11. January 2010 · Comments Off on Sing Along! It’s Easy … · Categories: Links, Videos

Singing is one of the first things that parents do with babies when they are born, and parents are constantly singing to toddlers: wordless ditties, choruses and refrains, made-up rhyming songs, anything to comfort them or engage with them. Parents sing, sing, sing in the early years of children’s lives—and then it stops.

What happens?

… read on to find the answer.

I hope my kids remember me being wacky and singing even after they were in school; I did used to make up very silly songs. (It’s also how we taught them our phone number!) But I know, too, that I pretty much stopped singing to them when they got into school. (And I’m guessing they don’t even know that I sang them a song as I rocked them when they were babies. A song that included their own name that I just made up at some point when Brandon, our first, was born.)

Singing brings joy. Singing brings people together. Singing makes us smile. We should do more of it, don’t you think?

“I do feel blind auditions are desirable, because, at the end of the day, if I succeed or fail, I have no doubt it’s because how I played,” Scruggs says. “Orchestras need to have a little bit of faith that a fair audition process will uphold artistic standards.”

The oboist points to the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York as an example.

“To my knowledge,” he says, “that’s the only one that holds truly blind auditions, where the winners are accepted before the applicants are ever seen. They have a black principal clarinetist, a black principal trumpet, and a black second trombone. And it’s one of the best orchestras in the world.”


Not true any longer, actually: recently San Francisco Opera kept their entire audition behind the screen. I think this is a new practice for them. With us “little folk”: Symphony Silicon Valley does everything behind the screen, as did San Jose Symphony (RIP) before our demise. I used to fight this idea (for reasons other than race, believe me!) but I’ve decided it really is for the best. The tenure review process can deal with issues we might run into once a player wins an audition.

11. January 2010 · Comments Off on Sound Advice · Categories: Other People's Words

My advice to young people with artistic talent and passion who are worried about making a living is this: get the best training you can. Commit yourself to using your artistic abilities to making a difference in the world. You may or may not make your living (or all of it, anyway) from a traditional job in that field. How many full-time cello jobs are there? (Even fewer if you play, say, the oboe, as a friend with one of the few full0time oboe symphony jobs pointed out to me the other night.)

-Eric Edberg

Please do read the whole thing. It’s good.

11. January 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Which is more evil, the oboe or the bassoon?

11. January 2010 · Comments Off on Kurt Masur · Categories: Conductors, Links, News

Two or three years ago, when the Seattle Symphony Orchestra began discussing with the legendary conductor Kurt Masur a guest role during SSO’s 2009-10 season, Masur insisted on a condition that had nothing to do with the program of Mozart and Bruckner he will lead at Benaroya Hall tonight through Saturday.

Masur, the 82-year-old music director emeritus of the New York Philharmonic and music director for life of the Orchestre National de France in Paris, also wanted to do something with and for a local group of young musicians or developing conductors. Perhaps a master class, he suggested, or some other tutelage of the sort that helps keep him busy amid his whirlwind schedule of worldwide appearances.

“From the beginning as a conductor, I felt younger generations must be oriented to the classical tradition,” says Masur by phone following a morning rehearsal with SSO. “In America, you are far away from that tradition. This is knowledge conductors and musicians must have to lead and play.”


11. January 2010 · Comments Off on Vade Mecum, Page 72? · Categories: Help!

Anyone want to help this person? I looked at page 72 and it’s just one of those grueling etudes … I’m too lazy to look through my etude books at the moment.

72nd piece in Vade Mecum of the Oboist?

Does anybody know what the name of the piece on the 72nd page of the Vade Mecum of the Oboist (9th edition) is? Or at least the composer?

I read it here.