28. May 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble


In other words, Pendleton’s orchestra gives even career musicians the meaning and passion that they miss elsewhere. They don’t do it for the money: Pay ranges from volunteer to $50 per service (rehearsals and the concert), with up to $75 travel reimbursement. The Oregon Symphony pays freelancers $170 per service.

Okay … that’s more than I make here in Symphony Silicon Valley! Quite a bit more. I only get “side pay”, as I’m not a principal player (in some orchestras the English horn player is considered a principal player, but in SSV I’m not even listed as the EH player, although I do play it when it’s called for). So why is the writer of this article about the Oregon East Symphony implying that the freelancers don’t do it for the money? Hmmm. Maybe they are paying their principal players that amount. Maybe the article just isn’t being clear. I wonder.

Update: Well DUH … the $170 is for the Oregon Symphony, not for the Oregon East Symphony. I can be so dumb sometimes.

—Insert pause here while readers laugh.—

Okay, okay … I can be so dumb all the time!

But anyway, the article itself is a good read. They symphony suffered a fire that took their music and much more. Kenneth Woods is the conductor, and you can read his blog by following my link.

Oh .. wait … there IS this: Saturday, the day before the concert, is crunch time. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Woods drills the woodwinds, brass and strings on notes and style in separate sectional rehearsals. That night, he takes them through the entire symphony one last run time. They grind out each movement.

Um … maybe that pay mentioned above is for an 8 hour service? Yikes! Now that would not be such a great thing.

(Side note: some folks see our “service pay” and think we earn so much more than they do. Keep in mind we supply our own equipment—have you checked the price of instruments lately?—we practice on our own time, and, at least for me, there’s no vacation pay, no substantial sick leave, and no benefits … I’m not complainin’, I’m just sayin’ ….)

Today is “figure out the rest of my life summer, since I know I’m going to feel a bit lost without any playing jobs. I did get my hopes up, thinking maybe we actually had a July 3 gig, but turns out the Mercury News was printing up something we did several years ago. Whoa. Get your act together, Merc!

Maybe I’ll even get my house cleaned up completely …? (Note that I’m NOT mentioning my yard here!)
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