Wednesday, November 20, 2013

European tour

Well, I just got back from my tour of Europe with the Cleveland Orchestra! See, there I am, in the back row, on the right...wearing red...
Hahaha-- yes I'm there but as a guest, it was really fun and I had an amazing view of the oboe section. It was odd to be behind the orchestra (NOT what I expected) but pretty cool to see the conductor's expressions. That is an amazing group of musicians. 

In my little world, just finished an long run of Les Mis at the community theater, we had our Pictures concert combined with the college orchestra, and I played bach's Wedding Cantata, certainly one of my all time favs! Prior to that was my first experience as the orchestra manager for a production of Rigoletto, which I also played. That is a lot, playing AND taking care of all the details, but what a wonderful experience. I feel like my playing improved hugely during those two weeks- really want to continue that. 

Now looking forward to another performance of Pictures (2nd oboe/EH this time) and Brahms Violin concerto, which has a big oboe solo all violinists are jealous of. Not a lot of Christmas gigs this year, but that is good since January looks busy (5 wks of Crazy for You, Family concert and Black & White Ball). 

I've been making reeds again, seems like the baby excuse is pretty lame when the "baby" is 12! Really hate leaky reeds, trying to become the expert on sides that seal every time. Also have decided response must trump sound, this has been my downfall and I'm not going to stand for it any more. That being said, it's been two weeks since I've touched the oboe (European tour, remember?!) so I'm off to practice. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

It's that time of year again...

I'm feeling bloggy today. Here's what is going on up on Mica Peak musically - I am the contractor for the local opera this year! For the orchestra part at least. This is a new experience for me and I'm kind of intrigued by it! Several people who really never gave me the time of day before are cozying up to me, kinda funny. But I'm so excited to hear how the group I've pulled together will sound, our first rehearsal is next Tuesday. The opera is Rigoletto - and I did hire myself to play! The symphony's summer concerts are going really well, nothing big for me but that is FINE. We are going Pictures at an Exhibition, Candide, Cappriccio Italian and Polovtsian Dances for our season opener, that ought to be good. But wait, there's more! I'm also opening 5 weeks of Les Mis with the local theater. So glad it's an oboe/eh show instead of a 5-6 horn show. I suppose I will have chops of steel by the end of October, and I will need them because... In November I'm playing the wedding cantata! This is an endless stream of beautiful oboe-ness (as so many Bach arias are!) but there is not a rest to be seen. I'm pretty excited about this as Bach was my specialty (so to speak) back in the day - and no one does baroque music around here, at least not with me. After all that there is a short break before our symphony christmas concert (Brahms Violin Concerto - also known as Brahms secret oboe concerto). But during that break I'm touring Europe with the Cleveland Orchestra! Yeah, ok - they didn't exactly hire me...but I'll be hobnobbing with the elite! Does that seem like enough stuff? I guess I should mention I've been making reeds again, my source has kind of dried up and it seems like my nearly 12 yo is not the excuse he was 12 years ago! Extremely happy with my eh reeds - but I'm looking for fun varigated thread. I'm tired of boring one-color thread. Someone gave me this great blue vari and I want more - hate the multi color stuff though - too much. I like the more subtle change of color. Isn't reed making fun?

Saturday, May 4, 2013


There is something pretty magical about playing a world premier. No audience has ever judged the music, each part is created by the performers around you, with no looming prior performance by John Mack ( or pick your favorite musician) to make THIS first playing of the piece less.

Our jazz piano concerto (which our little symphony commissioned!) was amazing last night- not perfect playing (except perhaps by the soloist/composer Brent Edstrom), but thoroughly appreciated by the audience. What a great experience.

The Beethoven 3 was certainly the best we'd ever played it, so wish we could afford at least one rehearsal in the concert hall! It sounds very different in there. But we pulled it off, and my idea to dedicate the Heroic Symphony to our local heroes was inspired and tragic, as just yesterday a planeful of our local servicemen exploded over Afghanistan. The tribute to those heroes and the ones at the concert was very moving, one of our violinists spoke in his full army dress uniform, don't guys always look amazing in uniform?

Today my son and dh are coming, D will usher for the first time and to mark the occasion he decided he needed new pants! This is amazing since he refuses to wear anything but sweats normally. But even more thrilling is that when I was debating how to shop for pants in my insane schedule, dh volunteered to go to the MALL (synonymous with hell for him). But pants have been procured and the show will go on--

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Concert Attendance

I am feeling really bummed that I can't seem to give away tickets to our final symphony concert. Seems that this time of year is difficult, but it is our season finale! Since I have taken on the uneviable position of Public Relations Chair (volunteer position, mind you) in addition to the Graphic Design position (also volunteer) and Multi-media...person (again, volunteer) I have been bustin my (*&#$(* trying to get the word out about concerts and events. I don't think I do a bad job. Here is the cover of our brochure for next year I thought this was fun since we are doing Pictures at an Exhibition next year... Maybe I'm just doing too much. No one seems to care if our little symphony continues or not, and I do get that this isn't saving the world or anything. I just want to play and have other people be on the board, take care of details like ticket sales and marketing. But there is no one. Literally no one. Maybe this means this group should die (like so many others) and I should get on with my life. I do have other things I could be doing! I'm thinking I will resign at least two positions at the next board meeting and see what happens.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Passing the torch

Hey this is my first blog using the iPhone! I know it's been a long time but at least I can try to keep up if it's on the phone.
D had his first band concert, Which was a big event in my life too. As you can see he's playing the bassoon which was certainly not my choice! He loves it and I'm so proud.
In symphony we just finished our young artist concert which went very well, I had several exposed moments but nothing huge. For our finale concert in May, I have Beethoven three, otherwise known as the oboe I'm not feeling too left out!
We had a band concert last week also, I was playing bass clarinet for this. Really fun to play all that low stuff, as long as you have the right reed! I'm also in the middle of the Drowsy Chaperone, a musical that is very hilarious. Playing bass clarinet, B-flat clarinet, and Bari sax, super fun music-20s style jazzy.
Looking forward to a little respite from the insanity, the show closes next week and I can't wait! We will be playing for Easter at church, I'll be doing euphonium again which should be amusing. Also appears I will be doing a stint on that recorder, an instrument I never expected to get paid to play. Funny I never realized the alto recorder has the same fingerings as the lower register of the B-flat clarinet. Hopefully this will make it easy for me, but I am not very good on the clarinet either.