26. September 2005 · Comments Off on Music Quote · Categories: imported, Quotes

I liked the idea of working with community orchestras. They’re there because they really want to play music, not make a lot of money.

-Joan Tower (composer)


26. September 2005 · Comments Off on Setting Up A Studio · Categories: imported, Ramble

With our children getting older and moving out, I will soon have a studio to call my own! This is a first, and I’m pretty darn excited about it. It won’t be my “dream studio” but it will get my students and me out of the living room so the family won’t have to traipse through as I’m teaching and the TV and cooking noises won’t be distracting. I’ll also have a good amount of room. Woo hoo!

Of course if I had unlimited funds I’d put in double doors (either French or just sliding pocket doors) so that my students could easily see me as they walk to the door. (If you know our house you know what I’m talking about.) I would re-carpet immediately (the carpet in that room is shot), and I’d take out the closet because it juts into the room and isn’t all that handy anyway. I’d then purchase a nice desk and bookcase unit which is something I’ve always hoped for.

All of that, though, will have to wait.

I do insist on getting it painted first. (Hmmm. I should probably word that differently, as I think I’ll end up being the painter!) Both walls and ceiling need fresh coats of paint; I find it difficult to concentrate when a room is in bad shape. I also want to remove the current wallpaper, get a new valance, and, finally, put up Kelsey’s oboe artwork.

All of this is going to take some time, energy and money. I have only a little of those right now. Patience is definitely a necessity.

If only I knew where to get some. For free.

26. September 2005 · Comments Off on A Response · Categories: imported, Ramble

To be fair, I have to include a response from one of the performers in Sweeney Todd that I found over at Talkin’ Broadway. So go here and read what the woman has to say.

Do I believe that all ten performers are accomplished musicians? Well, I’m skeptical is all. I can’t tell you how many people come up to me and say “I play oboe too!” and when I ask where they say “Well, in high school. I haven’t played since then, but I play too!” It’s their assumption that they and I are at some equal level of ability. I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I have to say that they are wrong.

BUT … and this is a big “but” … Sondheim approves of this new production. Who am I to argue with the man himself?

Yep. I knew you’d say, “You’re no one. You’re not even a speck of dust!” … and I guess I’ll have to agree.

So if anyone wants to send me a round trip ticket to NYC, and buy me a ticket to the show, I’ll go and review it myself. With a totally open mind. Honest! Who knows, by the time I’ve seen the whole thing perhaps I’ll have an open mouth as well … jaw dropping to the floor … in absolute amazement at the talent on stage. It could happen!

Then again, I doubt anyone would fly me to the moon … um … I mean NYC (I don’t ask for much, do I?) … so maybe I’ll just have to trust the real reviewers out there. (How does one get to be a “real reviewer”, I wonder. Is there a test? Do you have to have a degree in performance of some sort? Or is it just, “I see a lot of shows and I like to write”? Fill me in … someone … anyone …?)

26. September 2005 · Comments Off on Close Enough For … Sondheim? · Categories: imported, Ramble

If you recall, I wrote about the new production of Sweeney Todd a while back. The actors/singers on stage will also be instrumentalists. Each and every one. (Not that there are very many; they’ve reduced the number of performers to ten.) I have reservations about the production. I find it difficult to believe that they’ve managed to find ten performers who are also accomplished instrumentalists. But I’m a skeptic.

Still, read this article and maybe you’ll be a skeptic too.

I do wonder what reviewers will do with this. Will they go easy on the actors … especially since one of them is Patti Lupone? She is a fabulous performer and I usually love what she does. (I thought was incredible in Passion.) What they would butcher coming from the pit might they be careful about when it’s coming from a well known, talented actor?

Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Then again, maybe the performers will be stellar and this will catch on. One more way to keep us lowly folk out of the pit, you know?

Naw, I’m not bitter. Not at all. Kick us out of ballet. Cut out some instruments and put a synthesizer in our places. Give an actor our parts. I’ll just sit at home, watch the soaps and eat bon bons — once I figure out what a bon bon is! 😉

26. September 2005 · Comments Off on Yay Jason! · Categories: imported, Ramble

Jason Sudduth was the second oboist of San Jose Symphony (RIP). He’s now the English hornist of the Honolulu Symphony. I read a review just now in which second to last paragraph says this:

Shimada opened the program with Berlioz’s “Roman Carnival Overture,” a youthful work of operatic origins, filled with drama, melody, and rousing sentiment. In this, Shimada delivered both clarity and coherence, balanced ensemble highlighted by outstanding solos. Most memorable were Jason Sudduth’s extended lyric solo on English horn and the brass section’s final, ringing chord.

I’m not surprised, because Jason is one very fine player, but congrats, Jason!