17. July 2005 · Comments Off on Countdown & More · Categories: imported, Ramble

I am down to single digits: 9 more shows remaining. 7 more days of driving up to San Francisco. July 24 is our final show. So see it now if you live in this area, catch this production on tour (probably only a year or so left), or plan on seeing a cut down version of Les Mis, that will, most likely, use virtual orchestra.

In Response to “Say What!!!???, blogger Scott Spiegelberg has a sadly erroneous opinion regarding what is most important. Too bad he’s wrong, eh? I’ll play a hauntingly lovely oboe solo in honor of him anyway. I’m nice that way. 😉

15. July 2005 · Comments Off on It Is Not Very Smart … · Categories: imported, Ramble

for a teacher to cut her finger using her reed knife, while teaching an oboe reed making lesson. Well, except that she can then say, “Don’t do this at home!” to the student.

It’s a dumb thing, too, when said teacher has to play 12 more shows of Les Mis.


Oh well. What can one do? This is the first time I’ve ever sliced my left index finger like this.My half hole finger. Sigh. So far it doesn’t hurt too much, but it is one good slice.

14. July 2005 · Comments Off on Santa Cruz Symphony Audition · Categories: Announcements, imported

Since this is a local audition I thought I’d give it a special mention: Santa Cruz Symphony will be holding Principal Oboe auditions in August. Check it out here.


The principal oboe player is arguably the third most important musician in an orchestra, right behind the music director and concertmaster (principal first violinist). It’s the oboist who tunes the orchestra at the beginning of every concert (with that familiar, plaintive “A” tone). And it’s that player who leads the other wind players with her instrument’s instantly recognizable nasal sound.

This quote is from a recent article* about the winner of the Rochester Philharmonic oboe audition.

… but I thought we were the most important!

Needless to say I will be puzzling over this for days to come. 😉

And about that word “plaintive” … I am weary of it. Can we think of something else? (But not “whiney” please!) I don’t think I like the word “nasal” either when describing our sound. I suppose it’s correct, but it just bugs me. Let’s stick to “beautiful, lovely, perfect …”. Yes. Those will do!

The article talks about all the oboe openings that are occurring these days. It’s a wonderful time for the young, talented and energetic.

Me? I like where I am, thank you very much.

*article no longer available

14. July 2005 · Comments Off on More Auditions · Categories: Announcements, imported

I’m in the process of updating the current US audition page. I’ve managed to locate some of the repertoire, but not all orchestras list the repertoire online, so if any reeders have any information I’ll gladly take it!


13. July 2005 · Comments Off on Music Quote · Categories: imported, Quotes

Son, don’t ever take “no” from an inanimate object.

-Attributed to John Mack

13. July 2005 · Comments Off on One Mean Ukelele · Categories: imported, Ramble

This link was found via Lawrence Dillon’s site. Pretty amazing player. I didn’t realize ukelele could be played this way.

And isn’t ukelele a weird word. Say it a dozen times. See what I mean?

OT: Count is 40/15 😉

11. July 2005 · Comments Off on Music Quotes · Categories: imported, Quotes

Musical inspiration is the gift of God. Use it with the purest motives. Aim high and consider yourself capable of great things. Lend your talents to the world to make it better.

-Rildia Bee O’Bryan (pianist Van Cliburn’s mother)

11. July 2005 · Comments Off on Beautiful Oboe Playing · Categories: imported, Links

On occasion I check the links I have to the left of this page, just to make sure they are still up and running. This time I actually took the time to listen (!) to Eugene Izotov’s clips. You have simply got to go here and click on the library. This is some mighty fine oboe playing!

11. July 2005 · Comments Off on Hoorah For Monday! · Categories: imported, Ramble

Laundry. House cleaning. Sorting through bills. Relaxation.

… and no oboe for a day.

Well, probably no oboe. I may decide to take both instruments out at some point, just to check the adjustments. I think it’s time to check them again. Having Carl Sawicki’s book The Oboe Revealed, which includes a very clear chapter on adjusting the oboe and English horn, has been a real life saver this summer.

So … Tales From the Pit:

On Saturday afternoon I had major problems with my #1 oboe, and I was able to give thanks for the new (old) instrument I picked up recently, as it got me through the show. I even played the big solo on it, and it did just fine. #2 is a bit brighter than #1, but its response is a bit easier so I don’t worry as much about the first note.

The reason for the major problems with Oboe Numero Uno? Air Conditioning! Yes, I’ve mentioned this before, but it was so incredibly obvious this time and I just feel like whining a bit about it while I can (I guess Mondays are also for whining!). It was hot out, and the air was on a bit too high for my peculiar little oboe. I could feel it going, and knew it would protest too much on the first note of the sewer solo, so I bravely switched oboes during the first half. The intonation of #2 isn’t quite the same as #1, so I still have kinks to work out, but I sure was glad to have it there to rescue me!

For the past few weeks I’ve had #2 sitting on the stand, waiting for its moment in the sun (or in the dark, really). I’m sure it was wanting some attention; I keep #1 on my lap and poor #2 has to sit on the double stand I have. When I’m playing English horn #1 gets to stay on my lap rather than going on to the stand in place of the EH. It’s not all that comfortable to have it there while tooting the EH, but it keeps it a bit warmer. (For those of you who don’t realize this, putting your instruments on stands can cause great problems; the instruments get cold when they sit there, and they are much more prone to both water in the octave keys and cracking, along with intonation questions since they get so darn cold … or at least that’s what I think, for what my thinking is worth!)

But I ramble. Both oboes have been used. Both are doing well (as long as no air conditioning is on for poor #1). Both Saturday night and Sunday matinee oboe #1 was back in the line-up and did great. Having a second instrument is, I’ve decided, an absolute MUST. (My colleagues should now be shaking their heads and saying, “Big DUH” … everyone knows an oboist has to have that second instrument. I’m just sloooow.)

Someday maybe I’ll tell other tales — those about the stage and audience. We’ll see.

When I’m through with this show I really must get #1 to the shop. I think the crack that has been pinned is what is causing the trouble when it gets cold; I suspect it merely needs a bit of TLC … maybe some extra pins or maybe just some super glue. I’m not sure how all that gets taken care of. Guess I’ll find out soon enough.

So … 39/16. Know what I’m talkin’ about? 😉