25. April 2007 · Comments Off on Too Bad · Categories: imported, Links

… about that whole Classical Music Is Dead or Dying thing. I know it’s rough. You wake up each day thinking, “Oh how I’d love to go to a concert, but of course classical music is dead.” It’s sad, isn’t it?


No. Concerts. Anywhere. Nearby.

25. April 2007 · Comments Off on HUH? · Categories: imported, Other People's Words

So, you’ve just gotten a call from a friend, inviting you to the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic’s next concert.

Immediately, your mind races. “Will I have to wear an evening gown? … Isn’t the Philharmonic for senior citizens? … I don’t know anything about classical music!”

Right. Every woman I’ve ever spoken with wonders if she should wear an evening gown.


Do women even call them “evening gowns” any more?


25. April 2007 · Comments Off on Tomorrow · Categories: imported, Ramble

I will be talking about and playing the oboe and English horn for a university orchestration class tomorrow. The instructor requested that I “play an easy orchestral excerpt, a hard one, a scale, and student pieces/arrangements” to which I responded … well … anything can be difficult, really!

It’s all about context, you know?

I talked to a class last year at a different school, and I was fairly surprised at what the students didn’t know. I forget that they don’t eat, drink and breathe oboe. (Silly students!) Many aren’t aware that we have to make our reeds. So I give them our whole sob story. I talk about the rebellious reed and the testy instrument. I talk about low notes and pianissimo. I talk about unison oboes. I talk about response and the “donkey” (that sound we get when we first get a higher note before the one we actually want!). I talk to them about high notes … and how much lovelier they can sound on flute. 😉 I talk to them about why musicians who play shiny metal instruments wear lots of jewelry and are cute while we carry razor blades, knives, and are lucky to find a pair of matching shoes.

Well, okay … I don’t say that last part … um … well, not exactly.

Last year I ended my little schtick with “Be nice to us,” and gave them my sad little oboe smile.

Being nice to the oboist is of utmost importance. Every composer should know that.

I won’t tell you what I’m going to play yet … stay tuned for that. But I will tell you I’m looking forward to doing this. I become a bit of a comedian when I talk to classes about what I do. (What can be better than to laugh about this instrument that can make us crazy, don’t you think?) And I LOVE telling them what not make us oboists do!

Whether they follow my requests or not is another story.

25. April 2007 · Comments Off on But, But, But … · Categories: imported, News

He had to run the red light. He was only protecting his viola! (Why does this sound like it should turn into a viola joke?)

Note: I store my instuments on the floor of the car so that, should I have to stop suddenly, they don’t fly off. (I learned this lesson the hard way.)

25. April 2007 · Comments Off on Queen of the Night · Categories: imported, Videos

Since my UCSC students are doing Mozart’s Magic Flute right now, I thought I should definitely direct them, and you, to this which I found via Jason Heath’s blog (he found it via this blogger. Really. You’ve got to see it.

Hmmm. I’d never heard it called “Queen of a One Thousand and One Nights” aria before.

The announcer is right … you’ve never heard it done this way before. I promise! I do wish the camera could have zoomed in.

25. April 2007 · Comments Off on Fin? · Categories: imported, Ramble

Finally, I’m done. I’ve been on stage playing continuously for just over 30 minutes.


Charles Noble finishes his audition story … and I haven’t gotten to the end yet! I will confess to all of you right now: my heart is POUNDING.

Is that silly or what?

In any case, I will now go read the rest. I wanted to blog first, so I don’t give away the ending to anyone here. I’m nice that way. 😉