I used to test as an INFJ. Always. Forever. And it always seemed right. But a few years back things changed. And so it continues:

Your Personality is Very Rare (INTJ)

Your personality type is logical, uncompromising, independent, and nonconformist.

Only about 3% of all people have your personality, including 2% of all women and 4% of all men.
You are Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Judging.

How Rare Is Your Personality?

I used to be “Feeling” instead of “Thinking”.

I think I like thinking better but I’m not totally certain how I feel.

21. January 2008 · Comments Off on On This Rainy Day · Categories: Ramble

(Yes, it is now raining outside. I’m glad, but I would have liked it better if this had started a few days ago, so my reeds wouldn’t have been so dry! See? I can find the negative side no matter what!)

… but anyway … on this rainy day (as I began) I’m thinking about how I really want a summer gig. Really. A lot. A whole, whole lot.


That’s all.

21. January 2008 · Comments Off on Phreeway Philharmonic · Categories: Announcements, Ramble, Watch

Or is it Freeway Filharmonic?

Oh. Wait. Wrong on both counts!

But be sure and check out the KQED show on the Freeway Philharmonic. It’s not the life I lead, but it is quite typical of many of my colleagues and friends. (I play primarily in Opera San José and Symphony Silicon Valley, with Ballet San Jose and AMTSJ thrown in on occasion, which are all less than a 10 minute drive from my home. Yeah, I do other work as well, but those are the main gigs.)

In fact, I know Kale and Robin (quoted below), Meredith Brown (horn), Bruce Chrisp (trombone) and Karla Ekholm (bassoon). Meredith is a regular in Symphony Silicon Valley. The others have all subbed with groups I’m in. This is the typical life of a musician in the Bay Area who doesn’t have a full time gig in a major orchestra like those Big Folk in San Francisco. How one has a family and does this is beyond me, but I know they manage. Somehow.

This is from the KQED site:

Freeway Philharmonic

“Music is my spirituality, my personality, my ecstasy…when it’s good, there’s nothing better and if you can do this for a living, good gig.”
Robin Bonell – cello

Freeway Philharmonic follows seven San Francisco Bay Area freelance classical musicians as they perform with regional orchestras across Northern California. Unlike musicians who have a permanent position with a major symphony, these musicians live from one season to the next. The film depicts their efforts to balance a love of music with a road-warrior lifestyle that often requires traveling hundreds of miles a day to rehearse, teach and perform. These individuals have an unrelenting desire to perform for a living, sometimes at the expense of their families and well-being. The film shows the dedication, perseverance and rigorous life of the musicians, while they grapple with their desire to succeed on a difficult career path and come to terms with their limitations in their quest for artistic accomplishment.

“It’s really hard for small to medium sized orchestras to stay afloat – it’s a tough industry.”
Kale Cumings – trumpet

In addition to profiling the individual and often interconnected stories of the seven musicians, the documentary illustrates the state of music and the arts in local communities across the country. In common with many small arts organizations, regional orchestras struggle with funding. They rarely have enough to hire permanent artists; instead they fill their chairs with freelance musicians contracted to perform from season to season. Each year thousands of conservatory-trained musicians end up in these arrangements, serving the cultural needs of small communities across America. Without these individuals, regional orchestras in cities like Marin, Santa Rosa, Napa, Berkeley, and Stockton, simply would not exist.

Many of the freelance Freeway Philharmonic musicians came up through public school music programs. Now they are ambassadors for music back to those same schools. With music programs disappearing from schools everywhere due to insufficient funding and a shift in educational priorities, players often contribute by teaching and performing for students. They are trying to fill the gap left by limited public music programs and to be role models for the next generation of musicians.

I know that just this past week Meredith had several three service days. (A “service” is a rehearsal or performance.) The three services weren’t all in the same location, either. Ouch! And then there are those long drives home in the middle of the night.

When I’ve been hired to do shows up in San Francisco I learned to occasionally book a room up there merely for my sanity. It wasn’t a vacation, to be sure, but it saved me hours of commuting and it was nice to be “home” within minutes. Of course it meant I had to pay for that room (but yay for Hotwire.com!), but it was well worth it. Now, with no children at home, I think I’d stay even more frequently, despite the cost. When I was searching for a photographer for The Wedding one photographer wanted to charge us $500 for a room and meals for both her and her assistant. She suggested that I knew what it was like to do a job and how I needed to then crash. And of course I DO understand … but it certainly never meant that any group would pay me $250 for housing and food! (We did pick a different, and absolutely fabulous, photographer—I recommend you turn down your sound first if you click on the link— by the way. I read her blog frequently these days, and I’m excited to have her for The Wedding.)

But I ramble … I manage to get off track pretty quickly, don’t I? (But hey, when I find someone I think has talent I like to promote them … it’s not all about music all the time!)

I just found the trailer for the show. Cool!

Be sure and catch that KQED show. I know I plan to!

21. January 2008 · Comments Off on Plan Ahead! · Categories: Announcements

It’s time to start thinking about summer.

I know, I know, it seems so far off. But if any of you students are thinking about summer music camps or festivals, you should be checking things out now.

I used to have along list of camps and all, but I’ve decided that another site provides fine information for youth summer music camps. So check them out.

I might, in the near future, start posting info for college students. Some camps/workshops/festivals require CD submissions and some need them soon.

(Colorado College’s Summer Music Festival intrigues me because they provide full scholarships for all students. Who can argue with that? (The oboe coaches are Jeff Rathbun and Robert Walters from Cleveland Orchestra.) I receive their brochure each year at UCSC and SCU. Students must be 18 years old or older.)

21. January 2008 · Comments Off on Matt Haimovitz · Categories: Links

Q This is the second consecutive year you’ve played with the Minnesota Sinfonia. You must enjoy working with them.

A I do. I identify with their mission of bringing symphonic music to audiences that wouldn’t normally come to a concert hall, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere of their concerts, the informality of them, as well as the programming. Though I’m not a huge fan of free concerts …

Q Why?

A I’ve had experiences where you give things away and it brings out the worst in people. But beyond that, I think that what musicians do has value. This is the way we make our living, and people should recognize that and be willing to pay something, even if it’s just the price of a cinema ticket. But I have to say that the Sinfonia handles everything really beautifully. When free concerts are done right, they work.

Want to read more? Go here.

Who says an office job has to be boring? This just looks like fun! 😉

The infamous oboe reed

The oboe reed usually costs more money than a professional oboe player earns for a year of work in a famous orchestra. Another attribute of oboe reeds is the squeeky, high pitched noise they make while they aren’t shoved into the oboe. The players usually squeek into these reeds until you smack it into a wall or throw the actually oboe player there. This is another leading cause of death among this group of musicians.

-Uncyclopedia entry

If it’s wiki it must be true … right? 😉

(Found here. I haven’t read through the whole page. Considering their type of humor I must warn you i won’t take the blame (or credit) for anything that might offend my dear readers/reeders.)