 go back to song 4 and play m25-130, then return to song 20 at m13 and play to the end" kind of thing. But great experience for them - my FIRST show was when I was in college - Fiddler on the Roof at a comm theater - I couldn't believe I'd never done something like that before it was so fun. Of course that is a great show.

Anyway, M and I are missing orch tomorrow to play for opening night. Next week we will do orch and apparently they are just going to cover our parts in the pit (keyboard I'm sure), DD is NOT happy we won't be there tomorrow, but what can he do? I feel bad, but it is a rehearsal vs. opening; gotta play the show. And we actually get paid 1.5x what we get in orch, which is nice (although not why I'm doing it - the orch has been very good to me!) I will practice the evil Schwantner - holy cow that is harder than Harry Potter (who would have thought?! teehee)

Friday, February 13, 2009

oboe kicking me in the chops

Wow, rehearsal last night was killer. Mostly we are doing moventments from various concertos, but the one "big" piece is Chasing Light by Joseph Schw@ntner. He just wrote it last year, and apparently it is his 12 tone period. Also very minimalist. Which is ok, but sightreading was Nas-ty! I love doing new music, but I'm really hoping this one grows on me.

Tomorrow I have the sitzprobe for Secret Garden, lots o EH. Haven't touched it since November. I did this show in 1996 and really liked it then, but this is a HS production. Of course it was community theater (tiny community) when I did it before, so this could be better (at least in some ways!)

Saturday, February 7, 2009


So one of the big reasons for coming to NY is to see the shows - of course the biggest reason is to see C sing with the Cleveland Orchestra in Carnegie Hall (tonight!). Wednesday we went to a matinee of Wicked - really awesome, pretty much what I expected but so fun - the set was very cool. We walked around a lot but it was SOOO cold - I was wearing two extra shirts under my coat and my scarf over my head (I didn't bring a hat - who wears a hat?!) and it was numbingly cold. Today is the first day it isn't insanely freezing.

Thursday we saw Lion King - as everyone says "the costumes are amazing!" It really was a great thing to see. I am glad I went - looked in the pit and it was like a recording studio in there - all plexiglass partitions and clicktrack headphones and stuff, and obviously a lot of the band was in some other area because they weren't where I could see. The soundboard was immense! Disney production values. But it was WAY better sound than for Wicked - the mix was impeccable and all the instruments I noticed sounded great. The oboe was weak in Wicked - of course I would notice that but I wondered if they had a sub or wonky reeds, no technical issues I heard, just lame sound.

Yesterday we saw Avenue Q - OMG I was LMAO!!!! That is a very different kind of show too, but it was really great. I actually bought the soundtrack and merchandise (which I NEVER do, cuz I'm a cheapskate). Today we are going to In the Heights (matinee), which won the best musical last year, hopefully it isn't too much rap. But I think almost anything we decided to see would be great - all the shows are so good here. And tonight is the orchestra concert - my first time in Carnegie!

Flight to NY

Ok, first of all the flight DID get in and there were no plane problems, but I had a horrible flight. I was leaving at 11am (Pacific time) and supposed to arrive at 8:30 in NY (Eastern time). All was well with leaving, we got into Denver as scheduled. I was a little worried about getting my connecting flight as I only had 40 minutes and it is a big airport, but turned out the gate was right across from where we landed. So I am waiting while they board the plane...and about halfway through they get everyone off. Storm in NY, no more flights into LaGuardia until further notice! Fun.

So they tell us it will PROBABLY be at least 2 hours, maybe more, but they aren't sure and it might be less so we should check in every half hour. But I have a book and get a sandwich so I'm pretty good just sitting there. At least we're not on the runway! After the 2 hours, they start boarding again. We pull out of the gate and are driving around the endless maze of runway weirdness, and then we stop. Another halt from LaGuardia. So we wait for an hour on the runway - sooo fun. They decide to give us free tv to soothe the grumpy people (this was an excellent idea on their part). Finally we take off. Fly fly fly. We see NY, we descend, we land! I can see "Welcome to New York" on a sculpture out the window as we taxi into the gate. Wait! We stop before the gate - no gates available. The pilot announces someone is in our gate and they will be right out. Ten minutes later he announces the other plane is still in our gate but they are working on getting out. Twenty minutes after that he announces they have no control over the other plane as it is another airline, but he is sure they are pushing off soon. After 45 minutes on the runway, we finally pull into the gate. So I finally got to the hotel at 1:35...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Movie concert

I sort of forgot to blog about the concert (obviously a huge thing in my life!) But it went very well, although I still think it was a bit long. Could have bagged Band of Brothers. But a lot of us were really distainful of the "Fifth of Beethoven" that disco version so popular in the 80s, and that was the favorite of many people I talked to! Who would have thought? I still liked our version of Pirates, and Harry Potter was not too bad (so hard! in places) My poor bassoon friend was all morning sick-y throughout the concert. Hopefully she will feel better soon.

Tonight is our only rehearsal for the Black & White Ball - that could be interesting. But I think it is mostly the principals, and we have done all this stuff before. EXCEPT...M is insisting that I need to play tenor sax! On just one piece. I keep telling her it is just not that big of a deal but it is a big band chart (String of Pearls) and she keeps thinking of the actual big band arrangement instead of the orchestral one. So she is bringing her tenor tonight. Which is super generous of her to let me borrow it, just what a pain for one chart. And the bassoon player (with the sickys) could play...M and the flute will play altos. Stupid. Get over it Jill!

Anyway, very exciting because I have coerced our neighbors to go and be "dates" for J. Such a drag for him to just be alone, but hopefully it will be fun. It seemed like a great time last year, although as always the advertising was ABYSSMAL. I don't think they even mentioned that there was dinner (snazzy 3 courses from a 5 star restaurant). Hopefully J will be infected by the fun-ness of all the people dancing, I'd love to take dance lessons (socially acceptable public groping - how can he not like it??!).

Friday, January 23, 2009

Not a graceful loser

I just realized the bell choir never gave me a Christmas present, or even a going away card. Not to keep score, but we gave the choir director a nice thing, and even the organist who had only been there a month got this lovely gift. When H left (granted she had been there 9 years and I only 3) we got her a beautiful handmade wooden music stand. I guess it is more proof that the bells were too much trouble for anyone to deal with.

But tonight it dress rehearsal! I love that we are playing 2 songs with the youth orchestra, and a bunch of them thought you wore your concert dress for dress rehearsal. I remember my first dress rehearsal was for a piano recital, and I agonized over what to wear (cuz I assumed we had to dress up, but I couldn't wear the actual dress because I didn't have it yet). I showed up in a dressy pantsuit (it was the 70s) and everyone else was wearing cutoffs and jeans.

The music sounded better last night - we weren't in the hall as that apparently saves us $800. Which is a large part of our budget for this concert, so good for them. Tonight will be in the hall and I'm sure it will be fine. I kind of love that the stage crew is charging overtime if we are in the hall later than 10 on rehearsals - DD always dragged out the time to 11 or 11:30! NOT professional. This sort of forces him to organize his time better (not his best thing). We have a new orchestra manager - my good friend K! S is still around but busy with work/school for her new career, and I think this change will be good for updating some things in the orchestra.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No bells!

No bells tonight, or ever again - kind of a relief. Although I am a little sad too. Oh well.

This week is our Family concert - so Thurs/Fri/Sat all taken up with rehearsals and concert. But no stress at least, all easy stuff. EXCEPT Harry Potter - OMG hardest stuff ever and I do include everything. Only the 4th mvt of Chamber of Secrets - it is just insanely fast and with no pattern at all. But not exposed really, I decided to not spend the time to get closer (loser) and just noodle around the notes - that is what it sounds like anyway. I wish I was super dedicated and really worked this up, but I just can't get that excited about it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

update on everything

What an insane time. We have had over 70 inches of snow! Crazy. Now much of it is melted, at least on the roads - almost like driving in summer; but for a couple weeks it was really horrible trying to get around. I mostly stayed home going insane. We were supposed to go visit my folks and Jim's right after Christmas, but couldn't get there. Trying to go now, but there is a lot of flooding where they are and the interstate is closed. We have a plan though, so hopefully we can pick our way through the flooded areas and see most of our reletives!

It is so weird to not be worried about the bells. I still have my keys, the weather has been to awful to merit a trip to town for that. Orchestra had our first rehearsal for the Movie concert last night - some really terrible arrangements. Some that are ok. Horrible: Close Encounters, Band of Brothers, Robin Hood (good music, bad arrangements) and ok: Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Trek through the Years, What's Up at the Symphony (cartoons) and Harry Potter (but the 2nd movie so no one knows these themes). There is some other stuff, but the only thing where you can hear the oboe is in "My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic (from some movie medley). That's ok. We are supposed to dress up as a character from one of the themes we are playing - thought I should go as Kate (from Titanic) since we look so much alike (hahaha!) Probably we will all just be pirates or wimp out and wear white/black. Oh well.