And now I can ‘fess up: I really did enjoy playing the bass oboe! Honestly, it was fun, even while it was somewhat awkward and uncomfortable. If I were to do it more frequently I think I’d want to do something other than sit on two seat cushions to be high enough for the beast.

But here is a bit of an insight into my sad little mind. What do you think I said to Dan after? Do you think I’d say something like “I nailed it!”? Or even, “I played well!”? Um … well … okay … here’s what I said …

“I didn’t embarrass myself!”

Yep. That’s my little brain at work. Ah well. Dan wasn’t surprised. He knows me too well!

Of course what I had was so small it wasn’t worth talking about, but I take even the smalles of solos seriously. I’d bet many in the audience weren’t even aware of the little bits I had, but I get nervous no matter what. Go figure!

We already have our first review (Mercury News).

Oh … I will also now ‘fess up about the Holst:

I’ve never been a fan. It’s just not my cuppa. Or so I thought. But I truly enjoyed it this past week. I’m glad I was able to play, and that I opted for the bass oboe part. I’ll probably go through withdrawal now. But not for long. Now it’s on to San Jose Dance Company and San Jose Chamber Orchestra doing Tango Barroco!

Oh, and I learned something new about Holst. He turned the Jupiter part of The Planets into a hymn. News to me. British composers seem to love to write hymns, whether or not they are believers. Does that happen here, too? Or are there even any good hymn writers in the states? Do tell! (Most of what I hear that’s new are goofy little “worship songs” that drive me bonkers.)


  1. Keith and Kristyn Getty write some good hymns. They call themselves “modern hymnwriters.” They are from Northern Ireland but live in the states. There’s a good chance you’ve heard some of their songs, especially “In Christ Alone” and “The Power of the Cross”.

    Here’s their website:

    Their homepage starts playing music automatically. You’ve been warned.

    If you go to you will find a list of songs and won’t be greeted with unwanted music.

  2. Thanks! I’ll check that link out (and thanks for the automatic music warning … those drive me nuts!). Cheers!


  3. I assure you that the bass oboe was distinctly audible, at least from where I was sitting up on the grand tier. Wow, was it ever!

    One version or other of Holst’s Thaxted hymn was performed at Princess Diana’s funeral, as I recall, and I used to mention that regularly when discussing The Planets, but even that’s faded a little in the past now. I love The Planets, but there are other Holst works that I like as much. (Have you ever heard his Beni Mora? You should!)

  4. I know SO little Holst, David. Most of what I’ve played was in band. I’ll have to check on Beni Mora … thanks for that! (I would love to play the Fugal Concerto sometime.)

  5. PS I’m trying to figure out who is in that photo that SFCV put up … do you know? It doesn’t appear to be SSV to my eyes, but then I have very old eyes!

  6. It probably isn’t SSV. It may be a file photo. We use those a lot. (Notice that it doesn’t say who he’s conducting, or rather “condcuting” – typos in captions are another common feature.)

  7. Ah, got it! I was looking closely and thinking, “Should I KNOW these people!?” 🙂

    I’m the Queen of Typos, so while I love to tease people about them I’m actually rather forgiving.

    That being said, I wonder what “condcuting” really IS?! 😉

    (Thanks for the bass oboe mention, btw. I was fearful of the beast, but it turned out to be a bit of growly fun!)