I played classical music in my early training, but I was a bad, undisciplined student, so I would dread my teacher coming over. He gave me “Alley Cat,” which had syncopation with it, and finally I was like, “I’m going to sit here and play until I know how to do that.” He gave me a couple of other things, “Deep Purple,” by Peter De Rose, and “Stairway to the Stars,” by Matty Malneck and Frank Signorelli, and those chords did something to me.

—Jeff Goldblum

I read it here.

This quote reminds me that finding something to trigger a student’s interest is so important. Feeding them the music I like isn’t necessarily the ticket. Yes, they need to learn standard oboe repertoire, but if I can find something that piques their interest that may well get them to practice more and, eventually, move to things I think are vital for an oboist’s repertoire list.

I had one student who was quite accomplished but didn’t seem to have a spark I wished he could have. One day I pulled out some Scott Joplin arranged for two oboes. BAM! That did it. We pulled those out frequently. He could sight-read them quite well (he said, “I don’t count it so much as I feel the rhythms”), and doing those duets became quite a joy for both of us.

I’m writing this as much for myself as for others: recently a few of my students aren’t practicing. Perhaps I need to find a “sparkwork” for them.

Dan Forrest: i thank You God for most this amazing day
Atlanta Master Chorale; Dr. Eric Nelson, Conductor
Accompanist: Jonathan Easter | Strings: Elizabeth Fayette (violin), Jessica Wu (violin ii), Yinzi Kong (viola), Guang Wang (cello), Adam Bernstein (string bass) | Percussion: Joel Morris

Purcell: Remember not, Lord, our offences
The Queen’s Six

Composer and arranger George Roumanis passed away at age 89. Roumanis began his career as a jazz bassist and arranger, working with luminaries such as Louie Armstrong, Johnny Smith, Dizzy Gillespie, Doc Severinsen and Bud Shank. Over the course of five decades, he composed and arranged dozens of popular jingles as well as four albums for Decca Records. His prolific TV scoring includes “Mission Impossible,” “Medical Center,” “The Streets of San Francisco,” and “Star Trek: Next Generation.” Roumanis was also a composer of concert music and opera. His first guitar concerto was performed by Tommy Tedesco and the Los Angeles Studio Orchestra and his opera, “Phaedra,” was performed by Opera San Jose and broadcast on PBS. George was thrilled when his opera became part of the Oxford University Archives.

Yes, I played when Opera San Jose did the video of Phaedra. That was long ago and I must confess I don’t remember the music well.

Thomas Tallis: If Ye Love Me
The Gesualdo Six

René Clausen: Prayer
Oasis Chorale; Wendell Nisly, Conductor

Text: The Prayer of Mother Teresa
Music: René Clausen

Help me spread Your fragrance
wherever I go.
Flood my soul with Your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being
so utterly that my life may
be only a radiance of Yours.

Shine through me, and be so in me
that every soul I know
will feel Your presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me,
but only You. Amen

Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Wichita, Kansas on July 15, 2018.
For more information and recordings, visit: https://www.oasischorale.com/

Paul Mealor: Locus Iste
Tenebrae; Paul Mealor, Conductor

Ndikhokhele Bawo, Traditional isiXhosa, arr. by Michael Barrett
Oasis Chorale

(Sung in Xhosa)

Ndikhokhele Bawo
(He paid for me, my Father)
Ndikhokhele Mmeli wami
(He paid for me by representing me)

Zalomhlaba Bawo
(While on earth, my Father)
(I implore you to lead me.)
(During times of sorrow/strife)

Bawo, ndiya bonga ngoba wena
(Father, I thank You because You)
Usandi gcinile
(Will always keep me safe)
Hlal’ Uhlele duze kwami
(You are always standing nearby)

For more information and recordings, visit: https://www.oasischorale.com/

It sure does look like François Leleux is having fun playing this encore of a Mozart aria with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra.

John Sheppard: Libera nos I
San Diego Pro Arte Voices; Patrick Walders, Director