20. January 2017 · Comments Off on For Listening · Categories: Listen, Photos

Today is a day of avoidance for me as far as the internet is concerned, although I “cheated” a bit and took a glance at Twitter. That only verified that I should stay away at least for today. (If you see something up on Facebook, Google+ or anything else those are merely auto-posts.) And so I am only posting music which touches my soul, working on photos, teaching four of my dear students, and attending a rehearsal, albeit about as briefly as one can attend a rehearsal (I only play about 15 minutes of it!).

Arvo Pärt: Spiegel im Speigel
Sally Maer, cello and Sally Whitwell, piano

…. and a white rose … for peace.
White Rose (II), 12.7.16

23. March 2015 · Comments Off on Well, I suppose he was an oboist too … · Categories: Photos

I can’t put the Getty Image here, as I’m sure that’s not allowed, but check “The Oboist” photo out.

Yep. See what I mean?

26. January 2015 · Comments Off on My Other Passion · Categories: Photos, Ramble

While I am passionate about music, it is also my job. A job is work. A job is, sometimes, very hard work.

I have another passion, as many know, and you can see my efforts from that passion by going to my photography website. That passion is not my job. I wouldn’t be upset if it became a bit of a job, though: I have sold one photo (that was fun) and made enough to cover … oh wait … no, I didn’t make enough to cover anything. Never mind about that.

Here’s the funny thing, though. My other passion is also work.

This is not to say I don’t love the work. I love the work of music, and I love the work of photography. But anything one does become work when one strives to learn more, grow more, and improve, I think.

I’m sure you all knew that. I suppose I did as well, deep down. I’ve just not thought about it until now.

When we first start something like a “hobby” it’s pretty much new, exciting, fun, and doesn’t feel like work because … well … perhaps because it’s new and exciting. But if we are trying to do our best, work kicks in at some point. And here’s the thing, at least for me: if it never became work I’d probably be bored with it. If it just came easily and there was no striving, I think I’d walk away saying, “Well, that was fun. What’s next?!”

This is just a little ramble I’m spitting out without thinking much, before I head out on my real ramble (I like to walk, in case there are readers here who don’t already know that). While I walk I frequently use my camera. Here are just a few things I’ve made recently on those walks. I’ve posted all of these on that other website, but I’m guessing readers of all things oboe might not have visited that site yet. (If you do go over there you can choose to follow that blog and you’ll see more as I post more.)









27. December 2014 · Comments Off on Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho · Categories: Photos, Teaching

I’m back to work this morning. Yep, already. I have three students today, one of whom is new. A week off would have been nice, but with no Nutcracker income I felt the need to take students who wanted lessons during the holidays. At least I hope they want these lessons. I do wonder if it was actually the parents! But in any case, I really do love to teach, and I look forward to seeing “my” kids, beginning in less than an hour. (I also hope the ringing in my ears stops soon: we went to The MeshugaNutcracker last night, and while it was great fun, they were miked a bit too loud and my ears are punishing me this morning. I should have thought to bring earplugs!)

Here … have some flowers! I continue to marvel at the beauty around me. I doubt that will ever change.







12. December 2014 · Comments Off on Music In The Mountains · Categories: Photos, Ramble

I am playing for Music in the Mountains this weekend, in their annual Christmas concert set. We had a rehearsal this evening, and have a short (really kind of a half) rehearsal and short children’s concert tomorrow morning, a full concert tomorrow night and a final concert Sunday afternoon. I can tell already this weekend is going to fly by. I am guessing someone had to cancel out at the last minute (whoever you are, I thank you!), as I was contacted rather late: I am happy to get the work, although two of my four students couldn’t reschedule and I found out after accepting the job that another had to cancel out of her rescheduled lesson so I’m probably not even breaking even on this job. Such is life. I’ve always wanted to be a part of the music festival and while the summer festival, which is much larger, is more of the “real thing” this was a fun opportunity. The group is great to work with, and I’m feeling fairly comfortable, even while I’m such an outsider.

A chorus member is sharing her home with me. She is so very gracious and easy to be with. So far, I’m two for two in that — my host at Mendocino was wonderful as well. I’m always nervous about invading someone’s house, and I try to keep a very low profile. I hope that doesn’t come across as just rude. I do wonder about that a bit!

Anyway, back to the music … there are a LOT of notes! Some people might think, “Oh, Christmas music? John Williams Home Alone tunes? Fun and easy!” But no, John Williams isn’t necessarily easy, and there are other works on the program that are quite “notey” as well. In addition we are a reduced orchestra, so I have both the first and second oboe parts and I’m reading from both sometimes, choosing which seems more important to play. It’s a challenge, but it’s a fun challenge in its special little way!

The conductor is quite easy to work for … and so young he is actually younger than our older son. Ack! Does that mean I’m old? Hm.

This year there is no Nutcracker since Ballet San José is using taped music due to budget woes (I hope it helps with their money problems, and I hope they survive, AND I hope we are back in their pit sometime soon!), so these are the only Christmas related concerts I will play. I didn’t think I’d miss Nutcracker — although I most definitely knew I’d miss the Christmas time income — but I kind of do. Enough so that I just might, for the first time in my life, attend a real live Nutcracker performance (nope, I’ve NEVER been!).

If I go, I promise you they will have a live orchestra.

And now I will say goodnight. This is the longest PattyRamble™ I’ve had in eons. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing!

Just as I leave readers on my photography blog a flower photo, I think I’ll leave you one tonight as well— something other than what I’ll post there, though — just because.


17. October 2014 · Comments Off on Something Pretty For A Friday Morning · Categories: Oboe, Photos, Videos

Or how about two “pretties”? One from him, one from yours truly …

Performance on October 26, 2013 at SUNY Fredonia.
Composed by Rebecca Pellet
Oboe – Colin Maier


09. June 2014 · Comments Off on There Are Weeks · Categories: Photos, Ramble, Symphony

… and then there are weeks. Last week was the latter. I’m experiencing so many emotions following a week with Symphony Silicon Valley.

(Note: yes, this is double posted — it’s also at the pattyo. I just figured it should be both places!)

I was SO excited and thrilled and proud of my friend Debbie for her fantastic bassoon soloing. I could never do what she did (of course I don’t play bassoon, so there’s that!). She played with such refinement and beauty, and truly did a fantastic job. BRAVA, Debbie! What a DELIGHT that was!

There was the joy of Beethoven. How can you beat something like the third symphony, after all?

My friend Pam played the oboe solos beautifully. Another friend, Carolyn, playing principal bassoon in Debbie’s stead for the concert and did great.

There was also a lot of pondering about how long I’ve been doing this, as I worked again with George Cleve. He was my first real conductor. 1975. SO many years ago! He reminded me that the first thing I played with him was An American in Paris. Ah, the memories and the joy of this crazy life of mine.

Of course there’s always the end of the season feelings. The saying goodbye to friends and colleagues.

I feel as if I live such an easy life compared to oh-so-many. I think I’m spoiled rotten, really.

And then, of course, I did go on walks last week. And I did see flowers. There are always flowers!








02. May 2014 · Comments Off on Surprised By A Student · Categories: Photos, Teaching

Sometimes students give me a going away gift when they graduate, but not very often. They disappear, in fact, without saying goodbye much of the time. I don’t believe it’s about rudeness. Some are just not terribly savvy to etiquette. Most, though, are just too busy! They say they’ll be back, but then they never manage to return. (Sad for them, this means they miss out on a graduation gift from me, though! Ah well … guess they don’t know what they missed, right?) I’m always sorry when they disappear that way, as I’ve mentioned before.

I was so surprised, though, that I received a most lovely gift from one senior a short time ago. I didn’t realize she knew I was so into flowers, but it turned out she did. Maybe she even reads my blog(s). (The majority of my students don’t.)

If you read this, Megan Seo, I would like to publicly thank you for this WONDERFUL gift of an azalea plant. I think of you every time I walk by it. 🙂


10. April 2014 · Comments Off on Don’t Try This At Home! · Categories: Photos

… or anywhere else, for that matter.

$100 for this abomination. It includes 5 single reeds.

Don’t try it, folks! I had something similar a long time ago. Someone gave it to me as a joke of sorts. Sadly I gave it away. I sure wish I’d held on to it. It’s great to use for April 1st. That’s the only time it’s useful though. Trust me.


Many thanks to Marsha Burkett for bringing this to my attention! 🙂

13. November 2012 · Comments Off on Fun Photo! · Categories: Fun, Photos

Soul Focus Photography, used with permission from Merran Cooke
Background photo found here

Playing classical music can take your mind away from “worrying about niggly little issues” and allow you to come back to work with a fresh perspective, says Crown Law Assistant Crown Counsel Merran Cooke, a member of the Vector Wellington Orchestra and organiser of the recently held ‘Counsel in Concert’ choral and orchestral performance. “I really enjoy the lawyers’ music group,” says Cooke. “It brings me back to when I was doing music as a teenager, and didn’t expect to get paid, just doing it for the pleasure of it.”

First notes
Cooke fell in love with music as a youngster. She played piano, recorder, and harp, but it “was the oboe that won out”. She started playing the “lovely” and relatively “rare” instrument as a 10 year old thanks to the encouragement of her music-loving parents, and fell completely in love with it when she made the Wellington Youth Orchestra four years later. “I really enjoy orchestral playing,” she says. “That was what I really loved, playing in a big group with lots of people. The teamwork aspect is what really appealed, and being part of a really big sound as well.”


And here’s a link to the poster (again, thanks to Merran!)

1835790_Counsel in Concert 2012 – POSTER