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!

And who knew that an oboe was such an appealing instrument, with its clear, warm, penetrating sound. Oboist Robin Tropper delivered the musical magic that this instrument can deliver with his skillful playing, not only in his pre-concert and intermission performances along with guitarist Gary King but also when he accompanied the Ladies Chorus and other performers during certain songs in the concert. These included “All on a Cold Winter’s Night” with the Ladies Chorus and “O Come All Yet Faithful” in a mass performance complete with audience participation.

First of all, congratulations to Robin Tropper, whom I’ve had the delight of meeting at the past two IDRS conventions.

But c’mon now: “…who knew that an oboe was such an appealing instrument”??

I thought everyone knew that.

Found it here.

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.”

I found it here.


The Internet is so fast that the Bay Area can connect with New York City quicker than you can finish this sentence.

That’s a blistering speed — but not quite fast enough for musicians, who dream of a day when notes travel at light speed. Then the entire globe could play in a single ensemble.

“The delays are devastating,” said acoustical engineer Elizabeth Cohen. “Thirty milliseconds? That’s an echo. An eternity.”

“The essence of music is shared communication. And that depends on instantaneous feedback,” said Cohen, who archives music for international exchanges over networks.

So hopes are pinned on an attempt to break the speed limit, launched in October by a team led by computer research scientist Brighten Godfrey of the University of Illinois and Duke University colleagues.


From Tumblr (again)

Let’s play which reed sounds closer to a duck trying to sing as opposed to a duck dying in pain.

I hate the oboe but I swear ever[y] oboe player I know is so cute.

I just had to add the “y” because my heart hurts without it. :-)

Someone writes to ask a question:

Okay, all….

It’s been about 23 years since I had that woodwind class in college when I tried to play the oboe. What are some hints and helps (other than those that include burning) that you all can share with me. Believe it or not, in my 20 years of teaching, I haven’t had to teach oboe!

We have a new oboe here (Selmer USA 123FB) and I’d like to get a student started on it. I have a flute player that is bright and interested.

I’m open to any help and advice. Thanks!!!

First of all … Selmer? Sigh. Can there be a good Selmer oboe? I’m not sure.

But then there’s this answer:

A million ideas about how to proceed, but one thing to be sure of before you do anything. It is good to choose ‘smart’ kids to play oboe, but many of these types of kids have a very low tolerance for frustration. Too many things come very easy for them, and I can guarantee you that oboe will not be one of them! I’ve seen many smart kids that would be great band kids flame out because their can’t handle the frustration of learning this infernal beast.So be sure they have the temperment as well as the aptitude.

Yes, I am an oboe player, and yes, my sanity has left the building.

So choose a smart kid but one that has a high tolerance for frustration? Um. Okay. :-)

RQOD = Reed Quote of the Day

Don’t worry, I’ll probably not have any more of these … but how could I resist this?

A finished reed is 70 millimeters in length, and the part that you scrape is only from 47 to 70 millimeters. Twenty-three millimeters define our existence.

Eugene Izotov

You can read more and even see a video about his low A oboe by clicking here.

A thread to celebrate the instrument which relaxes my mind more than any other. There’s something awe inspiring about the sound that it produces.

A couple of favourites:

Vivaldi – Oboe Concerto in A Minor

Gabriel’s Oboe (from The Mission soundtrack)

Bach – Concerto for Oboe d’amore in A major

And not to forget the oboe’s sublime contribution to pop – Sonny and Cher, for example.

It was REM’s Nightswimming that first alerted me to the the beauty of the oboe’s sound, but if I had to pick a favourite it would be the Go-Betweens ‘Bye Bye Pride.’ A wholesome blast of oboe porn from Amanda Brown.

Have you any personal favourites?

I’m always interested in what drew someone to oboe. An alternative rock band is a bit of a surprise. But I’ll take it. :-)