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. :-)

(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.


Well … clarinet might be for you. I just read this:

Clarinet Lessons
The IRS has allowed people with an overbite to deduct clarinet lessons if used to treat the dental condition and if the lessons have been prescribed by a doctor.

I read it here.

So let’s see … how in the world can we get oboe lessons in there, I wonder?

I rammed my oboe reed into the wall and the top 1 cm is all chipped and frayed. The sound is electronica like?

and its not the usual tone but is in tune but all the notes don t sound regular. I can t buy new reeds and the other 3 are stubborn and flat. I just got the reed and i accidentally rammed it into the wall

… um … seriously? Does someone think there is a cure to this problem? Or maybe this site I landed on is a fake site. It happens ….

trumpet is such a weird instrument when you play it with an English horn reed

I don’t know the show but … once again, oboe as a college entrance key. Hah!

Back at home, Sue is trying to come up with new ways to get noticed on her college application. She’s trying to learn the oboe, because she read on the Internet that colleges LOVE students that play the oboe, and the Internet is always right.

Fun fact I learned during this episode—a poorly played oboe kind of sounds like a dying cat.

From something called The Middle, whatever that is.

I read it here.

Then there is what “Meistersinger” asks of its performers. In the orchestra pit, the musicians must pace themselves as if for a marathon. Some spend intermissions icing inflamed tendons, while others head for the cafeteria backstage for a quick bite.

On performance days, principal oboe player Nathan Hughes usually stays home and takes a two-hour nap. He books a massage for the following day—“just to make sure that my body can be ready to do it again”—and spends much of his time between shows crafting new reeds for the next performance.

He goes through about five reeds in a typical “Meistersinger,” which features the oboe prominently. The mental demands over those six hours can be just as exhausting, he said.

“In the course of this opera there are hundreds and hundreds of details to pick up on,” Mr. Hughes said. “You’re in front of a car that’s about to hit you, and if you don’t jump out of the way in enough time, you’re going to get smashed.”


Excerpt from Sonata No. 3, movement 2 by Handel for Alto Sax (but I’m playing oboe)

Who KNEW that Handel wrote that for sax?! Wow. ;-)

I think there’s an aspect of him inspired by Dudamel. Dudamel came up through a youth system (Venezuela’s El Sistema), and we liked the idea that [TV show character name] didn’t come up from privilege.

Hm. I’m wondering if people think most musicians “come up from privilege”. I know I didn’t. Of course I’m no Dudamel! I will readily admit that I’m not as talented, not at all famous, and not, at this point, as wealthy as he must currently be.

But really, how many wealthy people do you know who opted for a career in music? I know there are some, but …? Granted, coming into music from an extremely poor position is rare as well, since acquiring and instrument and taking lessons can be rather costly.

But no, I didn’t come from wealth: my father was a middle school teacher, my mother a stay-at-home mom, and they raised four children in a home that is smaller than the one in which I currently live with only one other person (although we did raise our three kids in this place). Of course I readily admit that growing up in the US is, in so many ways, a life of privilege for so many compared to so much of the rest of the world.

But here’s the thing: I love my job.

It’s a privilege.

I have permission to post this (thank you, Kyle Lawson), and anyone in this area can probably name at least three groups here that have been dealt the death blow. I think this is something well worth reading. (I read it on Facebook):

It is Dec. 19, 2014. The apocalypse came today. It was limited in scope; only one theater company was involved. But that was Actors Theatre. Thirty years of priceless work. Thirty years of memories that will fade.
Leaving what?
The ground between the rock and the hard place is not fertile for the arts. Actors Theatre thrived there longer than most. But live theater comes with a hefty price. More than we were willing to pay. The work was never less than excellent, just as often it was superlative. Yet there were empty seats. The wallets of potential donors remained closed.
These are not good days for our country. We are beset by enemies without and within. Ideology rages, compassion wanes. We proclaim ourselves a religious nation, unaware of the irony that our lives are ruled by greed and bigotry, a travesty of our creed.
Art is the enemy of such ignorance. Why would the ideologists support it? An enlightened electoral base, a knowledgeable consumer community are dangerous. They are not easily led. Brainwashing is almost impossible.
Art is a second opinion. Invaluable. Destroy it.
One cannot blame Actors Theatre for its closing. If there is no money, there is no money. Artists must live, suppliers must be paid. The board and the company’s leaders, Matthew Wiener and Erica McKibbern Black, went beyond the extra mile.
One cannot blame the wealthy, either. Where would this community be without the Herbergers and their fellow philanthropists? Or the support that the municipalities have lent, if sometimes begrudgingly?
It is we who have changed. We no longer seem to care that our children are growing up intellectually and emotionally stunted. We no longer fight for what we believe. We let others vote. We let the media define our existence.
Actors Theater is just one casualty. There will be many more.
Until none are left to die.

For me this is a bit of a “Think again, girl”, kind of post. I tend to blame the wealthy individuals and companies who don’t support the arts. But we normal folk. Do we care? I wonder!

I have more to write (and I did), but being as I’m in a negative sort of mood right now I’m just going to leave this here. For now. Maybe forever. We’ll see!