19. December 2022 · Comments Off on National Open Youth Orchestra · Categories: Watch, Youth Symphony

Have you ever heard of the National Open Youth Orchestra? I hadn’t. Until yesterday. I was listening to a work by the computer Alexander Campkin, a name new to me as well, so I looked him up and learned about this group. Direct from the YouTube page is an explanation of the group:

The National Open Youth Orchestra is the world’s first disabled-led national youth ensemble. It’s a pioneering orchestra where 11-25 year-old talented young disabled musicians and non-disabled musicians rehearse and perform together.

And I’m so very moved and uplifted. So many get told they can’t play an instrument because of a disability. I had a student that, had her parents told me about her issue prior to teaching, I would have turned away (shame on me!). I just didn’t see how she could manage an embouchure when I first met her, but not willing to say something when she arrived at my door we just began lessons. (Never did her parents tell me anything about it, and only when she was with me for a number of years did I feel she and I were comfortable enough with each other to talk about it.)

That student ended up being a very good oboist. Her disability didn’t hinder her … she just formed her embouchure a bit differently.

Don’t tell a student they can’t do something until you know it is absolutely impossible. Even then, perhaps don’t say it: let them figure things out! Young people can do amazing things!

Here the composer talks about his own situation and the work:

And here is the work:

13. July 2022 · Comments Off on Sweet Video · Categories: CovidTimes, Watch

This lovely video, featuring the tubist Chuck Daellenbach of the fabulous Canadian Brass, is a bit of a fantasy: no, he wouldn’t have checked his tuba (case-less!) and picked it up off the carousel. And no, I’m sure he doesn’t usually put it on an escalator either. But it’s a sweet video.

But it sort of made me teary, too. Because we are back to bad numbers. We are being told, yet again, to mask indoors, yet so many are refusing. Because of this I’m back to staying home from things I wish I could attend … and I had just started back up at my church: but there is no masking required and most people don’t mask. So home I stay. I’m sad.

I have a job in two weeks that is outdoors at a winery, so that should be fine, but we have a 3 hour wait between rehearsal and concert and they are putting us in a little “cottage” at the winery. Me? I’ll most likely end up in my car. They have no vaccination or testing requirements so I’m leery of being in a small room with people I don’t know.

And so it goes … on and on … and on.

I just miss the Before Times so very much.

10. March 2019 · Comments Off on Albrecht Mayer Video · Categories: Watch

What a fun video this is! If you haven’t ever registered with Berlin Philharmonic you will have to do that first to watch it, but there is no charge for this particular video.

Go here.

Funny bit about a conductor and what the orchestra membres think:
“Because we usually think that we are better than the one up at the front. Of course, that’s a tongue-in-cheek comment.”

Oh I LOVE LOVE LOVE the bit about giving the A.

“Of course it’s true that the oboe always plays Concert A. I don’t know, of course, if 150 years ago no one listened, like no one listens today when the oboe plays concert A. It’s a very outdated ritual and also total nonsense …”. Hah!


“Sometimes I just want to take it and snap it over my knee and say, why do I bother…”.

Yet of course he goes on and says he wouldn’t play anything else He also talks about oboists going crazy and male oboists losing their hair! Very funny.

“Oboists are crazier!” 😉

“… and you can touch people with it.”

Which is what I try to do.

Do I succeed? I don’t know. But I try.

21. September 2018 · Comments Off on Joy! · Categories: Listen, Watch

These musicians of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra look so joyous as they play. I love it!

Edvard Grieg: Holberg Suite, Op. 40, Praeludium

20. September 2017 · Comments Off on Cinderella · Categories: Watch

Opera San José will be doing a rather new opera in December. It’s also “young” … the composer is eleven or twelve at this point, I believe.

I just landed on this documentary. Fascinating.

The opera is being presented by the Packard Humanities Institute and Opera San José.

29. June 2017 · Comments Off on Just Another Doggone Concert · Categories: Videos, Watch

No words necessary:

24. May 2017 · Comments Off on Because Sometimes We Can’t FIND The Words · Categories: Listen, Losses, Watch

Aaron Hill’s response to the horror in Manchester was to improvise. Thank you, Aaron.

16. December 2016 · Comments Off on Things I Can’t Do · Categories: Listen, Watch

I wish I could sing (well, anyone can sing, of course, but I don’t think anyone wants to hear this voice!).

I wish I could dance.

Instead I watch and listen … (stop the video when the song is done if you want to avoid breaking the mood)

PS There a lot more things I can’t do … but singing and dancing are two I really wish I COULD do!

02. November 2016 · Comments Off on Bravo Dave … and Simpson Choir as well! · Categories: Videos, Watch

I would wait to post this until a Sunday music feature but, well, it’s my friend Dave playing! So here it is for you now. Beautiful!

(And yes, there are other reeds in the world. It’s not ALL oboe and English horn!)

Evening Prayer by Ola Gjeilo
Simpson College Choir + Dave Camwell
Directed by Dr. Timothy A. McMillin

06. November 2015 · Comments Off on After messes, after messes. · Categories: ACappellaAnyday™, TheHumanVoice, Videos, Watch

I wish I could sing well. I have to settle, though, for singing through the oboe and using my voice only with students (poor things put up with me!) and at church, when not all are masters of the voice and yet we raise our voices in praise anyway. Meanwhile, I continue to listen and admire the human voice and I’m grateful for YouTube videos that make me both marvel and melt.

This will be today’s “marvel and melt” video (You will understand the title of this blog post if you read the lyrics.):

Westminster Chorus – GAGÒT by Sydney Guillaume (2014 ACDA Western Division Conference)

The text of “Gagòt” is written by Sydney’s father Gabriel T. Guillaume.. Here’s the complete text:

(English Poetic Translation)

Since I rose this morning I’ve gone through ups and downs,
Running around in circles like a crazy mad dog.
I speak, I sing, I sleep, I rise;
I pray, I scream, it’s mess upon mess.

It’s a mess here, it’s a mess there,
A mess up, a mess down,
Mess everywhere, it’s mess upon mess.

Messy are my thoughts,
Messy are my actions,
Messy are my words,
Messy is my vision.

Everything is entangled:
Pain and joy, doubt and faith,
Disgust and hope, good and evil.
My head is spinning and spinning,
Everything is entangled.
What a mess!

Morning after morning, I fight a battle;
The contredanse of life recommences daily.
I sing, I dance, I yell: “Hooray!”
Suddenly and swiftly I am back in a mess.

In the midst of this mess I decide to search,
To search for an understanding to what is happening.
I dig, I seek, and I finally find
In the very depth of my heart
The solution to this mess:

Life before death is a battle of every instant
That can not be won but one moment at a time.

After the night comes the day.
After the rain the sun rises.
After messes, after messes… the heart settles.
It’s striving in suffering that brings redemption.

Ah! So be it!

– – – – – – – – – –

Haitian Creole text:

Depi maten m’leve m’ape monte desann,
Mwen kouri toupatou tankou yon chyen ki fou.
Mwen pale, mwen chante, mwen dòmi, mwen leve;
Mwen priye, mwen rele, se gagòt sou gagòt.

Gagòt isit, gagòt lòtbò.
Gagòt anwo, gagòt anba,
Gagòt toupatou, se gagòt sou gagòt.

Gagòt nan lide mwen,
Gagòt nan zak mwen yo,
Gagòt nan pawòl mwen,
Gagòt nan vizyon mwen.

Tout bagay yo mele:
Lapenn ak lajwa, ledout ak lafwa,
Degoutans ak lespwa, le byen avèk le mal.
Tèt mwen vire, li vire,
Tout bagay yo mele.
Gad’on gagòt!

Maten apre maten, m’ap livre yon batay;
Kontredans lavi-a rekòmanse chak jou.
Mwen chante, mwen danse,
Mwen rele: “Viv lavi!”
Bridsoukou sanzatann mwen tounen nan gagòt.

Nan mitan gagòt sa mwen deside chèche,
Chèche, chèche konnen, konnen sa k’ap pase.
Mwen fouye, mwen mande, mwen fini pa trouve
Jouk andedan kè mwen
Solisyon gagòt sa:

La vie d’ici-bas est un combat de tout instant
Que l’on ne peut gagner qu’un moment à la fois.

Apre lannuit se la jounen.
Apre lapli solèy leve.
Apre gagòt, apre gagòt… se kè poze.
Se jefò nan soufrans ki pote delivrans.

Ah! Ainsi soit-il!