The Columbus Symphony Orchestra and its musicians agreed to a new contract Monday that will get the 57-year-old symphony back to performing at the Ohio Theatre.

In a joint statement, the orchestra board and the union representing its 53 full-time musicians said the three-year contract cuts wages and benefits by about $1.3 million per year. The contract also shortens the season from 46 weeks to 31 in the first year and 38 weeks thereafter.

“We musicians tend to call this a lifeboat contract,” said Jim Akins, orchestra committee chairman. “While it’s certainly not a model contract by any stretch, it’s better than treading water.”

Read more here.

I honestly thought that they would suffer the same fate as San Jose Symphony. So while they might not be happy with the cutbacks, they can be happy they didn’t have to endure what we did, that being the death of a symphony with no possibility of resurrection.

It’s true we now have Symphony Silicon Valley, but the amount of work isn’t anywhere close to the job we had before. Am I grateful for SSV? You betcha. But it isn’t what we had.

So congratulations to Columbus and best wishes for a great year!


Well, well, well … it doesn’t really work … um … well … does it?:


I’d just love to hear this:

Residents of northern Los Angeles County are not grooving to this music.

Lancaster city officials said this week that they’re paving over a quarter-mile strip of asphalt grooved to play the William Tell Overture when auto tires speed over it.

The road was completed this month as part of an ad campaign for Honda. It’s engineered to play the overture — also known as the theme to “The Lone Ranger” — at perfect pitch for motorists driving Honda Civics at 55 mph.

But neighbors aren’t amused. One says the road music sounds like a high-pitched drone. Another says it keeps him and his wife up at night.

Lancaster officials plan to pave over the grooves Tuesday.

I read it here.

Of course I’m guessing they skip everything but the “Lone Ranger” theme. But what a kick! (I can certainly understand why it would be annoying, though.)

… but can she make an oboe reed?

Seriously, though, this young flutist was eight years old when this was made? Fine. I’m humbled. Again. (I didn’t know what an oboe was when I was eight years old!)


22. September 2008 · Comments Off on Odd · Categories: Ramble

I wonder why I have a sort of “yodeling song” in my head. I don’t know what it is, but I’m sure it’s something I’ve heard before. But where did it come from. And why?

I landed at a student vocalist’s site earlier today. I’m not even sure how I wound up there; I’m guessing she used the word “oboe” somewhere in her blog entry. She’s at a university here in the US, and is majoring in voice. I’m not sure what her intentions are when it comes to using her degree, but she included a recording of her singing at her site.

I hate sounding harsh (and I’ll never link to her site and there are plenty of voice students out there so no one could ever guess who it is. I will tell you it’s not anywhere near where I live, so don’t be guessing these schools!), but she sounded awful. She had a strange tone quality, she was out of tune, and I was surprised she was willing to put this up there as a sample of her singing.

But it got me to pondering something I’ve pondered before: What do we owe our university students?

If the singer’s teacher heard her recording do you think that teacher should say something to the poor singer? If a teacher knows with certainty that a musician hasn’t a chance of succeeding, does that teacher owe it to the student to tell the truth? How should such a thing be done?

I love to be proven wrong. When I’m teaching my younger private students there have been times when I’ve thought to myself, “This student is never going to figure this instrument out,” and while I’ve sometimes been correct, I’ve also had to eat my unspoken words in some cases. I like that. It keeps me from dismissing a student until I’m absolutely sure oboe isn’t a possibility for him or her. (Truth be told, every student I’ve had who has been in the “not likely camp” and never did get it has quit before I’ve had to suggest the quitting option.) I had one student I was just sure was not going to be able to deal with oboe and that student not only proved me wrong, but became one of my finest students.

Can that happen at a university level as well? Do we owe our students our patience, perseverance, and encouragement in all instances? Or is there a point at which we should be required to have an honest, face the truth session where we say, “You can do this and I hope you enjoy every minute, but you aren’t going to win an audition in a professional orchestra”? Are we wasting a student’s time and money if we put up with something that isn’t good enough? Are we setting them up for failure? Or, if we don’t say anything, are we possibly dealing with some students who will, just around the corner, have some monumental moment that causes them to blossom? If we do say, “Ain’t gonna happen, baby,” are we missing out on a possibility for genius or are we saving some students from years of discouragement?


But yeah, probably saying, “Ain’t gonna happen, baby,” isn’t quite the right way to put it, eh? 😉

After a loo-break, which I supposed got rid of the alcohol, I was able to stay awake to watch Jessica show off her amazing lung powers with the Oboe Concerto. Can’t say I’m an oboe expert, but the piece kept me awake. Well, that or the amusement derived from watching Jessica play the oboe like the Hulk would. As Kyles says, “It’s a little lacking aesthetically”.