28. May 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Quotes

You come in from Snodgrass, Iowa – I came from Tulsa, via Phoenix and Charlotte, N.C. – and San Francisco is a huge change from those cities. You get here, and there’s nobody stroking you and making sure that you’re going to be OK. They don’t have time.

And of course, the bar is higher. So somebody like me – I’m brash and arrogant, and I’m going to say, ‘I’m here, world,’ and they say, ‘OK, stud, show us what you’ve got.’ And you do and then they say – rightfully – ‘That was OK, that was not. That was good and that stunk.’

I didn’t handle it well. My ego was writing checks that my talent couldn’t cash.

-Mark Delavan

(Read here, and thanks JA, for the heads up!)

28. May 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, News, Opera, Ramble, Videos, Watch

Oh dear, oh dear … the Met has Mice. Yikes.

During an April 9 restaurant inspection at the Met, the department found “evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or nonfood areas,” according to reports on the department’s Web site.

And now, as promised, the meeces …

I received an email yesterday from a former student. The person had attended a Beauty and the Beast performance and had wondered if I’d be playing. BUT … the oboe “didn’t sound like you”. Seeing my name in the program the student decided I must have played English horn.

Well, I played both, of course.

Now how to interpret that?

Either I sounded so bad on oboe the student couldn’t believe it was me, or the oboe sounded better than the student thinks I sound …?

I, of course, go with the former.

It’s sort of like a person saying, “Hey, I thought you were in front of me at the mall yesterday, only the person was too fat to be you!” … and you were at the mall. You know?

Yes, I tend to take things in the negative. I’m an oboist, after all!

But anyway, it was a weird email to get, and I did write back to say, “Hmmm. What does that mean?” or some such thing.

28. May 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Oboe

How old were you when you mother enrolled you in the music program for inner-city kids?

I think I was eight or nine. By the way, I also played the oboe and the clarinet.

Really

It was nothing to brag about Funny story: I practiced on the oboe every single day but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get it. When I finally returned the instrument I learned that it was defective, it didn’t work … there was something wrong with the keys! Anyway, I never got a second whack at it!

(Read here)

I can’t tell you how many students come into my studio with horrendous instruments! This is why I now require students to get a better instrument within two months of starting up with me … if not sooner!