I had blogged about a couple entr’actes being cut, but my part was mis-marked. They didn’t cute the flute/harp one that everyone knows and loves. They cut the one with the oboe solo.

I can really not worry about this opera at all now. Even so, there wasn’t much to really fret over, as that entr’acte is one I’m comfortable with.

Here’s the Aragonaise that you’ll miss (It really is fun to play!):

08. April 2009 · Comments Off on The Life of a Freelancer · Categories: Videos

I found it here.

And now I have to get ready for rehearsal. This means checking reeds to see which I’ll begin with, packing up, and doing my “idiot check” (oboe, reeds, swab, music, tuner, reed making equipment, pencils — “big duh”, those — water, tray, lumbar support) so I don’t forget anything. Because yes, I do forget things if I’m not careful!

08. April 2009 · Comments Off on Well, But They Did This In Arizona · Categories: Links, News

… I’m sure we Californians would test differently. Right?

Testing and music

Kendall Holland and Mollie O’Donnell wanted to know how different kinds of music affected student testing.

They tested classical, rap, rock, country and no music at all on three eighth-grade math classes, playing the music five minutes before and during each test.

“We thought classical music would show the most positive result during testing,” Kendall said.

“Country actually did the best,” Mollie said, adding that this really surprised them, because their research said classical would give the best results.

“Rap and rock seemed to be everyone’s favorite kind of music,” Mollie said. “… but they did the worst on it.”

Kendall said country was the students’ least favorite, “and everyone was all cranky on country day,” but they did the best on the tests, probably because they were trying to block out the country music.

I read it here.

08. April 2009 · Comments Off on Carmen Time · Categories: Opera, Ramble

So it’s now a month of Carmen. Today is our first rehearsal, which means no singers, which means … well … kind of boring, really. I’ve played Carmen before — maybe as many as four runs (I don’t keep track). I know it, and it’s not one that stresses me out (hoorah!).

What I am a bit stressed about are reeds (no surprise), my cough (yes, it’s still going strong) and my back (ouch, ouch, ouch). I’ve done something crummy to my back and it’s been out since last Wednesday. It’s pretty bad, but I can get around, so there’s that. But I’m ready for the back to be better. I’m ready for the cough to disappear. And I’m ready for the reed fairy to make an appearance!

Hmmm. If I’d taken today off I could have taught my students. I wish I had thought of this earlier. Rats! (But of course then I’d worry that everyone else was one rehearsal “ahead” of me, so there’s that.)

I wish opera would think to put more rehearsals at night. Most of us in the pit teach privately, and we lose that income for these first two weeks. But others are in symphonies that are rehearsing and performing at night for these first two weeks, so I suppose it’s working around them rather than the teachers in the pit.

Oh well. It’s employment. I should just be thankful.

I am thankful. Really. :-)

So there’s that, too.

08. April 2009 · Comments Off on Notes To Young Conductors · Categories: Links, Ramble

Robert Levine has a blog entry titled Notes to Young Conductors that is worth reading. But it also got me thinking about some of the notes I might like to write.

  • Notes to new orchestra members
  • Notes to old orchestra members
  • Notes to old conductors

Yeah, I guess I have a lot I’d like to say. But will I? I dunno. I’ve already written things about ettiquette and maybe that’s enough.

At the same time, I suspect some conductors might want to respond to Robert’s note.

Not that Robert would do anything like the things that I find irksome, but I’ve grown quite weary of orchestra members who try to teach conductors lessons. I hate it when musicians stop listening. It can be really clear when an orchestra has pretty much dismissed a conductor. I hate the snide remarks some orchestra members make, and I’m especially upset when a musician deliberately plays crassly just because he or she feels the need to express some anger, or teach a conductor a lesson..

We musicians can be a tough crowd. I’ve seen it far too often. It gets very tiring.

Not that you’d ever see anything like that in an orchestra I work with. ;-)

08. April 2009 · Comments Off on Singing ‘Round The World · Categories: Videos

This sort of touches my heart … I’m sappy sometimes.

(The other part of me has some questions and all, but we’ll stick with sappy right now. I think I need sappy today.)

08. April 2009 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

I forgot how much i love practicing my Oboe :-)

08. April 2009 · Comments Off on Hectic · Categories: Links, Ramble

Today through Saturday morning I’m one busy camper. I have opera rehearsals (Carmen with Opera San José) along with teaching (both private and UCSC), a performance to attend (San Francisco Symphony), a Giants (Go Team!), a Good Friday service (on which I play both English horn and oboe) and of course other things that pop into life.

I’m not complaining; “Better Busy than Bored” is something I frequently say. But I do need to keep track of where I’m suppose to be.

And I hope I don’t forget which instrument I’m supposed to be playing. ;-)