I don’t frequently get the honor (and yes, I mean honor) of attending a student’s concert. My schedule so often conflicts directly with students’ concerts that I rarely get there. Today would have been another of those days. I was originally scheduled to play a Symphony Silicon Valley concert. But plans change. Sometimes guest artists cancel. And sometimes that means a change in program. The change this week meant that I had a week off (with no pay, of course, but that’s how this biz works if you aren’t salaried). This was a time where I was actually very pleased to have been released; I could attend the California Youth Symphony concert, under the direction of a friend I haven’t seen in eons, Leo Eylar.

I have two students currently in the senior group there (Hi Vincent! Hi Timothy!). Timothy is playing English horn in the orchestra and they had DeFalla’s Three Dances from the Three Cornered Hat and Respighi’s Pines of Rome on the program. That’s a mighty fun English horn program! Also included was Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto (with a very talented 17 year old Palo Alto High School student, Stella Chen, as soloist) and Higdon’s wonderful Blue Cathedral.

I tell my students, “If you don’t go to hear other people play concerts, why do you think anyone would come to hear yours?” I try to encourage them to attend concerts. If I’m going to push that, I really need to practice what I preach, yes?

But mostly, it’s just a joy to go hear my students play. Timothy was wonderful on English horn. Vincent did a great job. Truly, the entire orchestra was so impressive. So I say a loud, “Bravi tutti,” to the group. I look forward to more!


  1. I heard yesterday’s CYS concert also.

    I was wondering who Timothy was studying with. I should have known! To do two of the best solos in the literature in one concert – wow!

    And Stella Chen just blew me away! Imagine what she will be in another few years…

  2. Aw, wish I’d known you were there, Bob! I would have looked around for you. (I go to these, sit down, and never move until the concert is over, so I don’t look around much or mingle during intermission.)

    Yep, Timothy is a student of mine. Wonderful student, I must say!

  3. OH … and “yes, indeed” to your comment about Stella Chen! 🙂