28. May 2018 · 3 comments · Categories: Concerts

This week of music was truly a special one. I’m so grateful to have gotten to play it, and sitting principal was great fun, although of course I always get nervous and fear disappointing people. Funny how that goes.

Thanks to my oboe student and his family I have some photos to share now. Many thanks, Hongwen Gao, for sending these my way. It was wonderful to see you, Biyong, Jamin and Jesse after the show, too!

First, here are a couple images of the marching band that came from Reedley to play for this:

And dear Joe Hisaishi, plus singers Lisa Vroman and Joe’s daughter Mai Fujisawa:

More of Joe Hisaishi:


Finally … yours truly:

Stephen Paulus: The Old Church
Benedictine College Chamber Singers

This past week (and going through Monday) I’ve been involved in these special concerts. The audiences are incredibly enthusiastic, and it’s great fun to have full houses. The initial four concerts sold out so quickly another was added, and I’m guessing they could have added even more and filled the house. People who are into these movies are really into them! Add the FanimeCon 2018 to the mix and, if you’ve ever seen the people involved in that, you can imagine the costumes we see! If I manage to get some images of them I will add to this post later.

Of course all this excitement and work has me rather tired. My next day off is a week from Monday. Next up, and coming directly after these end: Tchaikovsky!

Hallelujah: arr. Shawn Kirchner (a traditional American Hymn)
Missouri State University Chorale; Cameron F. Labarr, Conductor

Lydia Jane Pugh: My Hiding Place (Psalm 32)
Choral Chameleon

No, I didn’t watch yesterday’s wedding, but I was reading about the music and this song was sung. I know the tune, as many do, but I didn’t know these words. Sadly this video is cut short at both ends, but still it gives you an idea of the hymn, and with oboe, too! (Despite someone commenting on the clarinet over on the YouTube page!)

Lord of all Hopefulness

Stephen Paulus: Psalm 121
Wheaton College Choir; John William Trotter, Director; Abigail Beerwart, Soloist


This is so encouraging! These days selling out a concert is a huge deal. I can’t wait to do the FIVE performances of this. I’m guessing I’ll need a good rest after this is done … or perhaps it will have to wait until after the Symphony Silicon Valley final set (Tchaikovsky), since we move to that so quickly.

Info here

15. May 2018 · 1 comment · Categories: Ramble

Playing oboe will not be a guarantee to get you into your dream school.

Playing oboe well will not be a guarantee to get you into your dream school.

Playing oboe incredibly well will not be a guarantee to get you into your dream school.

I suggest that you play oboe because you love the sound. I suggest you play oboe because you have the dream of mastering it. I suggest you play oboe because you’ve heard recordings of oboe that just melt your heart. In addition I suggest, believe it or not, that you sing. Singing can really help with your oboe playing. Honest.

I also suggest that IF you are hoping it will help with your college apps that you practice diligently and attentively. I suggest you put more effort into your lessons and what your instructor tells you to work on, and into your school group(s), and into your youth orchestra. (And if you aren’t playing in anything I suggest you reconsider what you are doing.) I suggest you go play for your church, or a local retirement community, or some other group that would appreciate some music. I suggest you listen to music. I suggest you attend live concerts.

And still this is no guarantee playing oboe will get you into that dream school.

The truth is, there are no guarantees.

So do it because you love it. Please.