11. July 2013 · 3 comments · Categories: Ramble

I meant to blog about some things from the IDRS and I still haven’t gotten to them. I still intend to … honest!

Hmm. Maybe quickly I’ll write about the clothing issue someone brought up at a panel discussion:

One member of the panel said she never wears jeans. Not to teach private lessons, not to play rehearsals … she just never wears them! I suspect this is something that one has to figure out depending upon where they live. I hope so anyway, because I do wear jeans! I won’t wear them to the university (although I see plenty of male instructors do so: we still haven’t reached equality there, I guess, as I never see women instructors do so), but I will wear them to teach privately and I will wear them to rehearsals. If I were the only one to do so I’m guessing I’d think again. So look around you. If you are new to the job, see what others are doing. Yes, we musicians like to be non-conformists much of the time, but if you are new and don’t want to draw the wrong kind of attention to yourself you just might decide to “do as the Romans” for a time.

The speaker also mentioned seeing underwear. Yes. Really. I remember my first concert at UCSC. I had attended, assuming every adjunct would want to hear their students. (Silly me! I was the only adjunct at the concert, sad but true.) Sitting up on stage was a female student whose thong (and I’m not talking sandals) could be seen above her low cut pants. Sorry, but this isn’t acceptable. Nor is cleavage in my little opinion. We are there to be heard and distractions such as that are not a good idea. (I know some will disagree with me. This is my blog, so I get to write what I believe to be true and if you want to disagree you can comment and I might approve it, or you can start your own blog!) Saggy pants with underwear showing might be cool for some guys (I’ve yet to understand that one), but you don’t want to go there when you are on stage. Nor do we want to see your white t-shirt underneath your black if you are doing the “pit black” thing.

We are professionals. We should look like professionals. We should behave like professionals. Yes, we all think we are “special” because we are, after all, “artistes” … but you know what? There are plenty of special artists out there and the ones that keep the jobs are most often the ones that behave.

Ack … I’m sounding like an old lady!

Guess what?

I am.

Okay … enough of me for now. This is what happens when I decide, “Gee, I need to write something on the blog before I lose the five readers who check this place out.” I wonder if I’m now down to three readers. Or maybe even one.

11. July 2013 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

Classical music in the United States depends on four groups working together: musicians, donors, administrators, and listeners. No one of these groups “owns” the music, and no one or even two of them can keep the music going without the others. Too often we’ve been hearing from one group or another that someone else is unimportant, or worse, that “they owe us.” But everyone involved here is making a free choice to be involved, and is mutually obliged to make the enterprise work.

We’ve been seeing some terrible fractures in the historic cooperation that is needed to create music.

For me, the very worst of it has been in Minneapolis-St. Paul, where two great orchestras were locked out of their halls. [The musicians of Minneapolis’ Minnesota Orchestra have been locked out since October 2012, with no resolution in sight; the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra lockout lasted more than six months before ending in April.—AT]

This is not the place to try to describe fully what has happened — the complexity of the problem is intense — but what happened, and is still happening, has no place in our art form. A strike is a very unhappy thing, but a lockout is unworthy of us all and unworthy of our beautiful profession.

In almost all of the problematic cases in recent years, one or more of the “sides” in a dispute is saying that they can’t, or won’t, recognize another side’s good faith, and the rhetoric all around the country has been remarkably poisonous and negative.

We really must find a way to work together, and this fracturing makes that seem impossible.


11. July 2013 · 2 comments · Categories: TQOD

There’s no way to make an oboe sound good

… for this. Too darn funny. 😉