Read online:

I need a full report on the history of the english horn?

Could i get a full report on the history of the english horn, i need it for music class, 7th grade…. THANKS FOR ANY HELP!!!

Read here.

As you might guess, I absolutely love browsing the web. I love that there is so much information available. I love the things I discover, the new (sometimes very old) music I learn about and hear, and the people I meet. But it also makes me a bit sad. This student above wants someone else to do the research. Earlier I read a page where a college freshman is asking for money because, “You all know how expensive being a musician is and I need to repair my oboe and I want to buy a new oboe and maybe even an English horn.”

Um … sometimes we actually do have to work for what we want. (Man, I’m sounding like a grumpy old lady!)

That being said, please send $10 to my post office box, okay? Because I need more chocolate. If every reader sent me just $10 I might have a year’s supply and be able to afford some cane, too.

Kidding … kidding ….

10. May 2011 · 4 comments · Categories: Grumble

I have a student who says he isn’t allowed to swab his oboe during performances. (It might even be that he can’t swab during rehearsals … I’m not sure!) His band director got angry with him when he tried to blow water out of a key. My initial reaction is to say, “Quit that band!” but instead I said, “the next time you get water in a key be sure to play boldly!”

Dear, dear band directors. I know you want a disciplined group. I know many of you like the military look and want everyone to sit perfectly still when not playing. I know we don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things. But can’t you please let my students swab their oboes when they have enough measures of rest to do so? I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you.

09. April 2011 · Comments Off on I’ve Remained Rather Quiet On This · Categories: Grumble

… not because it doesn’t make me angry, but because I’m just so darn lazy and neglected to get to it. But Norman Lebrecht has been reporting on the sad situation in Brazil for quite some time; all orchestra members were required to re-audition. Those that didn’t, it was reported, were fired.

Today Mr. Lebrecht has an update:

A Saturday concert in which a youth orchestra replaced the Brazil Symphony Orchestra, half of whose players were fired, was abandoned wothout a note being played when the conductor Roberto Minczuk was greeted with audience boos and applause.

A member of the youth orchestra then read a statement saying they refused to play in place of the dismissed musicians. The microphones were cut off, silencing his speech.

If you go to Mr. Lebrecht’s website you will find a huge number of entries about this debacle.

I know some will say that we should have to re-audition. Sorry, folks, but that’s not how this works. There are most certainly ways to dismiss a player who should be let go — at least here in the US. What bothers me most, I think is that five musicians from other countries were willing to go and audition these musicians. At this point 44 were dismissed. Pathetic. Sigh. And I’ll just leave it at that.

17. November 2010 · Comments Off on Because That’s What We Want To Be Called · Categories: Grumble

Read online:

Three hot classical music chicks talk fashion and international fame

Yeah. We “girls” have really come a long way.

Think all classical musicians are old and dusty, playing sonatas in symphony halls somewhere? You haven’t met the musicians slated for this year’s Impulse Artist Series: The Alter Ego Season, a weeklong slate of concerts that will take place in various locations throughout the city. There’s Kris Becker, a pianist who’s played Carnegie Hall and who tours as a rock keyboardist and composes nu-classical music. He’s joined by fellow pianist and multimedia artist Phyllis Chen, who often performs the works of 20th-century composers on toy pianos, boom boxes and other nontraditional instruments. Suresh Singaratnam plays both classical and jazz trumpet. “He does ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ and all that,” says pianist/Impulse Artist Series executive director Jade Simmons, who organized the series. “But he does so much more as well.” And finally, there’s Brandee Younger, who plays the harp. “You think of that as an instrument for only classical music, but she makes the bulk of her living as a jazz and hip-hop musician.”


I might be older, but I am not dusty. I am now a bit grumpy, though. This is not the first thing I’ve read that disses older musicians.

Found at the site for Impulse Artist Series:

“Replacing the stuffy, staid collection of classical music dead guys in white wigs with fresh, young, cutting-edge musicians.”

Gee, I’ve YET to see any dead guys in white wigs play in any concerts I’ve been in. How ’bout you?

22. June 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Grumble

Just received:

Hello fellow brass player,

I think you and your students may be interested in a new app just released for French Horn players. It’s called [removed because I’m annoyed] and available for the iPad. I wrote the software and am very excited about sharing it.

The website is at
[removed because I’m annoyed]

Let me know if you need more information.

Best Regards,

Ed Trujillo, President

19. January 2010 · Comments Off on Once again … Sigh … · Categories: Grumble

BAD behaviour at a Derby school has been halved – by playing classical music to unruly children.

Brian Walker, head of West Park School, has seen the improvement in behaviour among his pupils since he introduced two-hour detentions, complete with Verdi and Mozart.

Mr Walker also “names and shames” disruptive teenagers on video screens in the school.

And instead of handing out lines, pupils are forced to write out the poem Jerusalem, a favourite of Mr Walker’s.


Using classical music as punishment ticks me off. If you don’t know why … well … I guess you don’t know why. (This particular article I find especially disturbing. And if you don’t know why … well … again, I guess you don’t know why.)

Okay … little rant here … I just don’t understand why bloggers don’t realize the world can read what they write. I just popped in on an anonymous oboe player’s blog, and he writes about his friend shoplifting a $150 wallet from a Century 21 store (never heard of ’em). How admirable. I suppose he thinks that no one will figure out who he is. I took one look at the blog and figured it out immediately. It was pretty darn easy. Not that I’ll do anything about the stealing. I’m just bugged that someone would blog gleefully about this. (Not sure I’d want him on my sub list, to be honest. Oh. But who cares about honesty, eh?)

I know, I know. I sound like a very old grumpy person. Sigh.

In Other News…
Tonight is another Così performance with Opera San José. I’m going to be smart and dress in layers. Lots and lots of layers. We only have three performances left, tonight, Friday and Sunday, so if you are interested in attending you’d better hop to it! And tonight’s cast is on their final performance.

Season News?
I still have heard nothing about the Symphony Silicon Valley 2009-2010 season. I do hope we hear soon. I’m anxious to see the programs. Maybe opera companies announce seasons earlier than symphonies. At least around here. In any case, both SSV and San Francisco Symphony haven’t put up new about next season yet, while Opera San José and San Francisco Opera have. I’m an impatient person and I hope I don’t have to wait much longer for an announcement from SSV.

Just on the news:

A survey of students:

  • 64% say they’ve cheated
  • 36% say they’ve plagiarized
  • 30% say they stole
  • but a whopping 93% say they are satisfied with their own ethics

    … and I’ll just bet you that some of that 7% who aren’t satisfied are probably the most honest of the bunch and just have very strict standards for themselves.

    I am SO thankful that I teach oboe and not something else. It’s very difficult to cheat on an oboe lesson. Even if a student lies and said he or she practiced I can often tell when that student hasn’t. (I have sneaky little ways to check this, too … it’s not just based on a student’s performance.)

    I really have no tolerance for dishonesty. It really ticks me off. 🙁

  • 13. November 2008 · Comments Off on Confession Time · Categories: Grumble

    After my last post I’ve had that jingle stuck in my head. Over and over it goes. Stupid, stupid me. 🙁