31. March 2012 · Comments Off on FBQD · Categories: FBQD

Oh I just love the three weird oboe players! Mwahahaha. We will rock da stage!

31. March 2012 · 4 comments · Categories: Videos

If you don’t want to listen to it all, at least scroll into to 2:54 and watch from there. 🙂

31. March 2012 · Comments Off on Saturday Morning Cartoon · Categories: Saturday Morning Cartoon

Merrie Melodies: Early To Bet

Name all those tunes! I put these up because I just love old cartoons and their use of music.

(For the record: I am not a gambler. I’m actually opposed to gambling. Just so you know.)

31. March 2012 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

I feel like oboe jokes would be funnier if I wasn’t an oboist.

30. March 2012 · 4 comments · Categories: Ramble

I’ve just finished my after-concert bowl of cereal. (Yes, I know I’m at an age where eating this late isn’t the best of ideas, but I was so hungry!)

Now for the “PattyTattle™” time! No, I don’t tattle on anyone else — thats ugly and foolish and definitely unkind. But I sure don’t mind tattling on me. Maybe my students will learn something from it, after all!

I tell my students, “Never rest your oboe on your lap leaving a reed in it. If you leave your reed in, keep the oboe upright. You never know who might bump into it.” So guess what I did tonight while getting ready for the Bach?

Yeah. You probably guessed it. And it wasn’t just anyone who bumped my reed. It was ME! My elbow banged into the “BachReed” and while it still played it most certainly wasn’t the same. I had two other reeds at the ready, and made sure they were wet and playable even while I used the BachReed for the first two movements because I trusted it more for the end of the second movement, even in its less than stellar state. During the third movement I knew I had to move on, so I was getting another one set to play. Thinking the red reed would be my next choice, I wanted to move the blue reed (yeah, different thread colors helps identify reeds) out of the way. Instead I managed to throw it on the floor. Under my stand. In front of an entire audience.

For the Bach we three oboes are in the front row.

I don’t know how many people saw what happened, but I just left the darn reed there and groaned inwardly. (I hope I didn’t groan aloud!)

But ah well … the reeds managed to get me through and I think that was the last stupid thing I did. (If I did anything more that was stupid I hope no one tells me. I think two stupid things on one concert night is enough, don’t you?)

The audience seemed to enjoy and the Bach and, considering their response, love the Beethoven. Both works are just so incredible. I’m thankful I was able to do them!

It sounds as if Saturday and Sunday’s concerts are sold out. How ’bout that? I suspect Maestro George Cleve is a draw, and that the program appeals to many. I think this is our first sold out set. Nice!

30. March 2012 · Comments Off on FBQD · Categories: FBQD

Listening to my dad play oboe while doing animation research. 🙂

30. March 2012 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Waahh can’t play oboe for a week 🙁 what am I supposed to do now…..

29. March 2012 · Comments Off on FBQD · Categories: FBQD

I originally thought narrating the Arnold Schoenberg “Kol Nidre” would be difficult but not very rewarding. How wrong can a man be? As I was being coached in the work by Maestro Ricardo Muti I realized what a privilege it is to simply be in the presence of this amazing man. Today, was my first rehearsal with the orchestra and chorus together. I sit between the oboe and flute and am transported to musical heaven! Wow, can’t come down.

– Alberto Mizrahi

29. March 2012 · 4 comments · Categories: Ramble

(Excuse the poorly thought out ramble. I’m in a hurry to get out on my walk, but I figured I really need to post something here as this poor blog has been neglected.)

Adults in America don’t sing communally. Children routinely sing together in their schools and activities, and even infants have sing-alongs galore to attend. But past the age of majority, at grown-up commemorations, celebrations, and gatherings, this most essential human yawp of feeling—of marking, with a grace note, that we are together in this place at this time—usually goes missing.

The reasons why are legion. We are insecure about our voices. We don’t know the words. We resent being forced into an activity together. We feel uncool. And since we’re out of practice as a society, the person who dares to begin a song risks having no one join her.


Hmm. Do students sing in school any more? I have a few students who tell me they never sing. I have some who can’t sing a pitch I’m playing … they don’t come close to matching it. So I wonder if singing takes place in schools these days.

Growing up in a “church family” I sang all the time. Hymns at church. With music printed in the hymnals. (Whether people knew it or not they at least started to recognize how music notation worked.) And yes, my generation sang in school as well, although only in elementary school unless one joined the school choir. We had books with not only the words but the music in them. I sang in the car with my family. We sang four part harmony at birthdays. I sang with my friends (and I still remember the “Yosemite Village Store”, “Barney Google” and “The Cutest Boy I Ever Saw” with fondness, as they immediately bring me back to my early teen years, singing with my best friend at the time.) I sang to my babies. I sang to myself. I still do.

Today, the problem is not just that we don’t know the songs—we don’t know which ones we want to know. The National Association for Music Education addressed this reality with its Get America Singing…Again! campaign in the 1990s, which put forward 88 songs as a shared repertoire for Americans. Although the formal campaign has ended—followed not long after by another project urging people to learn the Star Spangled Banner and realize they actually can sing the national anthem—the songbooks are still for sale, and the list is still good.

I use the typical older books to teach my students. Rubank. Gekeler. Edlefson. (The choice depends upon the student and which I think fits her or him best.) All three have old songs in them. Some my students recognize, but a large number they don’t. In some ways it’s best when they don’t know tunes — they can’t play by ear! Still, I’m sorry they don’t know all these old tunes. It’s been interesting, because I fill them in on the song, and I sometimes give them the words, but I sometimes also have to explain that we might not sing those words any longer. Some are labeled with an old title we might not want to use any longer. I have difficulty calling the “Crusaders Hymn” by that name. “Fairest Lord Jesus” or “Beautiful Savior” connected to killing? No thanks. (I’ve looked up the history to that connection and it appears unclear as to why it’s called that, but if the crusaders really sang that as they murdered and raped I’m clueless as to how they could sing the words to that song.) Some Stephen Foster songs — well — do we want the original words? I’m guessing maybe not. But I use those as examples of how things have changed. I wouldn’t use Stephen Foster’s words, but I think it’s important to remember them — history is important. We learn from our mistakes. We learn from those racist or painful words.

I wonder what songs, fifty years from now, teachers will have to explain to students.

29. March 2012 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Almost forgot how beautiful the oboe sounds! Gahhh!