13. August 2012 · 6 comments · Categories: Ramble

I sometimes tell my students that they need to know their music well enough that they can continue playing even if their music blows off the stand. Last week during Les Mis I found myself in a situation that required really knowing my part.

We had just started the show and as I turned the page it sort of accordioned down: the pages are taped together as a lot of musicals are, but they aren’t bound. So down went the music and the next page began with an oboe solo. There was no time to gather it up, so I just played the solo by memory.

It really was no big deal, and I wasn’t nervous at all. The biggest issue was to play without laughing — playing oboe and laughing at the same time isn’t really an easy thing to do.

But yes, we have to know our music well. And now I can use this as an example of what might happen and what we need to do sometimes. I love when that happens … as long as my situation ends up with a happy ending.


  1. Wow! Good for you Pattyo! You were the Hero of the day!

  2. … or at least I didn’t embarrass myself horribly, Marsha! 🙂

  3. There is a long section of monologues in the middle of Chorus Line where the band takes a break and leaves the pit. Upon our return, the music starts with an oboe solo. One night we lost track of time and didn’t have time to get back to our seats. I stood in the open entrance to the pit and played the solo from memory.

    Good thing we were a couple of weeks into the show!

  4. This reminds me of my own oboe teacher, she never forgets to tell us how important it is to make sure that none of the pages is taped upside down… 😀

    P.S. This is my favorite oboe blog, keep it going 🙂
    Greetings from Finland

  5. Thank you so much, Paula!

    Recently I’ve been unable to post much, but I’ll be back at it after I finish up with the musical I’m involved with at the moment!

  6. Boy do I remember that solo, Bob! I used to just stay in the pit because I’m paranoid that way. 🙂