29. June 2016 · Comments Off on Listen Now! · Categories: Competitions, Listen · Tags:

The Gillet Bassoon competition is being broadcast live at the moment:

29. June 2016 · Comments Off on Playing It Differently · Categories: Ferling, Havin' Fun

Sometimes I struggle with a passage because I can’t quite wrap my fingers around it. I will think of a way to play it differently: sometimes I move the bar line by just one 16th note. Sometimes I play triplets instead of duplets. Sometimes I play around with articulation or even rhythm. It just helps to play it differently.

I’d never thought of this, though:

Oboist: Phil Popham

… and this reminds me that I have a LOT more Aaron Hill Ferling Etudes to put up!

27. June 2016 · Comments Off on Makes Me Wonder · Categories: News, Read Online

Some young oboists haven’t learned how to control volume. Many years ago I had one that caused each family member to quickly close his or her bedroom door!

Still, the noise this woman made must have been just a bit extreme!

[…] received a noise abatement notice by Shepway District Council in February this year after a string of complaints from neighbours in Folkestone, Kent.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: ‘When she played the violin it sounding like a cat being strangled.

‘The guitar playing wasn’t much better and she had her stereo and TV turned up to full volume day and night sometimes. Living next to her was a total and utter nightmare.’

Ukip leader Nigel Farage greets his supporters on College Green in Westminster, London, after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 24, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
MP calls on Parliament to reject EU referendum result

Cllr Stuart Peall said: ‘Numerous letters were ignored and after our emergency services witnessed the level of nuisance for themselves.

‘We don’t want to stop people enjoying music in their homes, but this should not cause a nuisance to others and we will investigate complaints. We tried very hard to sort the problem out and were left with no alternative but to seize equipment.’

I read it here

26. June 2016 · Comments Off on Goodnight! · Categories: Choral

I just love choirs. They make my heart happy. High school choirs can really get to me, because I find it so wonderful to hear these young people sing. (It’s become more rare, it seems: many of my oboe students don’t sing at all and I have to really push them to try to sing with me.) I have such great memories of attending the concerts our kids sang in. I can’t help but get emotional when I see these huge groups of kids raise their voices in song.

So here’s Christopher Tin’s Baba Yetu (The Lord’s Prayer) from the 2015 Iowa All-State Music Festival. This was actually written for the video game theme song for Civilization IV. Go figure.

26. June 2016 · Comments Off on Sunday Evening Music · Categories: Sunday Evening Music

Knut Nystedt: Gloria
Lithuanian Academy of Music Mixed Choir; Dainius Puisys, Conductor

26. June 2016 · Comments Off on Sunday Morning Music · Categories: Sunday Morning Music

William Byrd: Sing Joyfully
National Youth Chamber Choir; Ben Parry, Conductor

25. June 2016 · Comments Off on “In the Fingers!” · Categories: Teaching

I was talking to a student yesterday about knowing something so well that, should nerves kick in, my fingers just take over and play the notes. Sometimes it catches me by surprise, to be honest. It seems almost as if they magically do the job.

It’s not really magic. It’s practice. Careful, lengthy practice.

It’s work.

Students frequently accept mistakes. They make the same ones over and over. I hear the “I always do that!”, as if that makes it okay. Or at least accepted. Or expected.

Don’t accept. Don’t expect. It’s not okay.


Slow, methodical, careful practice is a good thing. Get passages in your fingers. Nerves kick in and you just don’t want to fall apart. Like dominoes. One goes down, they frequently ALL go down. If you get something in your fingers incredibly well they carry through. It might surprise you, but it’s true!

21. June 2016 · Comments Off on For Your Listening Enjoyment · Categories: Listen

I guess I can’t get enough of this group!

From the YouTube notes:
New l’Arpeggiata album out 23 October, 2015.
AMAZON: http://smarturl.it/amore-innamorato
iTUNES: http://smarturl.it/cavalli
In L’Amore innamorato Christina Pluhar’s ensemble L’Arpeggiata and sweet-voiced sopranos Nuria Rial and Hana Blažíková offer us a gem, a rarity that cleverly borrows the title of a mysterious opera by Cavalli, thought to have been lost or perhaps never premiered. Bonus DVD included.

19. June 2016 · Comments Off on Sunday Evening Music · Categories: Sunday Evening Music

Dan Forrest: Benedictus, Blessed is the Lord
Ensemble Leszczynski; Geoffroy Vançon, Director

19. June 2016 · Comments Off on Sunday Morning Music · Categories: Sunday Morning Music

Jakub Blycharz: Bonum est praestolari, cum silentio salutare Dei (It is good that one should wait with silence for the salvation of God.)
Soprano: Katarzyna Firsowicz (solo), Marta Furmanek, Elzbieta Gracz Magdalena Kozlowska
Alto: Anna Groborz, Catherine Moskiewicz, Krystyna Potoczna, Agnieszka Wojcik
Tenor: Piotr Frankowski, Peter Iwanski, Marek Nowak
Bass: Maciej Firsowicz, Krzysztof Groborz, Ermanno Martini, Stanislaw Wozny
Arkadiusz Kozlowski, Conductor