12. March 2010 · Comments Off on If …? · Categories: Football, Oboe

This little bit of information may go under the radar, but Houston Texan OL- Chester Pitts will visit San Francisco next week. As of week 3 of the 2009 season Pitts had started 113 consecutive games for Houston, all at guard, after starting his career at tackle. Pitts also played all but 1 snap in 2008. This could be a real good move for the 49ers.

I read it here.

If Chester Pitts actually does come to San Francisco to play with the 49ers do you think he’d play oboe duets with me during halftime?

12. March 2010 · Comments Off on Happy Birthday, James Taylor · Categories: Birthdays!


And yeah, he kind of got older:

Yesterday I wound twelve oboe reeds, readying myself for some upcoming work when I know I’ll be too zoned out to do much whittling. I really need to get working on them, but one thing I usually find myself doing prior to really hunkering down and carving is a “reed purge”. I pull nearly everything out (only leaving the very few best reeds alone), put them in water, and go through each and every reed (oboe and English horn) to do a “search and destroy” mission.

Mission accomplished!:


Not as messy as some days, as I had done a purge not all that long ago. But for some reason I love the look of all the stuff on the floor! I feel as if I’ve really accomplished something.

What’s remaining:

  • 12 oboe blanks
  • 11 English horn blanks
  • 16 oboe reeds (not saying their great … just not at the “destroy” stage yet)
  • 17 English horn reeds (ditto)

Wow … I just noticed that I have 28 oboe reeds and 28 EH reeds if I add up the finished and blanks … this isn’t anything deliberate. It just happened that way. Funny.


& now I have to pull out the vacuum.

Jauvon Gilliam, for seven years a timpanist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, really, really wanted to win the vacant timpani position with the National Symphony Orchestra when the opening was announced last year. So he rented a minivan, packed up his drums and drove 26 hours across the country to audition. He got called back and made the drive a second time.

To make sure he was mentally prepared, he called up timpanists in major American orchestras along the way and asked if he could play for them. He wanted to get used to playing nervous, in unfamiliar situations. The first two attempts went terribly. The next two went much better. And by the time he got to Washington, he was in great form. He was the orchestra’s unanimous choice for the position.


I have great admiration for anyone who has to do the audition thing. It’s more difficult than a non-musician might imagine … and I’m incredibly thankful to have jobs I love already. Whew!

12. March 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

I decided I’m going to major in music. I just can’t imagine life without a career involving playing my oboe.

12. March 2010 · 1 comment · Categories: Ramble

Drew McManus has blogged to tell us he has set up a new TAFTO (Take a Friend to Orchestra) site which includes all of the past TAFTO contributions. I was included in the very first year. At the time I had no idea that Drew would do this annually, and that he would get some pretty big names to contribute. Now I look at it and think, “Wow, I’ll bet I’d never be asked at this point!” There just weren’t as many classical music bloggers “back in the day”. I was relieved when I read mine; while it wasn’t exactly the best written (far from it), not the most creative, at least I wasn’t embarrassed by it.

What I am embarrassed by is that I rarely do invite anyone to orchestra concerts. I must be honest and say I simply forget. I’m so busy during a symphony week that I don’t manage to contact anyone but the people who are closest to me. I do hope that some local folks read this blog and maybe want to come hear what I’m blogging about so frequently, but it’s incredibly rare to hear from someone who does that. Ah well … I do my best. Or close to my best. Or something. Sometimes.

So go visit TAFTO. The site looks fantastic. Then take a friend to an orchestra concert. If you come to one of mine please do write and tell me!