Sunday, January 24, 2010


Our family concert was yesterday, and my clarinet-wielding friend really played amazingly well on the Shaw Jazz concerto. I must say it was kinda fun playing the saxophone, although I'm glad it was THAT concert. Looks like there may be an opening in a dance band which I might consider doing as a sub, but I don't think I want another weekly gig. But excellent to get those sax chops going.

The Mother Goose Suite went well, this was the "real" music on the program, the rest being little fun bits like D's favorite Russian Sailor's Dance - that was one of the first pieces I playing in a symphony back in the youth orchestra days. Now we have a hiatus for about a month (budget cuts) before our next rehearsal.

Quintet is finally rehearsing again this week, and I'm hoping to nail down some concert ideas for March/April. We really need to get going or there won't be any space available - all the schools have overflowing concert halls in May/June. I'd love to play some of the stuff on the Imami Winds album, but I think that would be out of reach for a concert that soon.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

stuff goin on

After my last post the conductor of the little symphony called and asked me to play the tenor sax for our next concert (which is in 6 days). I was kind of glad, because I'm trying to improve my doubling chops, I'd like other musicians to see that I can play sax, this is a kiddie concert and I don't have a lot to play, but still! It was a bit nerve wracking to have less than 12 hours notice (and no music) before playing an instrument I'm not all that comfortable with. AND I had actually forgotten that my "new" sax has not been played with others - but it went fine (at least no one told me I was terrible). We are doing the Shaw Clarinet Concerto (jazz) and my old college roomie is just wailin' on the clarinet part!

The Laubin also made it's public debut on Thursday - big success I think. Seems to have a really lovely tone and the pitch is great. I ALSO played my new Laubin bocal (in the english horn, part of the mouthpiece) and that is great too! I do need to get more familiar with the upper register, the notes just seem to sing out there but I'm not used to it being so easy and was overadjusting.

We are doing the Mother Goose Suite, and I will play eh for that, the only piece of any difficulty on the program. The eh has a few solo-y bits that are higher than the usual eh fare. The biggest worry is that we are in a new venue (a church with a carpeted stage). We don't get any time in there except the hour before the concert! We did do a Messiah concert in the space, but I really don't have a sense of the sound - one of the attendees just told me you couldn't hear ANYTHING from the audience except through the mics. I hate the idea of mics for the orchestra, and I don't think we have anywhere close to the equipment that would take, but DD is trying to build a stage before next week! Just plywood sheets painted black, but what a huge undertaking, and all without being able to test at all before the concert. Crazy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Still haven't had a chance to "test" the Laubin in a rehearsal - nothing going on til Thursday. But yesterday I went to j's band and played clarinet. It was really fun! Since I play out of tune (somewhat) on clarinet it doesn't bother me nearly as much. Hehe. Anyway, I'm playing 3rd, which actually had some great parts, and I am quite sure I won't be bored with this. I will play oboe on any solos he needs (as there is no other oboe available) but mostly I'll just be 3rd clarinet. This is great practice for me doubling.

This weekend I was a judge for our young artists competition. I was pretty excited to be asked and it was fun but I also felt a lot of pressure, deciding people's fates. There were at least 8 people in the winds category (the only one I judged) who flew in from the east coast from big name schools. It is kind of unfortunate that the local students really don't stand a chance with such competition, but there was a definate tier of abilities. Several of the locals did a good job, but they were not even close to the professionalism of these fancy imports. Having said that - it is exciting there is such interest from all over the country, and it was so hard to narrow down the top 5 spots to just one winner. I was exhaused and sooo glad I didn't judge the other 5 catagories.