08. August 2007 · Comments Off on No No No! · Categories: Ramble

On the bassoon and oboe, which aren’t typically used in marching band but can be given solos: “If parents realized the scholarship opportunities with the bassoon and oboe, they’d tell their kids, ‘That’s what you’re going to play.'” — Mike Ryan, Fort Worth executive director of fine arts

(Read here)

I can’t tell you how tired I am of reading or hearing this. It’s simply a stupid reason to take a double reed instrument. And do remember, it’s not just that you play these instruments … the quality of your playing matters!

Please play instruments that you want to play. Parents, don’t choose an instrument because you think it’s your child’s Key To College. Students should choose instruments that fit them. If an oboe isn’t a good fit, it’s such a drag to deal with. Really.

08. August 2007 · 3 comments · Categories: Ramble

Type this in to Google: reed players dental problems (Or just click on my link.)

See what they suggest instead. Quick! Do it now before anything changes.

I can’t stop laughing.

08. August 2007 · Comments Off on What We Do · Categories: Ramble

I’m not sure I want to play heavy, challenging music all the time. This week we’re also playing another easy concert program which consists of Bernstein’s Broadway music. Again, many friends of mine will attend this concert. They’ll love it, and I’ll probably enjoy hearing as we play it. But it’s a mental vacation for me, and this concert requires no extra preparation on my part. The orchestra can just sight-read through this stuff, and the rehearsals are mostly to get the tempos right. Am I looking forward to the concert? No, but I’m looking forward to having an easy week.

This is from a post over at John Floeter’s site. You can read the entire entry here.

I can relate, but I have to confess that sometimes I DO look forward to the gig. I frequently like the music. Sometimes I even like playing the music. (Some of it is so poorly arranged or written it’s just embarrassing, of course.) I remember doing one job where a trumpet player, during a break, talked with me, grumping about the job. I had to be honest. “Well, I kind of grew up with some of this stuff and I’m enjoying it!” He looked baffled and I don’t blame him. I’m a classically trained oboist. I’m supposed to be picky. And sometimes I am, but sometimes I’m just loving the fun job. Sometimes I get a few juicy little solos. You know the type—the ones in the movies that make you cry. I’m good at that sort of thing. And I like to do it.

Of course I’ve mentioned before that I like musicals as well. That’s a really bad thing to say as a classically trained musician. I’m supposed to despise them, or at least see them as lower than my opera and symphony work. But heck, I like a good meal that costs me a bundle, but sometimes a cheap chicken sandwich (I don’t eat red meat so I won’t go so far as to say “burger”) and fries just fits my mood.

In any case, what Mr. Floeter describes is quite accurate. Sometimes it’s easy stuff. Sometimes it’s noise. Sometimes we are there, as far as I can tell, for “decoration” or, dare I say it, to make the event seem more “classy”. (I just read an article about a youth symphony playing for some rock concert and the reviewer even said “Adding class to the show…” so I’m not just being an idiot by saying that. Am I? 😉

08. August 2007 · Comments Off on Just Learned This Via The Merc · Categories: Ramble

Symphony Silicon Valley is joining the conversation with a new multimedia presentation, “Beyond the Score.” Developed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, it pairs live orchestral performance with Ken Burns-style video, which sets a musical piece and composer in their historical context and explains some particulars of the piece itself.

The new concert format makes its West Coast debut June 7-8, 2008, when Symphony Silicon Valley closes its 2007-08 season with a “Beyond the Score” presentation of Igor Stravinsky’s “Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)” at the California Theatre in San Jose.

RTWT *no longer available

Sigh. I will confess that if I never played Rite of Spring again I’d be okay with that. I do love the work, but that English horn part … sigh … it isn’t my favorite thing to play. It also means we are cutting Britten’s Four Sea Interludes. I was looking forward to playing the Britten. Rats. I’m disappointed.

More later. Right now it’s ReedSearch™ time; I’m excited to be meeting with another blogger and we’ll be tooting on oboes in a short while. Fun!