01. August 2009 · 4 comments · Categories: Ramble

Today I only had one student, the first canceling shortly before the lesson due to illness. I recently heard from a music instructor (NOT oboe) who said her students rarely get ill because she charges by the month and if they get sick they have to reschedule. I just can’t operate that way; it seems, to be honest, a bit unkind. It also seems unwise, as I’d hate for ill students to show up to lessons. So the student canceled, and I was grateful, as I don’t like getting sick!

After teaching I readied myself for a former student’s wedding. I put all the Celtic music I found into a nice folder (prepared for wind, although the only troublesome thing about the location was the little fly that kept bugging me) and was dressed and ready to go, thinking it was too bad I’d miss our new furniture that was scheduled to arrive between 1:45 and 3:45. About when I was going to head on out I heard a loud truck in front and … well how ’bout that?! … the furniture came a bit early. Nice! I was able to get a quick look at it, sit on the couch, and then it was time to race out.

The wedding was at Sanborn Park, and it was very sweet and touching and all the things weddings should be. Seeing younger people so in love can really melt my heart. I love playing for these things, and I love doing a bit of improvisation as I do this. It makes me feel nearly creative. During the reception I yakked with a younger couple and — get this! — her father was the bass trombonist in the L. A. Phil for something like 35 years. (That’s “big time” and I’m “small time”, by the way; just so you know!) Then I was talking about our principal trombonist in SSV, since I know he’s from SoCal and thought maybe she knew the name. His first name is Steve, and she first thought I was talking about a different Steve. Well, no, I wasn’t talking about “her” Steve, but then I said, about “her” Steve, “But his wife (a flutist) is playing right now in Merola with me!” Yes. Really. This is small world of a musician. Nearly every time I talk music with someone who is involved in music or has a family member involved, we can find some sort of connection that isn’t all that distant. I love that about our world. (Of course it also means one must always watch what one says about others, but that’s probably a good thing, you know?)

And now I’m watching the Giants play. It’s 2-0, good guys, and it’s the bottom of the 8th. I’m hopeful, but I’m not comfortable, to be sure.

[time lapse as I’m making sure I’m making sense above means that … ta da! … GAME, GIANTS!]


  1. I think that this must be Steve Reynolds, who has a horn-playing son named Matt who lives in Grass Valley, near where we live. Small world!

  2. Yep, you are quite correct! Julie told me about her brother too, and mentioned his name and that he played in this area!

  3. Sanborn is the one right at the curve in the road, right? If it’s the one I’m thinking of, I remember watching my daughter’s first-grade teacher eat a mealworm there during a school outing (ok, not a really appropriate thing to say when you’re talking about a wedding, but they’ve got a bug-thing…er, nature thing there and I was accompanying a field trip). She did not even flinch (obviously, I was impressed – but not enough to eat a bug).

    Total side-track: I went to the opening of (the youth performance of) Les Miserables yesterday (my family came out to see my daughter in it) and was blown away by the performances. The girl playing Eponine literally made me cry with not just her singing (which was outstanding musically in terms of expression, pitch – everything) but with her acting (and I’m a macho dude and all – I don’t cry). The lad playing Javert had the best bass/baritone (not one single note sounded strained) I think I’ve heard from an amateur production; the tenor playing Marius was outstanding, and the young man playing Jean Valjean was also awesome. Not to be outdone, the young lady playing Fantine was amazing – I had images of Susan Boyle in my head, honestly (and this young lady was, without taking anything away from Ms. Boyle, better, even). What impressed me the most, I think, was the trio near the end (two angels and Valjean) – they just…nailed it.

    Ok, I apologize for all the gushing, sorry. I won’t comment on the orchestra (other than to say the sound techs hadn’t really nailed down everything overall – hey, opening show) other than to say that the oboe player totally nailed the huge solo (holy crud, that’s a major solo, I don’t care who you are or what you’re playing).

  4. Sanborn is up past Saratoga … I guess you could say it was at the curve in the road … but there are so many curves ….

    Nice to hear about Les Mis! Who played oboe? Isn’t Valjean’s prayer something else? And yes, that’s one major oboe solo!