31. May 2015 · Comments Off on Sunday Evening Music · Categories: Sunday Evening Music

Unclouded Day, arr. Kirchner (from his “Heavenly Home: Three American Songs”)
Northern Lights Chorale; Bruce Phelps, Conductor

31. May 2015 · Comments Off on Sunday Morning Music · Categories: Sunday Morning Music

Hallelujah, arr. Kirchner (from his “Heavenly Home: Three American Songs”)
Northern Lights Chorale; Bruce Phelps, Conductor

30. May 2015 · Comments Off on Where Angels Fear To Tread · Categories: Ramble

It’s rare that I get to see and hear a long video like this of a performances I’m in! It appears this is for grants. What fun to hear!

28. May 2015 · Comments Off on Ah, Music and TV · Categories: TV

I’m watching a PBS mystery show and there is a piano teacher working with a student. He starts the work again and as he plays she stands up and walks to the window to look out.

Okay teachers … how many of you just leave your kids and stop paying attention?!

When I’m teaching I’m working, doggone it. I figure they are paying for my undivided attention and I plan on giving that to them! 🙂


I have to watch closed caption when I am watching a British show because I just can’t catch all that they are saying. Because of that, I also get information about the music. At one point it said “dark music” and later “orchestral music”, but hey … just now it said “dark music layering”.

Too funny! Or maybe it’s just me … but we’ve moved on to “somber music” … but we’ve also had “surprising music” … and now “ominous music”!. 😉

28. May 2015 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

… a letter to the editor:

So the BBC is starting a campaign to get children interested in classical music.

Wouldn’t they get interested in it by themselves if it was any good?

Just like opera, which is always crying out for funding, it’s a niche interest that is only “enjoyed” by people who like to think they’re better than everyone else.

If there isn’t a big enough audience to support these “arts”, just let them die.

Elizabeth Ward

I read it here. I have a suspicion the writer and I wouldn’t get along. At all.

24. May 2015 · Comments Off on Sunday Evening Music · Categories: Sunday Evening Music

Tomkins: When David Heard
Vox Luminis

24. May 2015 · Comments Off on Sunday Morning Music · Categories: Sunday Morning Music

Jans Pieterszoon Sweelinck; Gaudete Omnes
University of Northern Colorado Chamber Choir

22. May 2015 · Comments Off on What is the Oboe, Anyway? · Categories: Read Online

The oboe is a three-foot ebony tube, topped by a double reed made from bamboo or plastic. The oboist has to blow into this device with all the strength that he has. The veins stand out on his temples, he gets red in the face, and sometimes becomes incontinent.

Over time, after playing too much oboe and with the constant vibration of the reed, he can go slightly nuts. This is a form of PTSD — post traumatic stress disorder. Oboe players tend to retire early from symphony orchestras.

I love it! And yes, he was being witty. 🙂

I read it here.

22. May 2015 · Comments Off on I’d do this … · Categories: Read Online

… and I’m an introvert.

It would need to be a meet up with a smaller number of people at the restaurant in order to work for me, but I’d be game. Of course I can’t tell, by what is written in the article if it’s only the conductor who is meeting up with people, or if it includes orchestra members as well.

Then there’s the chance to mingle with Cabrera, who plans to continue inviting all of Reynolds Hall to Mundo restaurant for meetups after Saturday concerts, something he experienced while guest-conducting in Columbus, Ohio, in February. “I thought it was such a cool idea. This is such a great way to get the audience connected with the orchestra,” says Cabrera, who was selected to lead the Las Vegas Philharmonic last spring.

And then there’s this:

And while the conductor—who is also resident conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and music director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, the California Symphony and the New Hampshire Music Festival—remains loyal to excellence, he also relishes in such moments as an audience member yelling “Yeehaw!” during a performance from Aaron Copland’s Rodeo. “I want to break down all of these walls,” Cabrera says. “I want them to feel they can go to a Philharmonic concert just as easily as a Lady Gaga concert.”

Well yes, I think a “Heehaw!” is called for in that piece. 🙂

PS I don’t feel that I could easily go to a Lady Gaga concert. Just so you know. That problem goes both ways.

21. May 2015 · Comments Off on Losing Students · Categories: Teaching

Some students don’t stick with oboe very long, and I can often predict the quick departers. I can’t allow my ego to be crushed every time I lose a student, but sometimes they leave after we’ve worked together for a while and I then spend some time puzzling over what I might have done differently to keep them as students. It’s not that I want them for the money, but I want them because I truly enjoy teaching and I want students to leave when they’ve had a good experience and are just moving on to a new teacher or are going off to college.

I think I’m just too demanding for some students. That I can’t change. I have heard people say that they’ll take the money and run should a student never practice, but I really can’t teach that way and I have to push those students to give the oboe the appropriate time and energy it deserves.

I’m honest with students when they aren’t progressing as they should. Sure, I could smile and say, “Great job!” every time a student played, but I refuse to lie. If they aren’t at the appropriate level I tell them. I try to be kind about it, but I tell them.

But I must be honest. Sometimes I simply fail to be what the student needs. Perhaps I’m not demanding enough for some students (at least some parents think so!), or I’m too strict on time (if students aren’t late I don’t add time at the end of the lesson to make up for that). I’ve also been told that I’m intimidating to some. I hate that they find me scary, and I should work on that. I try to balance my demanding ways with humor, but my sense of humor IS something that might not appeal to all.

In any case, I lost two students this year that I regret losing. I miss them.