03. October 2015 · Comments Off on Opening Night, Symphony Silicon Valley · Categories: Pictures, Ramble, Symphony

We had our opening tonight for the season. It was a moving night, because we also remember our conductor from San Jose Symphony, George Cleve. After playing the Star Spangled Banner and having Andrew Bales speak for a brief time the strings played a string version of Mozart’s Ave Verum. I was very moved. Yes, in a sniffly sort of way. I still expect to see George in the audience or on the podium and I suspect that feeling will last for a while.

I don’t have much to worry about in this concert, but one note is scary and that’s all it takes to make for a stressful evening. Once that note is over, I’m just fine. (Whew!)


There was a table set up in the lobby with photos of George from infancy on. It was rather crowded, so I couldn’t snap a lot of pictures, but I had to take a few of the oil painting there. Apparently a woman painted this from a photo of the orchestra. I recognize a good number of people in this, including my high school band director! I’m not in the picture though, so either it’s before my time, or it was a concert on which I wasn’t needed (I was the English hornist). (I initially thought it HAD to be before I got in, but the photo is clearly in the CPA, and I believe they moved in there the year I won my position.)


People I recognize: George Cleve, Lauren Jakey, Phil Zahorsky, Donald Homuth, Rocco Distasio, Peter Shelton, Bob Hubbard, Wendell Rider, Lorrie Hunt, Laurel Brobst, Pat O’Gara … and more, but I can’t remember all their names! When they come to me I’ll add them.



17. March 2015 · Comments Off on Children’s Concerts · Categories: Symphony

We did our first two children’s concerts today. We have six more to play, two of which occur tomorrow and four next week. These concerts are so important! We are introducing the symphony to children who, in most cases I think, haven’t attended a concert before. It’s not easy for me to pick up an oboe so early in the morning, but when I remind myself of how much they matter I manage to cope.

I’m definitely not a morning person, though. That’s rather clear.

This is a three year old video. I’m hoping Symphony Silicon Valley will do some new ones soon:

When Symphony Silicon Valley performs The Lord of the Rings trilogy, simultaneous to the movies being shown on a huge screen, there will be 250 musicians on stage, made up of the orchestral instrumentalists, chorale members and children’s chorus.

These voices and musicians will be performing a total of 22 hours in a matter of four days. That only leaves a few hours for eating and sleeping. This becomes a marathon for each of the 100 instrumentalists, the 100 adult vocalists, and the 50 members of the children’s chorus. Not only a physical marathon, but a mental one as well.

The backdrop for the concert stage is a huge screen, 20 feet high and 48 feet wide, that will be showing the three Lord of the Rings movies in high definition.

Think of it: the sheet music alone…and this is just for the conductor…is 1200 pages, printed on 11-inch by 17-inch paper. Depending on the instrument, each musician receives several volumes of sheet music to study in advance.

… eat? Sleep? Meh … been there, done that. 😉

(The only sad thing about this is that I’ll have to cancel some students. I’m hoping some will come to the shows. Getting my students to attend concerts has been a struggle forever.)

You can read much much more here.

Here’s just a bit of the music (I wanted to be sure and post a YouTube video that looked to be legal … not an easy thing to find!)

Symphony Silicon Valley starts up today, and we’ll be playing a whole lot of Shostakovich:

  • Dmitri Shostakovich: Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 1
  • Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major
  • Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 in D minor

I look forward to working with Tatsuya Shimono again. I’ve really enjoyed him.

It’s been a long time, it seems, since I’ve been on stage. Time to get my stage legs back again!

Speaking of a long time … this video above is from 1979. The year I graduated from college. I remember seeing and hearing New York Philharmonic at the Concord Pavilion with Dan and a few other friends that same year (June 16, 1979). We heard Mahler 1 then, not Shostakovich. I’m guessing, though, that many of these same musicians were on stage. I was so clueless about names back then — I was too busy enjoying being with my boyfriend. Now I look and see Joe Robinson, Julius Baker, Stanley Drucker … I hadn’t a clue who was up there. Man, I was clueless!

It’s quite cool to see that NYPhil has digital archives and I can find all the info from that, along with programs that enable us to peruse. The program for the concert we attended had an section about Inglenook Wines and the Concord Pavilion and included this shot. I certainly recognize Roy Malan … who are the others. Anyone?

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 8.59.30 AM

02. December 2014 · Comments Off on Do You Have Your Tickets Yet? · Categories: Concert Announcements, Movies, Symphony

Click here to get them!

24. November 2014 · Comments Off on Do You Have The Ring Yet? · Categories: Symphony, Videos

Tickets, that is!

09. June 2014 · Comments Off on There Are Weeks · Categories: Photos, Ramble, Symphony

… and then there are weeks. Last week was the latter. I’m experiencing so many emotions following a week with Symphony Silicon Valley.

(Note: yes, this is double posted — it’s also at the pattyo. I just figured it should be both places!)

I was SO excited and thrilled and proud of my friend Debbie for her fantastic bassoon soloing. I could never do what she did (of course I don’t play bassoon, so there’s that!). She played with such refinement and beauty, and truly did a fantastic job. BRAVA, Debbie! What a DELIGHT that was!

There was the joy of Beethoven. How can you beat something like the third symphony, after all?

My friend Pam played the oboe solos beautifully. Another friend, Carolyn, playing principal bassoon in Debbie’s stead for the concert and did great.

There was also a lot of pondering about how long I’ve been doing this, as I worked again with George Cleve. He was my first real conductor. 1975. SO many years ago! He reminded me that the first thing I played with him was An American in Paris. Ah, the memories and the joy of this crazy life of mine.

Of course there’s always the end of the season feelings. The saying goodbye to friends and colleagues.

I feel as if I live such an easy life compared to oh-so-many. I think I’m spoiled rotten, really.

And then, of course, I did go on walks last week. And I did see flowers. There are always flowers!








It’s a well-known concert hall ritual: The audience settles, the concertmaster enters, the oboe sounds a perfect “A” and the rest of the orchestra tunes in preparation for the concert to follow.

For decades, the Detroit Symphony has taken that “A” from Don Baker, who this Sunday afternoon will play his last concert in Orchestra Hall. After 41 years as principal oboist of the DSO, Baker is retiring.

In order of seniority, the remaining DSO veterans retiring at the end of this season are violist Cathy Compton (41 years), violinist Bruce Smith (39 years), trombonist Tanny Gurin (36 years), oboist Shelley Heron (29 years) and principal clarinetist Ted Oien (26 years).


24. March 2014 · Comments Off on Carmina Burana Review · Categories: Reviews, Symphony

Mr. Scheinin liked it … as did the audiences. There was more cheering than I’ve heard in a long time at the end of the concerts!

26. January 2014 · Comments Off on Berlin Phil & Abbado · Categories: Announcements, News, Symphony

The BPO marks the passing of former Chief Conductor Claudio Abbado with a host of free material.
The Berlin Philharmonic have decided to mark the passing of their former Chief Conductor by making all of his concerts in their Digital Concert Hall free to view for anyone who cares to pay an online visit (yes, that’s the link to the Berlin page).