28. May 2007 · Comments Off on More Confirmation · Categories: imported, Ramble

Jeremy Denk just announced a switch. To what? Well, to WordPress. Here’s his new site.

It’s a sign, I tell ya!

28. May 2007 · Comments Off on Quick Note … · Categories: imported, Ramble

Someone landed here because of a google image search.

What I really want to know is where can I get this music?! I mean … how fun would it be to have this work that includes a picture painted by my daughter of my very own hands, huh?

28. May 2007 · Comments Off on An Email · Categories: imported, Ramble

Kenneth Woods just wrote a most gracious email to me. How cool is that? ALMOST as cool as being described (if you’re a man, of course) as “a younger, dark-haired William Hurt, only not as depressed.” (This description of Ken appeared in the Oregonian blogged about earlier today. You know the blog entry; the one where I once again show that I don’t read things through very carefully!)

Okay … off to teach. I’ll be more attentive teaching than I was reading. I promise.

28. May 2007 · Comments Off on My Alma Mater · Categories: imported, Videos

I attended Lynbrook High School in San Jose, but it was quite some time ago. (I graduated in 1974.) When I was there we were well known for our band. We had three bands, and there was no doubt which was the top, as the bands were named “A”, “B” and “C”. “A” band was a very strong group, and all the bands had a very demanding and, dare I say it, often abusive conductor. Oh, but did he ever get us to play well! Making girls cry and throwing boys up against a wall can do that I guess. Or at least it did back then! But fear and intimidation is no longer in style (thank goodness!), and I doubt the current director would get away with the things my director did. Nor would he even try, I’m sure.

When I was there, though, we didn’t have a full orchestra. The strings were few and far between. That’s certainly changed! I am currently watching this. It’s quite impressive. A junior from the school is playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the school’s orchestra. The soloist is soon to be leaving for Curtis. Not bad!

(To continue with the concerto you have to go to part two and part three.)

I’ll have to ask my student, Nicole, if she was involved in this concert. I’m assuming so. Nicole, are you reading this? I do know it must be you on English horn playing in the band video … at least that looks like you when he acknowledges the English horn. I sure wish I could have been there. Rats.

Anyway, what fun to locate these videos! Too bad classical music is dead, eh? 😉

28. May 2007 · Comments Off on I Knew It Would Be Up Somewhere · Categories: imported, Videos

… and maybe we’ll see more as time goes on. The Play! show that took place during the San José Fanimecon, is now up at YouTube. Just one tune … in case you’e interested. Not a great video, to say the least, (bad visually, sound is awful) but it might give you an idea of what we were doing. I think other tunes would have been better choices, really. (This kind of sounds like something a marching band might use for a show…?)

The video screen sometimes showed clips of the game, sometimes showed us. (In this instance I’m only seeing the orchestra—I’d heard they were having trouble finding some of the video clips.) The principal oboist was suggesting that a huge screen would be great for kiddie shows; rather than seeing the conductor only from the back, they could see what she or he does. And hey, maybe then we wouldn’t get any sour looks, eh?! 😉 Not that a conductor would EVER do that.

28. May 2007 · Comments Off on Good Article · Categories: imported, Ramble

In other words, Pendleton’s orchestra gives even career musicians the meaning and passion that they miss elsewhere. They don’t do it for the money: Pay ranges from volunteer to $50 per service (rehearsals and the concert), with up to $75 travel reimbursement. The Oregon Symphony pays freelancers $170 per service.

Okay … that’s more than I make here in Symphony Silicon Valley! Quite a bit more. I only get “side pay”, as I’m not a principal player (in some orchestras the English horn player is considered a principal player, but in SSV I’m not even listed as the EH player, although I do play it when it’s called for). So why is the writer of this article about the Oregon East Symphony implying that the freelancers don’t do it for the money? Hmmm. Maybe they are paying their principal players that amount. Maybe the article just isn’t being clear. I wonder.

Update: Well DUH … the $170 is for the Oregon Symphony, not for the Oregon East Symphony. I can be so dumb sometimes.

—Insert pause here while readers laugh.—

Okay, okay … I can be so dumb all the time!

But anyway, the article itself is a good read. They symphony suffered a fire that took their music and much more. Kenneth Woods is the conductor, and you can read his blog by following my link.

Oh .. wait … there IS this: Saturday, the day before the concert, is crunch time. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Woods drills the woodwinds, brass and strings on notes and style in separate sectional rehearsals. That night, he takes them through the entire symphony one last run time. They grind out each movement.

Um … maybe that pay mentioned above is for an 8 hour service? Yikes! Now that would not be such a great thing.

(Side note: some folks see our “service pay” and think we earn so much more than they do. Keep in mind we supply our own equipment—have you checked the price of instruments lately?—we practice on our own time, and, at least for me, there’s no vacation pay, no substantial sick leave, and no benefits … I’m not complainin’, I’m just sayin’ ….)

Today is “figure out the rest of my life summer, since I know I’m going to feel a bit lost without any playing jobs. I did get my hopes up, thinking maybe we actually had a July 3 gig, but turns out the Mercury News was printing up something we did several years ago. Whoa. Get your act together, Merc!

Maybe I’ll even get my house cleaned up completely …? (Note that I’m NOT mentioning my yard here!)