We had our two Symphony Silicon Valley concerts this past weekend. They were outdoors, so I wasn’t as apprehensive about playing them, but I must admit I was quite surprised at the number of unmasked audience members. Of course it was outdoors, and odds are it was safe, but it still just was jarring to see nearly 3,000 people and so many with no mask.

After the second concert two students came down front to say hi. It’s been ages since any of my students have come to one of my concerts, so I was quite pleased. One even brought me flowers! What a surprise that was, and I was able, then, to send a thank-you card made using one of my flower photographs. (If you haven’t visited my photography site please do go enjoy some flowers there.) I’m always quite diligent in sending thank-you notes to students. Many are very good at saying (and writing) thank-you, but not all. So I teach more than just oboe sometimes. (When did sending thank-you notes … or even saying a simple thank you … go out of style, I wonder?)

Next up is our opening set for our regular season. I play very few notes, but every one of those notes will be heard: we are doing Dvorak’s New World Symphony and I play the English horn for that. I honestly can’t remember when I last played a symphony concert on which I had a big solo.

And yes, I get nervous.