I just received an email to judge an online music competition. (The site suggests it’s too expensive for many to travel to competitions, so this saves that expense.) I doubt very much the group knows who I am, whether I am competent or not, or anything about my teaching. It is addressed to “Dear Teacher”. If this is how a competition is run would you trust it? I did check the website and it exists … doesn’t look to be a fake site. But really … anyone can audition for the $100 Paypal fee. And it looks as if anyone can judge.

I wonder why I’m leery.

(And don’t ask me what I think about competitions in the first place!)


Sax, Flute, and Clarinet seem to make logical sense in terms of keys. Oboe seems to be intentionally designed to be difficult to play.

Heh … I dunno. It doesn’t seem that crazy to me. But then I’ve been at this for an awfully long time. :-)

In celebration of Boston Pops Laureate Conductor John Williams’s 81st birthday on February 8, 2013, the Boston Pops is releasing a new live recording of the composer’s Oboe Concerto. Written for principal Pops oboist Keisuke Wakao, the Oboe Concerto is the latest John Williams work to showcase the talented musicians of the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops. The recording took place during the world premiere performance of the work at a Boston Pops concert at Symphony Hall on May 25, 2011.
Release: 1/29/2013
Duration: 00:18:34
Genre: Classical – Live Performance
Label: BSO Classics

Just go here to purchase the recording.

Okay … this was sort of cute:

Can I use an Oboe reed before taking up Oboe?
I’m thinking of taking up Oboe. I know it’s a difficult instrument to start and I might not find a teacher and i wont buy an Oboe just yet. So is it alright if I try to get a feel of playing the instrument by just blowing the reed?

J. S. Bach: Cantata 93 BWV 93; fourth movement
JS Bach Foundation of St Gallen; Rudolf Lutz. Director; Soloists: Miriam Feuersinger (soprano) and Jan Börner (alto)

Georg Neumark/J. S. Bach: Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten
Vocal Concert Dresden

No, he wasn’t a composer, singer, or instrumentalist. But he brought us stories about music, and I found his way of speaking very musical. I was very sorry to hear of the accident. All the dangers he’s been in and he’s taken by an accident in New York City.

I just received this information, for those who would like to pay their respects to dear Jim Matheson:

Public Visitation: Thursday February 19, 6-9PM at Duggan’s Serra Mortuary, 500 Westlake Ave., Daly City

Friday February 20th, 1PM, graveside service, Skylawn Memorial Park, Highway 92 & Sykline Blvd., San Mateo

Conductor Joseph Marcheso did a masterful job leading
the orchestra. I particularly loved a short piccolo (possibly flute) solo, and there are plenty of oboe parts which are always my favorite.

The oboe parts are often my favorites too! :-)

I read it here. (pdf)

(We rented one from Forrests and I got to play it when we did this work.)

Orchestra on the hunt for special oboe

A New Zealand orchestra is hunting around the world for a rare woodwind instrument ahead of its season opening next week.

The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra will kick off the year with a performance of Gustav Holst’s suite The Planets but has had trouble finding a bass oboe for the piece.

An octave lower than the regular oboe and about twice the size, the bass oboe has few works composed for it.