23. October 2007 · Comments Off on The English Horn Life · Categories: Ramble

I knew I wouldn’t be needed until the end of the symphony rehearsal tonight, but I can never convince myself to stay home for very long. I did manage to get to the hall after they had started rehearsing though. I usually can’t even wait that long! So I arrived at about 7:40 for a rehearsal that began at 7:30. I was told they’d be doing Schumann (Piano Concerto in A minor), then Brahms (third symphony), and finally end with Debussy (Prèlude l’après-midi d’un faune). I play the Debussy only, as I’ve mentioned before.

I always bring a book, but I rarely read. I can’t concentrate on a book very well when I’m listening. It’s hard not to listen when you are in a concert hall. I did, though, go over my opera part a bit, since I had just picked it up. Hah! Good thing I did. Good old Kalmus. The oboe books for Werther had pages out of order!. The first few pages went 2 (which is the first page of music), 5, 4, 3 and finally, from page 6 on, things are correct. As a former librarian who has dealt with issues like this, I’ve told the company that Kalmus is so full of errors a librarian has to go page by page to fix things. So far they haven’t taken me seriously. Part of me is sort of sorry I caught the error. (Things never change unless you kind of force change, you know?) Ah well. The other part of me is happy to avoid wasted rehearsal time figuring out the problem.

But anyway … back to the rehearsal … after enjoying some Schumann and Brahms I did finally play for the final 20 minutes of the rehearsal. I’m okay with that. That’s part of the English horn life. (The other part is sit, sit, sit, sit, worry, worry, play huge scary solo, sit, sit, sit …. But no scary solos in this set.)

23. October 2007 · Comments Off on It’s Here! · Categories: Ramble

So Alex Ross’s book arrived today. I really want to start reading, but the question is, do I read it before I finish what I’m working on? (I hate that I’m such a slow reader these days, but that’s just the way it is.)

BUT … more frustrating … the book cover is damaged. This lovely white cover with clean lettering has a huge brownish stain on the top right hand corner. At least I’m assuming this is damage and not the way it is supposed to look! I guess that’s what I get for ordering from the online Barnes and Noble store, and not selecting my own copy. I wonder if they’d exchange it for a clean copy if I took it to the local store. It’s silly to care about a cover I suppose, but I like to get things that look new. It’s up to me to mess the things up. Right?

Anyway, it’s here … along with William Bolcom’s Aubade for the Continuation of Life, for Oboe (or Bb Saxophone … say WHAT?!) and Piano, which I ordered on a whim. I haven’t a clue what the work is like. Anyone out there know of it?

23. October 2007 · Comments Off on We Don’t March! · Categories: Ramble

Please, don’t march with an oboe or English horn. Pretty please?!

Besides volleyball, music is a big part of Sophia’s life. She plays clarinet and obo in the Dons’ marching band, obo and English horn in the school’s concert band, and also sings in church. At Duke, Dunworth plans to participate with musical groups during the volleyball off-season. “Scheduling time to complete all my studies, plus volleyball, and still have a social life is a balance I’ve had to work at since my freshman year,” Sophia said.

I’m hoping they aren’t saying she marches with an “obo” (I’d call that a spelling error, but in some countries it’s spelled that way so oh well!). Oboes are fragile little beasts. Reeds are sharp objects. And fragile littler beasts. Marching while playing makes the instrument sound yucky.

So many reasons.

I also see, in the quoted article above, the typical problem that many of my students encounter. They are doing too much! Now some students can handle a lot, but I have to say that nearly every student I have comes in yawning and exhausted. I always ask (as they wearily know), “How are you?” followed by “How’s the oboe?” Answers are almost 100% “Tired” and “Fine”.

I think kids are under such pressure these days to get into top colleges, and parent and peer pressure is so high, that many don’t even know how to have fun any more. Makes me kind of sad ….