16. March 2013 · Comments Off on No Work = No Play · Categories: Ramble

… and it also equals no pay, of course.

I’ve not had any playing work for quite a while. Trovatore ended on February 24 and there’s been nothing since then. Part of this is due to the Cinequest Film Festival: they use the California Theatre so opera and symphony can’t be there. Part might be due to the demise of American Music Theatre of San Jose, as I used to get work there now and then, but who knows if they would have had a show for these past few weeks. When San Jose Symphony existed we had a lot more work than we have with Symphony Silicon Valley, but of course we also crashed and burned, so there’s that.

Of course I still teach, although I’m on leave at UCSC, but this year has been less than stellar for student attendance for some reason. Perhaps I’m just too lax. Some suggest I charge by the month, but I like to keep things flexible not only for my students’ convenience but because of me: I want to be able to cancel without owing a student a lesson and with as little guilt as possible. I’m silly that way.

But of course if there’s no playing work, no UCSC, and students aren’t attending as many lessons my salary is lower than it has been. Still, our children are grown so we don’t have school expenses. I need to be grateful for that, as well as the fact that I have work at all! Too many orchestras are failing. Some are locked out or on strike. I am a member of several groups. I have students and jobs. It’s all good work. Grateful again.

This week, though, I’m back on stage with Symphony Silicon Valley. I’m really looking forward to it. We are doing Verdi’s Requiem and because our principal oboist, Pamela Hakl, is soloing for Ballet San Jose this same week I’ll be playing principal oboe. I need to get my “principal hat” out for this! Playing principal on stage is quite different than playing second. At least for me. I’ve been practicing, of course, and the work is great fun to play. I won’t really get a good idea of how it’s going to feel, though, until I get on that stage.

Do you have your tickets yet?

Here’s a happy little section of the Requiem:

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