31. March 2020 · Comments Off on The Swan · Categories: Ramble

This is wonderful.

From the YouTube page of Cameron Chiu

I hope this video serves as a comfort during these bleak times. When life gets rough, I always resort to music first. With the combined force of 24 student cellists from around the world, we wish to share that experience with you through “The Swan” from Saint-Saëns’s The Carnival of the Animals. It is a piece of cello repertoire that harnesses simplicity and beauty in a language that speaks directly to the soul. In this unprecedented time of COVID-19 gripping the world, our bodies may be in different places, but our souls can still unite through music. #songsofcomfort

Pianist: Inah Chiu
Producer/Editor: Cameron Chiu

US Cellists:
Brandon Cheng – Chicago, IL
Bethany Bobbs – Paramus, NJ
Shengyu Meng – Los Angeles , CA
Kira Wang – Portland, OR
George Wolfe – New York City, NY
Evan Nicholson – Atlanta, GA
Carson Ling-Efird – Seattle, WA
Meagan Hipsky – Guilford, IN
Shirley Kim – Rochester, NY
James Baik – Houston, TX
Alon Hayut – Ann Arbor, MI
Cameron Chiu – Palatine, IL

International Cellists:
Eugene Lin – Taiwan
Luka Coetzee – South Africa
Seungyeon Yang – Korea
Emma Osterrieder – Germany
Marco Moruzzi – Italy
Sophie Van der Sloot – Canada (Ottawa)
Rachel Siu – Australia
George Wilkes – England
Luis Alejandro Castillo – Spain
Jiaxun Yao – China
Jiaqi Liu – Singapore
Ine Coetzee – Canada (Calgary)

Special Recognition:
Brandon Cheng
Alon Hayut

31. March 2020 · Comments Off on Good Morning · Categories: Can't Stop the Music!, Music in the Time of Corona

I think we should start with something that will get us moving today! This is my friend Dave Camwell‘s university and group. (And his wife, Jillian Camwell, is Assistant Professor of Oboe there too.)

30. March 2020 · Comments Off on Saying Goodnight with Hallelujah · Categories: Can't Stop the Music! · Tags: ,

This virtual choir from Roedean School (which I believe is in South Africa) is pretty darn sweet! And what a surprise that this was mixed in Milpitas, California. Very near my city.

From the YouTube page:
Apart in uncertain times, but together in spirit and song. May our choir’s virtual performance of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah be a timely reminder that we are indeed #TogetherApart

Please support COVID-19 prevention, detection and care efforts by donating to the Solidarity Fund.


Follow Roedean School (SA) here:

Website – www.roedeanschool.co.za
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RoedeanSchoo…
Instagram – www.instagram.com/roedeanschoolsa
Twitter – @RoedeanSchoolSA


By Roedean School (SA)

Composer: Leonard Cohen
Vocal and instrumental arrangement: Ralf Schmitt

Choir: Roedean School (SA)


Creative Consultancy: Andrew Timm Creative
Creative Director: Andrew Timm
Editors: Adino Trapani and Charl Joubert
Cameraman: Peter Groenewald
Shooting Location: Roedean School (SA), Johannesburg, South Africa


Choir: Roedean School (SA)
Choirmaster: Ralf Schmitt
Director of Music: Marius Brink
Mixing and Mastering Engineer: Bill Hare
Guitars: Nathan Smith and Bill Hare
Clarinet: Marius Brink
Orchestration: Ralf Schmitt

Roedean School (SA) Executive Head: Fiona Rogers

Mixed and Mastered at Bill Hare Productions, Milpitas, California, USA

30. March 2020 · Comments Off on Krzysztof Penderecki, 1933-2020 · Categories: Losses

In January 1999 Krzysztof Penderecki came and conducted San Jose Symphony. We played several of his works. He was no-nonsense, worked well, and I enjoyed him and his works very much. We of course played Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, but we also did his Symphony No. 4, which included some challenging but ultimately also very rewarding English horn work. (I had to verify what we played by finding a review. I’m glad I was able to locate one!)

Maestro Penderecki died yesterday. I was very sorry to read that news.

30. March 2020 · Comments Off on Be Still My Soul · Categories: Facebook

Brava to Heather Baxter for putting this together. It’s beautiful!

Here is what she wrote on her Facebook page:

Be still my soul the Lord is on thy side
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change He faithful will remain
Be still my soul thy best, thy heavenly friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end

I finished recording this at 1am after a tiring day and a long practice session, so please ignore any minor imperfections. That’s not what this was about. This hymn has always been special to me and now as we go through this quarantine and isolation, it comforts me to be reminded that God is ever present. I hope this brings comfort to some of you as well.

30. March 2020 · Comments Off on For those of you not able to adjust reeds now … · Categories: Reeds

Perhaps the first thing you might do when we are over this ordeal is learn to at least adjust your reeds! Can you see, now, how beneficial that might be? Even if you are never going to fully learn the craft (but you SHOULD if you plan on continuing oboe after high school and even high school students should be learning, imo) you would find knowing what to do with reeds a very handy thing when your teacher isn’t able to help you.

Think about it.

30. March 2020 · Comments Off on From a Facebook Page · Categories: Facebook

I’m a fan of these two. Christian Reif conducted an Opera San Jose opera. Here he is at the piano and his wife, Julia Bullock, sings. Gloriously. And my heart is moved. I hope yours is too. (And I hope this works … I’m not sure if taking an embed code from Facebook works and I’ll only find out when I hit publish.)

*UPDATE: It does work, but for some reason it isn’t showing up for me using Firefox. I see it with both Safari and Chrome. How about others out there? Care to fill me in?

*UPDATE #2: I had an extension that hid anything from Facebook. If you have the same extension installed you’ll be missing this video as well.

Poetry and Music by
Connie Converse (b. 1924, disappeared 1974)
Arranged by Jeremy Siskind (b. 1986)

We go walking in the dark.
We go walking out at night.

And it’s not as lovers go,
Two by two, to and fro;
But it’s one by one –

One by one in the dark.
We go walking out at night.
As we wander through the grass

We can hear each other pass,
But we’re far apart –

Far apart in the dark.
We go walking out at night.
With the grass so dark and tall

We are lost past recall
If the moon is down –

And the moon is down.
We are walking in the dark.

If I had your hand in mine
I could shine, I could shine
Like the morning sun –
Like the sun.

30. March 2020 · Comments Off on Can’t Stop the Music! · Categories: Can't Stop the Music!

Each day I’ll share at least one video (as long as I can find them), showing that music doesn’t stop when we all have to stay home.

Bamberger Symphony

From the YouTube page:

Bamberger Symphoniker
912 subscribers (<—I'll bet that number grows!)

Was bringt uns Menschen zusammen, überwindet Grenzen und verbindet uns – in guten, wie in schlechten Zeiten?

Die Musik!

What lights the hearts? What brings us together, overcomes distances and unites us – both in good and challenging times?

It’s music!

StrongerTogether – SocialSymphony
Bamberg Symphony

#strongertogether, #keepplaying, #extraordinarymusicinexceptionaltimes, #bambergsymphony, #weareallinthistogether,
#wirvscorona, #flattenthecurve, #wirschaffendas, #musikverbindet

Wir als Bamberger Symphoniker unterstützen die Initiative der Deutschen Orchester Stiftung, die für freischaffende Musikerinnen und Musiker, die gerade in einer existenziellen Notsituation sind, einen bundesweiten Spendenaufruf gestartet hat. Helfen auch Sie mit, unsere einmalige und vielfältige Kulturlandschaft zu erhalten und spenden Sie. Weitere Infos finden Sie auf www.dov.org

30. March 2020 · 6 comments · Categories: Reeds

I hadn’t really worried much about sanitizing reeds: I don’t play my student’s reeds (I used to, but stopped doing so some years ago), and mine … well … they are mine! But these days I think maybe we are all thinking a bit more about this sort of thing.

This is the best video I’ve seen on the subject. Thanks, Jennet Ingle!

29. March 2020 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

Well, these are tough times. Due to that I’m going to start this site back up, just to share some uplifting music and to talk about how we are dealing with things here.

My symphony and opera work is gone for now. Opera is done for the entire season. Symphony is still questionable for later, but for now we have to stay home so obviously nothing can happen.

All but one student has agreed to take online lessons. they are not ideal, but it will at least keep us connected and, I hope, keep them practicing. I love seeing them each week, but online lessons are a lot more grueling than in person lessons. Truth be told, I’d “earn” more by cancelling them all and doing nothing: unemployment pay, with the additional $600 being offered, would be more than I can make from them. I’m simply not comfortable taking money when I really AM able to work. Others disagree. That’s not my problem. We just deal with things in different ways.

(Students faces are blurred out, as I didn’t ask permission to post their faces here and I think they deserve their privacy.)

And here … enjoy this music in the time of Covid-19, please.