25. January 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Oboe, Read Online

Mary and Nathan felt that music was the gateway to becoming a cultured American. I actually have somewhere hidden in my treasures a photograph from the “old” country of a distance relative holding a violin in his hands on the fields of Russia – but don’t ask me who he is – it’s just an interesting link from the past.

Along the line, someone in Chelsea, Massachusetts where Nathan and Mary settled, gave Bob a violin, and their lives were changed forever. He took to it like a baby to milk, and everything flowed from that. He shared that violin with Cela his sister. And then someone gave Ralph and Harold an oboe which they shared because they couldn’t afford two oboes! Then, Leo saw how satisfying and exciting this was, so the family scraped enough money [together] to rent him a trumpet. Oh, how he adored the sound and he never put it down after that. And then, my mother was given a cello to join in. That was the story – no one ever paid because they were so brilliant. Now, the story goes that these six little children were living their lives quite poor in Chelsea. At this time, the Curtis Institute of Music had become the “Harvard” of music education. Curtis was established by Mary Louise Curtis Bok – of the Curtis Publishing Company. She married Bok, of the Harvard University family, and together they established the Curtis Institute of Music.

The story continues that one day Efrem Zimbalist, the great violinist who was on the Board of Directors of Curtis, heard about this amazingly talented family. Curtis Institute did, and still does, only accept the brightest and most brilliant of musicians – and it’s all FREE! The story continues that one day, he took the train to Chelsea and sought out this “phenom” of a family. He approached my grandmother with a deal she couldn’t refuse: “If you give me your children, I will see to it that they never have to pay for music lessons again, and we’ll provide free room and board.” To that offer, my little grandmother simply opened her eyes wide and responded, “DA!” And so they traveled to Philadelphia and their careers took off.

Want to read the whole thing? You know you do!

25. January 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Read Online

Bailey McPherson, 9, plays violin in the Fenton Community Orchestra at last Saturday’s rehearsal at the Fenton United Methodist Church. “I like it,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity, and for once, I don’t have to play oboe music.” The orchestra is currently made up of members ranging from ages 7 to 77.

HUH?

(I read it here.)

25. January 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Emailed To Me

Please note: Everything in the following blockquote was from the email. These are not my words! :-)

Lang Lang’s statement regarding his performance at last week’s White House State Dinner:

“It was my great honor to be invited to perform at the White House. I played two pieces – one was from Europe and one was a beautiful traditional melody that I grew up with called ‘My Motherland.’ I am an artist first and foremost. I selected this song because it has been a favorite of mine since I was a child. It was selected for no other reason but for the beauty of its melody. As an artist, I use music to bring people together. I truly consider both America and China to be my homes and I wouldn’t be who I am today without both countries.”

I’m really not sure why this was sent to me. Did Lang Lang get criticized for playing the “traditional melody”? Am I out of touch with the news about this? It seems, from the email, that perhaps he had to defend his choice. Hmmm. Someone out there know why this would be sent to me? I can’t remember the last time I included Lang Lang in a blog. I think it might have been when he played the iPad. Oops. Nope, I’m wrong … it was about Musicians’ Parents. But I didn’t blog about his playing at the White House. (I did mean to mention that he’d be performing here at our own California Theatre, but now that’s come and gone. Oops!)

Update
Okay, I’ve found sites that say the piece he played was anti-American, pro-Communist. But the only sites I’ve read so far are so biased I can’t link to them. If I can find a news site that isn’t (so clearly) biased (is there any news site that isn’t biased in some way?), I’ll post a link.

Update
WSJ

25. January 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Read Online, Reeds

My father once told me that oboe players were all a little crazy because of the back pressure from their reeds. Now all of us clarinet and saxophone players know we have it easy next to those double reed players. In most cases they have to make their own reeds.

So darn true … except for the “little” crazy bit. I would suggest a LOT crazy.

Okay, just speaking for myself. ;-)

I read the above here, where the single reed blogger has discovered decent synthetic reeds. May I admit extreme jealousy? I’ve heard recently that a number of single reeders are moving to synthetic reeds. And yes, it’s just a little bit depressing that we can’t do that.

Sigh.

Someone just sent me an email to reprimand me for something she found on this blog back in the spring of 2009. What she didn’t realize is that what she was upset with were not my words. I guess I should point out how I do things here. If the words I’m putting up are not mine they will either be in quotes or they will be in a “blockquote” area. Most frequently I use blockquotes. Mostly just because I can. I guess I need to be more clear about this, eh?

This is a blockquote

Frequently I’ll then put a link to where I found them. This is often shows as RTWT highlighted (in blue these days) as a link. (RTWT means “Read The Whole Thing”.)

I realize that having a blog means I’ll write things that people will disagree with. I realize I might even make some people really angry. But if you get angry with something in a blockquote please know those aren’t my words. I don’t necessarily even agree with what I’ve put in there … it’s usually just something that caught my attention for good or bad.

25. January 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: FBQD

I’m taking an Oboe Class so I can teach the basics someday in a high school. Really exciting! However, don’t be in practice room within 3 doors of mine or you will be annoyed.

… where it’s not gone before?

Somehow it’s not working for me.

(But, to be honest, I’ve never seen a production where the trial by fire & water part works for me. I always end up laughing.)

25. January 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: ACappellaTuesday™

Yep, starting something new! And since this is a cappella, which originally meant, according to the flawless** (wink, wink) wikipedia, “in the manner of the chapel”, we’ll start with something that may have been sung in a church. But don’t expect that every week! In fact, most of what you’ll hear probably won’t be sacred, since I save that for Sundays. (And don’t expect an ACappellaTuesday™ every week … but when I find something it’ll be here!

Thomas Tallis: If Ye Love Me sung by Ad Libitum

**Hmmm, when I first wrote this blogpost I typed “never flawless” rather than “flawless” … how funny is that? Sort of funny because it points out that I am so flawed and because, as everyone knows (I hope), Wikipedia can sometimes have mistakes. (I mostly like my error, though, because I like pointing out my goofy flaws!)

25. January 2011 · 2 comments · Categories: TQOD

Now that I am taking up oboe again, I have to buy reeds. Why are they so expensive