24. July 2009 · Comments Off on Reminder! · Categories: Concert Announcements


A fabulous oboist and English hornist, Janet Popesco, sent me the following and I encourage you to attend!

I’d like to let you know of an upcoming ‘Music & Nature’ chamber music concert featuring members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra to benefit the wonderful Muir Heritage Land Trust & celebrate their 20th birthday.

Sunday July 26, 4pm
Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church
49 Knox Drive
Lafayette, CA

Performers include:
Dawn Harms, violin
Emil Miland, cello
Janet Popesco Archibald, oboe & English Horn
Margaret Wong Fondbertasse, piano
Jonathan Dimmock, organ
Judith Yan, piano

Suggested donation is $25.00, with all proceeds going directly to the Muir Heritage Land Trust.

Birthday cake & coffee served at intermission!

Hope you can make it & help us support this great organization which helps preserve our open spaces in Contra Costa County!

Go here

24. July 2009 · Comments Off on Too Funny! · Categories: Links, Other People's Words

My summer services with the Huntington Symphony Orchestra over the last 10 or so years have been some of the most unique. The concerts there are not just outdoors. The orchestra is outdoors AND sitting on a river barge. I must confess that stepping onto a river barge was not something I ever yearned to do. I managed to grow up, attend college, earn a master’s degree, get married, and give birth twice and didn’t feel there was much missing in my life, but sitting on a barge in moving water while playing the oboe has been like nothing else I’d ever done. Depending on the water level and amount of traffic on the river, it can be quite disorienting to be playing while the barge bounces around. It’s certainly not something that those with motion sickness should attempt!

You really must read the whole thing.

Ah, the joys of outdoor concerts.

24. July 2009 · 2 comments · Categories: Videos

Or something. I’m not sure what CATegory of music it falls under. CATssical, perhaps.

24. July 2009 · Comments Off on The Day The Music Died · Categories: Links

“The Monterey Bay area has a huge, diverse population. Dealing with budget cuts and No Child Left Behind is killing most elective programs. After-school athletics is not far behind. Pay to play will become the future.

Music education is not equal throughout California. The kids who attend public schools in affluent neighborhoods seem to have excellent music programs. Poorer neighborhoods have little to none.

You can see this happening all over the state. More and more schools have become Program Improvement schools that are required to focus on language arts and math only. No electives. And yet, it is the electives that give language arts and math meaning to a young mind.”

Read the whole thing by starting here.

What I read in that article is not new — or news — to me. It is sad. Eventually, though, people won’t have a clue what they are missing and that will be even sadder.

24. July 2009 · Comments Off on Watching The Tour · Categories: Ramble

I’m watching the Tour de France, although not quite as crazily as I have done in past years. I think all the doping stuff got to me and I don’t get as thrilled any more. Or maybe I’m just not in the right “space” to get into things like the tour currently. Dunno.

(Side note: Hmmm. Shouldn’t I call it “le Tour de France” or else “the Tour of France”? But everyone here calls it “the Tour de France”, mixing languages. Go figure.)

But just now they talked about the unspoken rules of the tour. Things like “who’s in charge” and when you do not attack (like during the feeding time or “nature breaks”). It made me think about this business I’m in and whether we have unspoken rules.

I found out that the Il Divo concert last night used local musicians. I didn’t get hired. When this happens and the gig is 5 minutes from my home, I do wonder who did the contracting. I sort of want to know (and sort of don’t!) if I’ve been dumped from someone’s list. But once I find that out, I don’t jump in and do anything about it unless it’s a job that is required to ask me. (I’m first call in Opera San José, being the principal here, and second in SSV, being second oboe. If I had been overlooked by either of those groups you can bet I’d jump on it. But that’s never happened, and it didn’t happen with Il Divo.) The contractor was someone I don’t know at all (Whew! I’ve not been dumped!), the orchestra was extremely small (Someone actually wrote that the singers are singing to a tape and the 12 piece orchestra is there for looks.), and the oboist who was hired is someone I’ve heard of but never worked with. I’m sure she’s quite capable, and I can’t begrudge her the work. We are all looking for work, after all.

Years ago (something over 25 years ago, actually!) a New York musician told me about the cutthroat technique of some musicians; if a musician heard that a good job was coming in, he/she would call the contractor to get the gig, going so far as to lie and say, “I heard your [insert name here] isn’t available so I thought I’d let you know that I am.” I can’t imagine how this wouldn’t come back to haunt a person. If it really even happened. Some musicians still call contractors, and I think that works for certain players, but I can’t do that. I’m just not an aggressive person. If I get the gig, great. If not, I’ll survive.

Anyone out there have hiring horror stories? I’ll bet …!

& now back to the Tour. It’s my form of exercise these days.

24. July 2009 · 4 comments · Categories: TQOD

I’m thinking of learning a new instrument, maybe the Oboe, yeah that would be cool, erm what is an Oboe?

24. July 2009 · Comments Off on Conducted By David Roberston · Categories: Links, Oops!


Classical music fans who were looking forward to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s world-premiere CD release of John Adams’ “Doctor Atomic Symphony” on Tuesday are going to have to wait another week — and they can thank a typo for the delay.

That’s because a minor printing error at Nonesuch has caused the shipment to be pushed back to July 28. A misspelling of the conductor’s name meant that the cover art had to be reprinted, resulting in the one-week postponement, according to the music company.

The first album cover (pictured) misplaced the “t” from St. Louis Symphony music director David Robertson’s name.


24. July 2009 · 9 comments · Categories: News, Oboe

Yamaha Corporation of America, Band & Orchestral Division, has announced the new YOB-841L custom oboe. Developed in close cooperation with the principal oboists of some of America’s top orchestras, the new oboe features a lined upper joint and toneholes for increased durability and resistance to wood cracking.

“The technology used in the lining of the upper joint and toneholes makes this oboe more versatile than ever,” says Jonathan Goldman, product marketing specialist, Yamaha Wind Instruments. “We know that oboists across the country will appreciate the increased tonality and projection of this model.”

The YOB-841L features an “open” bore configuration optimized to match “American” style reeds. This inner bore shape is complemented by tapered tone-holes with conical undercutting for a dark silky tone with a focused center. The increased durability expands the opportunities of playing situations for the oboe.

I read it here. I wonder if those who are currently at the 2009 IDRS convention are getting to see this oboe and try it out.

I had so hoped that I’d get to England for this convention, but money and life chose otherwise. Oh well.