06. December 2010 · Comments Off on I Was On The Radio! · Categories: Ramble

Well … at least I was mentioned on the radio. I didn’t hear it, but I did hear about it. Here are the tweets I received from a TwitterPal™:

Imagine my delight today while driving the 90minutes to Toronto for my spa date & the radio announcer mentions the Musical Advent

…Calendar posted by an “oboist named Patty”! Hey, that’s *MY* Patty you’re talking about! Yay! You were on the CBC!

You realize this means your blog was mentioned to a national audience coast to coast to coast and into the northern states..star!

btw, this was the show: http://www.cbc.ca/radio2/programs/intune/

It was fun to read about it, even while I couldn’t hear it, and I’m especially glad someone must be enjoying my Advent series!

Many thanks to Sandra Mogensen, the TwitterPal™ (Twitter name: @sandramogensen). Sandra is a pianist and, like yours truly, a blogger.

06. December 2010 · Comments Off on Double Reed Christmas · Categories: Double Reed Christmas

For December Mondays I’ll not be posting any “oboe outside” videos. Instead I’ll post any Christmas music I find with double reeds. If I find more than the three Mondays allow I’ll even post ’em on other days. That’s just how nice I am! 😉

Here’s the first:

06. December 2010 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

Buyer beware:

I have a used flute (great for beginners) – $150.00. I have a used oboe with new reed still in pack (no case)- $85.00. I also have a well used piccolo that needs a key replaced (well used and perfect for beginners) – $50.00 …


I read it here. Cheapcycle, indeed.

They might be worth buying though … to use as lampstands!

Some music is incredible, but doesn’t hit my heart. HeartMusic™ is the stuff I love the best. I’m not sure how much of it my heart can handle, but so far I continue to listen and the heart still pounds on. Some HeartMusic™ is from the classical tradition. Most, really. Some is pop, but that is pretty rare, and the music I considered HeartMusic™ when I was a kid doesn’t quite hit me the same way any longer. Other HeartMusic; is from other traditions. Folk music is definitely something that can hit me. And certain instrument combinations as well. Listen to this YouTube video and see if it makes you tear up. It did that to me. I’m going to guess it hits some of you, but probably not all. My only disappointment was the applause at the end … funny how I just want silence …..

So what is your HeartMusic™

06. December 2010 · Comments Off on Careers Lost, Careers Changed, Careers Combined · Categories: News

There are two articles on musicians and this wacky career. One is a bit more depressing. The other is about changing careers — or adding a career while keeping music — and that one seems more upbeat to me. Maybe it’s because it begins with an oboist. Hmmm.

It was a good living. But the New York freelance musician — a bright thread in the fabric of the city — is dying out. In an age of sampling, digitization and outsourcing, New York’s soundtrack and advertising-jingle recording industry has essentially collapsed. Broadway jobs are in decline. Dance companies rely increasingly on recorded music. And many freelance orchestras, among the last steady deals, are cutting back on their seasons, sometimes to nothingness.


In the sunny front room of her Little Italy apartment, at a work table filled with unusual tools, Diane Lacelle uses a gouger, a micrometer and a guillotine to make a reed for her oboe. Lacelle is 45, and has been playing oboe professionally for 25 years. The reed is key to the instrument’s sound and for an oboist, the painstaking preparation of reeds is part of the job description.

“If you scrape at the wrong place and remove too much, you ruin the reed,” she said as she shaved off a fraction of a millimetre. “Students want to know the secret of making reeds. There’s no secret, just practice and lots of reeds in the garbage. Oboists are like beavers, we spend half the time scraping away. You have to be patient, meticulous, precise.”

When a dentist friend suggested that Lacelle could apply these qualities to a career in his field, she was intrigued.


I sometimes think about what I’d do if this career of mine fell apart (or if it was taken away from me). I love research. But I’m not exactly a brain. I sort of enjoy busywork (yeah, that’s what a person with little brain enjoys sometimes). Is there some way I can combine those two and find a new career? I wonder.

Someone want to hire a neurotic oboist? C’mon, you know you do!

06. December 2010 · Comments Off on The Weekend’s Concerts · Categories: Reviews

I so enjoyed our guest conductor (every conductor is a guest at Symphony SIlicon Valley, by the way!), Giampaolo Bisanti. He was great to work with, and I’d love to see him return. Everyone I talked to in the orchestra agreed. I’m not sure, though, that he’ll be available to us in the future; he is on the rise … ah well … we can all say we worked with him at least this one time!

Saturday night’s concert went quite well, and Sunday’s even better. Yours truly made one little error in the Schubert on opening night that ruined her evening, of course. Some people noticed, some didn’t. But of course most (but even there not all) colleagues noticed, and one even commented the next day right before our second concert which sort of threw me a bit. Ah well. We all do our best, yes? It’s not as if we try to have brain freezes. Mostly my part was quite insignificant and this was a stress free week for me; I needed that!

The Merc review is out and it’s quite favorable. Here are just a few quotes that make me happy, due to colleagues getting well deserved mentions:

As guest conductor Giampaolo Bisanti took his bows Saturday night at the California Theatre, applause surged through the house — and through the ranks of Symphony Silicon Valley. Nearly all the orchestra’s members clapped and stamped their feet in appreciation of Bisanti, and its principal trumpeter, James F. Dooley, pointing at the conductor, shouted, “You the man!”

Gee … did Jim really do that?! Fun! (Jim sits behind me so I can’t see what he’s doing, but I do know he loved Bisanti.)

Bisanti led a performance of radiance and charm, and the key was soloist Meredith Brown, the orchestra’s principal horn.
Her tone was haunting, with round plummy low notes and assured upper notes — a good thing, as Mozart demands nimbleness across a wide range in his opening movement. In the stately second movement, she and the orchestra phrased the themes with comfort, as Brown again climbed from basement to tower.

he concert’s second half began with Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” Overture, which had good thrumming energy in the strings and delicate wind work from bassoonist Deborah Kramer and clarinetist Michael Corner.

The players were with him from the outset, though the unity of the performance became doubly clear in the second movement, with its glowing strings — and Corner yet again playing a lilting solo and bringing the Allegretto to a whispered finish. The third movement, a minuet, included a deliciously lacy duet between bassoonist Kramer and principal oboe Pamela Hakl, amid ripe strings.

So woo hoo to all of my colleagues, and especially to Pam, Debbie and Mike … they really did sound fantastic!

06. December 2010 · Comments Off on Read On Twitter (ROT) · Categories: ROT · Tags:

Humble asking: Please vote for me …on Lifetime Achievement @ Edublogs

I’m trying to figure out if it is humble to ask for people to vote for you.

Not sure … I suppose one might have to humble one’s self to ask, rather than having people do it on their own?

06. December 2010 · Comments Off on Another Random Act of Culture · Categories: Ramble

Random Act of Culture at Miami’s Dadeland Mall from Knight Foundation on Vimeo.

06. December 2010 · Comments Off on Oh Well · Categories: News, Oboe

You know how I sometimes respond to someone’s amazing talent with “But can she make an oboe reed?”

Meet Felisa Wolfe-Simon, the lead scientist behind the whiz-bang discovery about potential new life forms. Though only in her early 30s by “standard graduation-year math,” she is already “insanely accomplished by anyone’s standards,” writes Irin Carmon. She’s also a model in varied interests, with a double degree in biology/chemistry and oboe performance from Oberlin, plus a Ph.D in oceanography from Rutgers.

I guess the answer with this particular woman is, “Yes. Yes she can.”

I prefer not to think of her as some sort of genius or anything, though. I’m just gonna call her “arsenic lady”.

I read it here.

06. December 2010 · Comments Off on Oh Man … · Categories: Yahoo! Answers

I think you mean ‘orchestra’. A ‘symphony’ is a piece of music. Please don’t fall into using these horrible slang terms.

This was part of an answer to this question:

22 yr old oboist..if I keep going do you think I have a good chance of playing in a good symphony?

The questioner then provided a link to her YouTube videos.

I checked, and the former comment was given by someone in the UK. So perhaps in the UK you can’t call an orchestra a symphony. Does anyone know about this?

PS I play in Symphony Silicon Valley.

Yep. A symphony.