When I got to the pit tonight it was 64 degrees. That’s cold, and my oboe let me know very quickly that 64 is not okay. Fortunately it warmed up by the time we played, and I think it was about 68 or 69 for much of the time. But still … why must I get there and freak out over the temperature.

And why is my oboe SO picky about temperature?

Oh. Wait. Maybe it’s so I can whine.

Could my oboe be that sensitive to my needs? Could it know that whining is what I do best? Hmmm.


  1. Hi Patty,
    I remember reading an article about telescopes… I think it was about the Hubble. The article said they keep the instruments in cold temperatures to prevent them from vibrating and going out of adjustment. The problem with cold for me on the oboe and the reed is that they don’t vibrate like they should.

    Some orchestras set 68 degrees as the limit. If the temp goes below that, the musicians have the right to walk out and still get paid. Is there something in your musicians union laws about temperatures?

  2. Hi Janet,

    My instruments and reeds just don’t like 64. I can tell the reeds aren’t vibrating, but the oboe feels dead too. It’s weird.

    We have a clause about temperature, but of course no one is ever going to cancel a performance, so we pull out heaters when we can. The hall is just ridiculously difficult to figure out; it had been renovated a while back, and it appears the temperature control was not an issue for the renovation. (Nor was putting in any drinking fountain backstage!) No one asked performers for input. Sigh.