This week started out somewhat poorly, so I’m hoping it’s all just going to get better and better. Time will tell.

It’s not the music that has been an issue. But people. What is it with people. Including me?

At Sunday’s SSV concert I had a lot of sitting time, as I didn’t play the middle two works. A lot of people were in the same boat … or musicians’ room anyway. So I was minding (well, pretty much) my own business and a conversation began that veered in several disagreeable directions, finally winding up with one colleague telling me, in front of a number of others, that one of the universities where I teach is just the worst music school ever. The person then proceeded to name professors there and call them crazy or horrible. Of course it also would end up being the school my son attends, wouldn’t you know. So I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be in that conversation, nor could I understand why someone would be so tactless, although I suppose I should always consider the source.

Last night was the Messiah Sing Along, which is a no-stress, enjoyable evening. The crowd is always enthusiastic and Leroy Kromm is really great with them, educating them, managing to get them to sing pretty well, and still maintaining some decorum for the work. Prior to beginning, though, the concertmaster stood and asked for an A. I gave it. That was that. Turns out, though, that the pianist (Piano?! In Messiah?!) was pretty furious. The contractor kindly and gently informed that the the pianist preferred I listened to him first. Well, yes, that’s the way we normally work, but 1) I didn’t even know they would really be using the piano, as we had always had either an organ or harpsichord before and 2) it was so noisy with the crowd that I’m not sure tuning was exactly perfect in the first place. But I agreed I’d do that for the second half. Then the pianist came over and was so angry I was quite shaken up. He informed me that he would take no responsibility for intonation problems. Hmm. I’ve never known a pianist who did take responsibility. I suppose they should if they are tuning their own instruments, but it really is sort of out of their hands, right? But in any case, I suppose I was wrong, but I do think he didn’t need to be so angry. It threw me for a time.

The thing is, I handle confrontation very poorly. Everyone who knows me knows that! First of all, I always assume I’m at fault. Always. Even when I act as if I don’t believe I am. I assume everything is my responsibility and I’m the one to blame. My pal and fab musician DK says it’s because we are “good girls”. I think she’s right. I’ve always wanted to be the good one, the people pleaser, that sort of thing. And I’m into peace at all costs. Go figure.

Anyway, off to UCSC … then students … then Nuts begin! Busy, busy week. That will continue to get better and better, I’m sure.



  1. These are times when I’m grateful that my first oboe teacher Larry Brezicka was also a personnel manager and let me hang out behind the stage and see all the ins out outs. One lesson Larry taught me was that some things are simply out of your control, and there are a lot of unhealthy people out there, and you just need to recognize that it’s not your fault for upsetting them, and it’s not your responsibility to please everyone. I’m sure Larry would say in this situation that the pianist needs to remove that big candy cane out of his A$$.

  2. My head agrees with you, Cooper. It’s my darn heart … it tends to take things very hard. And, as I said, I just always assume blame. I’m not sure why I’m programmed that way, but I am. I’ve always been that way … even as a young child I remember always thinking things were my fault. Go figure! :-)