31. March 2014 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

I started oboe exactly a month ago and I have 5 solos and Grade 5 music. I honestly think my BD is trying to kill me.

(I’ve known band directors to grab a beginning oboist and put them in the top band: drives me bonkers!)

30. March 2014 · Comments Off on Sunday Evening Music · Categories: Sunday Evening Music

Sarah Flower Adams; arr. James Stevens/Andre van der Merwe: Nearer My God To Thee
Stellenbosch University Choir

From the YouTube page:
Performed by the Stellenbosch University Choir on 16 October 2011 in the Endler hall, Stellenbosch as part of their annual Gala Concert.
Original arrangement by James Stevens, adapted for Stellenbosch University Choir by Andre van der Merwe

30. March 2014 · Comments Off on Sunday Morning Music · Categories: Sunday Morning Music

Words by Albert F. Bayly; music arranged by John Ferguson: When The Morning Stars Together
St. Olaf Choir and Congregation

29. March 2014 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

As the double reeds worry about playing at a higher elevation, I am once again grateful to my dad for saying no to oboe in 4th grade!

28. March 2014 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

rocked the oboe solo! got gold!

27. March 2014 · Comments Off on Osmo Vanska · Categories: Read Online

Now that conductor Osmo Vanska has revealed he’s in negotiations for a possible return to his old job of Minnesota Orchestra music director, it’s a good time to address the issue of why this one particular leader is so important to this one particular orchestra. Arts organizations change leaders all the time. Why would Vanska’s departure take on the tone of tragedy for so many?

Words can’t answer that question nearly as eloquently as the music performed at Orchestra Hall midday Thursday, when Vanska was reunited with his old orchestra. The program consisted of the two symphonies by Jean Sibelius that were on the recording recently given the Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance. And Vanska and the orchestra showed they have a relationship that’s extremely rare in any art form. The musicians so clearly have a deep faith in Vanska’s vision for the music, and are not only willing to work as hard as they must to achieve it, but embrace the opportunity passionately.

Read more here.

27. March 2014 · Comments Off on It’s A Contest · Categories: Read Online

… one that I could not possibly enter.

In a collaboration with technology companies Telefónica and Wayra, the Lang Lang International Foundation, the Lang Lang Challenge will accept proposals from digital developers for an app with a classical music focus.

A panel of judges will evaluate all entries on the basis of their innovation, the app’s ability to teach users about an aspect of classical music, according to the press release, “in the most attractive way possible”, and the app’s potential to be shared around.

Read more here.

27. March 2014 · Comments Off on Reeds By The Numbers · Categories: Read Online

Go ahead … check out this chart. Read it and weep. Or don’t. (It depends upon which instrument you play!)

Maybe sometime later I’ll come clean about MY reeds.


27. March 2014 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Picked up by oboe again… I remember more than I thought I would! 🙂

26. March 2014 · Comments Off on Helen Keller & Beethoven’s Ninth · Categories: Read Online

This is making the rounds …

Helen Keller wrote the following letter to the New York Symphony Orchestra in March 1924. Here’s how she describes listening to Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” over the radio:

“Dear Friends:

I have the joy of being able to tell you that, though deaf and blind, I spent a glorious hour last night listening over the radio to Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony.” I do not mean to say that I “heard” the music in the sense that other people heard it; and I do not know whether I can make you understand how it was possible for me to derive pleasure from the symphony. It was a great surprise to myself. I had been reading in my magazine for the blind of the happiness that the radio was bringing to the sightless everywhere. I was delighted to know that the blind had gained a new source of enjoyment; but I did not dream that I could have any part in their joy. Last night, when the family was listening to your wonderful rendering of the immortal symphony someone suggested that I put my hand on the receiver and see if I could get any of the vibrations. He unscrewed the cap, and I lightly touched the sensitive diaphragm. What was my amazement to discover that I could feel, not only the vibration, but also the impassioned rhythm, the throb and the urge of the music! The intertwined and intermingling vibrations from different instruments enchanted me. I could actually distinguish the cornets, the roil of the drums, deep-toned violas and violins singing in exquisite unison. How the lovely speech of the violins flowed and plowed over the deepest tones of the other instruments! When the human voices leaped up thrilling from the surge of harmony, I recognized them instantly as voices more ecstatic, upcurving swift and flame-like, until my heart almost stood still. The women’s voices seemed an embodiment of all the angelic voices rushing in a harmonious flood of beautiful and inspiring sound. The great chorus throbbed against my fingers with poignant pause and flow. Then all the instruments and voices together burst forth – an ocean of heavenly vibration – and died away like winds when the atom is spent, ending in a delicate shower of sweet notes.

Of course this was not “hearing,” but I do know that the tones and harmonies conveyed to me moods of great beauty and majesty. I also sense, or thought I did, the tender sounds of nature that sing into my hand-swaying reeds and winds and the murmur of streams. I have never been so enraptured before by a multitude of tone-vibrations.

As I listened, with darkness and melody, shadow and sound filling all the room, I could not help remembering that the great composer who poured forth such a flood of sweetness into the world was deaf like myself. I marveled at the power of his quenchless spirit by which out of his pain he wrought such joy for others – and there I sat, feeling with my hand the magnificent symphony which broke like a sea upon the silent shores of his soul and mine.” The Auricle, Vol. II, No. 6, March 1924. American Foundation for the Blind, Helen Keller Archives.

I saw it as well as on Facebook.