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Showing posts from November, 2013

Upcoming Concert: Bach - and Doubling!

This Sunday, we’re performing Bach’s Christmas Oratorio at the University of Chicago, in the venerable Rockefeller Chapel, with a terrific orchestra and choir and soloists.  Playing music this great is a pleasure that never gets old.  I’ve done this piece many times, but this is the first time I’ve sat at the bottom of the section, playing Second English horn.

The first best thing about this is that I get to listen to a LOT of great playing while I wait for my movements.  The orchestra is marvelous, and I adore my oboe colleagues, who make the difficult solos and duets sound simply effortless.  The second best thing is that I enjoy the challenge of playing the English horn, which is far from my main instrument. 

What I love, generally, about the English horn is how easy it is to sound good on it.  Much of the orchestral music written for the instrument is soloistic, and it has such a pretty sound, and you get to blow so satisfyingly through it, rather than having to finesse it all the …

Musicians for Michiana: The Music Village

Here’s my favorite thing about Kellirae Boann, of The Music Village.  When I make a suggestion she says, “Yes,” and then she says, “AND,” and she makes it bigger and better than I had even ever considered that it could be.  When I approached her hoping to perform a few concerts in her space the project rapidly turned into a four-concert series, featuring fourteen musicians, four non-profit organizations, two restaurants, a recording engineer, pre-concert lectures, a local print shop, a team of volunteers, a grant proposal, and the current crowd-funding campaign which I invite YOU to participate in. 

Kellirae and The Music Village have been my strategic partner in this project since its inception.  The Village will be hosting the concerts, in an intimate space just perfect for small-group chamber music and up-close audience engagement.  She and her superb staff and volunteers worked with me to refine the vision of the project and to craft a compelling grant proposal.  Working with The …

Musicians for Michiana - The Musicians

This is Part Three in a series of posts about Musicians for Michiana.  What would a chamber music series be without a fantastic set of musicians?

This is not a large town - which is why I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there were so many serious topnotch musicians living in the area, and so many more who come in every month to perform with the South Bend Symphony.  We are just far enough from Chicago and Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo that our members frequently choose to spend the week here in town during orchestra cycles - with the result that there are a large number of professional musicians who consider South Bend a home base.  Who have connections here to the community, and a stake in its success and growth.

And this was definitely another part of my inspiration in starting this project.  Musicians love to play, and crave more opportunities to dig deeply into chamber music with friends. There are few things more fun than working together in this way. And all o…

Musicians for Michiana - The Programming

This is Part Two in a series of posts about Musicians for Michiana.  (Part One HERE) All social mission aside, the whole point of a chamber music series is the music, right?

There’s something a little frustrating about being an orchestral musician, which is that you never get to choose what you play.  The programming takes place in an office far away from your place of work, on the stage, and you just have to show up and do the job at hand.  I love my job, but this lack of control is an inescapable downside. 

In contrast, a small series like ours with a small number of enthusiastic musicians can program works that really matter to us.  Every piece on every concert was suggested by a musician.  Every piece has a personal story associated, one which we will certainly share with you during the performances as well as here, on the website, in advance.   Yes, many of these works were my suggestions, and yes, there is a lot of OBOE represented on the series - but it is important to me to kee…

Musicians for Michiana: The Inspiration

This begins a series of posts talking about my new project, Musicians for Michiana.  Maybe it’s not so new a project, as I’ve been working consistently on it since last May: talking to musicians, meeting with representatives from our non-profit partners, planning programming, working on the budget, getting catering quotes, writing grant proposal narratives, and generally trying to build all of the behind-the-scenes infrastructure before I made any kind of announcement. 

And now here we are!  Going public and raising real funds!

This project originated back in the spring.  I was out for a run, and suddenly realized that I’d been living in South Bend for years.  I’d been drowning in the busyness of raising a toddler and having an active portfolio career, and I had no idea what was going on in the town I lived in. I was ready to look around, and reach out, and try to do my part. 

I was inspired by examples like the Alias Chamber Ensemble in Nashville and the Burlington Ensemble in Vermont…