30. March 2011 · Comments Off on Ballet’s Begun · Categories: Ballet

… but don’t worry, I’m not dancing! Now that would be even worse than my singing!

We had our first rehearsal for the ballet set tonight, in the less than wonderful rehearsal hall. The lighting in there is horrible, not terribly bright fluorescent lighting. Fluorescent light can trigger migraines, so I now know to think ahead and bring a stand light. I’ll also take some meds tonight that might help me if I am in borderline migraine country.

Below are a few photos I took. The ballet company was rehearsing with taped music while we were downstairs rehearsing our parts. I did a couple blurry, flashless photos and I hope I wasn’t breaking any rules, but I love to post a “view from the pit”. You also see the crummy rehearsal hall and a poster outside the hall.

30. March 2011 · Comments Off on Sad News · Categories: Another One Bites the Dust

In a sign that the financial woes at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra are not unique, the Syracuse Symphony voted Tuesday night to suspend the rest of its 2010-11 season as well as all business operations.
The upstate New York orchestra recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. On Monday, it will lay off its staff.
“It’s tough,” said symphony spokeswoman Vicky D’Agostino. “Ninety-three people lost their jobs last night.”


30. March 2011 · Comments Off on Hah! · Categories: Emailed To Me

I just received an email (with Santa Clara University stationary on it for some reason) that began:

Dear Voice Professional,

I can’t tell you how hysterical that is.

Well, if you’ve heard me sing you already KNOW how hysterical it is, though!

30. March 2011 · Comments Off on Down Time · Categories: Links, Ramble

I have a few hours before I teach, and then I head on out to the first ballet rehearsal. I’d be watching a Giants game, but the darn things aren’t going to be on a station we have all that often this year, it appears. Rats!

So instead I guess I’ll relax and kick back and all that jazz. Or spend hours on the computer. You guess which. 😉

Meanwhile, check out Matthew Curran’s blog entry about last week. I always love it when there’s another blogger out there writing about events I write about; it’s fun to read other people’s perspectives and all. And he, after all, was one of the stars of the “show”!

30. March 2011 · Comments Off on FBQD · Categories: FBQD

[name here] is being ‘treated’ to a new and interesting development at this apt complex. A child in an adjoining apt has taken up the horn (sounds like an oboe), and is treating the near neighbors to renditions such as Three Blind Mice, and other songs we learned in school. At least he/she is playing in tune, albeit with enthusiastic volume. It’s nice to know the old classics from my childhood are still around.

30. March 2011 · Comments Off on WorldReeds™: Khaen · Categories: WorldReeds™ · Tags: ,

From Northeast Thailand:

30. March 2011 · 2 comments · Categories: Videos

Why an A isn’t enough. (No, not the pitch — which of course is what I thought this was about at first! — but the grade.) A thoughtful talk from a thoughtful conductor.

No, this isn’t a professional group and yes, it still isn’t “perfect” … but you get the idea, don’t you?

30. March 2011 · 4 comments · Categories: Ramble

We played two “kiddie concerts” (schools bus in kids and we have a hall full of ’em) yesterday, and we are doing two more today. I enjoy these, because I love seeing and hearing these enthusiastic kiddos. Peter Jaffe, the conductor who does these is, in my opinion anyway, excellent for this sort of thing. He’s funny. He’s entertaining. He puts together a good program. And he does a good job conducting, too. So even while I whine (a LOT) about having to wake early and play concerts in the morning, they really are a joy.

But this particular one is also very, very loud.

The program includes Jupiter from Holst’s Planets, Prokofiev’s Montagues and Capulets, John William’s Olympic Fanfare and Theme and Musorgsky/Ravel, Baba Yaga and the Great Gate of Kiev from Pictures at an Exhibition. LOUD stuff! Included as well is the third movement of Brahms’ first symphony and Brazil, by Barroso. I’ll let you figure out how this was all tied together … but it was.

Lots of loud music and not much to worry about other than that. No big solos (I cannot wear earplugs if I have solos), and the few I have give me time to remove the plugs. Otherwise the earplugs are in the entire time.

I hate earplugs. They are miserable beasts. But losing hearing is even more miserable. (Believe me, I know!) So I protect my hearing as much as possible.

The biggest issue with the darn things is that I feel so removed from what I’m doing. The crazy thing about that is that, in that state of “not all there” I seem to lose my ability to focus. The ears are “out of focus” so the brain goes in the same direction. I count wrong. Rhythms get more difficult (and rhythm is something I rarely struggle with). It’s all very weird. I think the lesson is that I have to actually spend time at home practicing with the earplugs in to make sure I learn how to focus while feeling like I’m in a bubble.

Too late to worry about that for this set, but I need to keep this in mind for the next loud concert!

After this morning’s concerts I move on to ballet. We are doing Carmen and something called “Who Cares?” using the music of George Gershwin. I think it’ll be fun, but I just learned that the woodwinds have been moved and I’ll now be under the stage. No more getting to watch dancers when I have nothing to play. Ah well … that’s show biz!

30. March 2011 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Listening to Leathermouth while your mum plays a broken oboe behind you – interesting mix…