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!