Skip to main content

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.  Groups which reached beyond the normal classical music audience to try to do good in the community.  I was inspired by my South Bend friend Andrea who knows everyone and everything going on in this town. I can’t imagine having roots of the depth and breadth that she has here but I wanted to start some growing.  I was inspired by what I saw of the non-profit scene here.  People really are just trying to make the world better, in whichever small, focused way they see.  I was ready to get started.

So now here we are.  There’s a full season of great music programmed.  There are four organizations partnering with us and ready to embrace this new experience.  There’s a group of musicians on board and ready to start working.  The parts have been distributed.  There’s a venue, and there’s a graphic designer, and there are two restaurants prepared to cater our receptions.  A grant application has been submitted, to partially fund the series.  The next bit is up to us.  Would you visit our Indiegogo page and consider offering some support?   Every little bit helps, and if you can’t donate, would you at least tell your friends?  All of them - the music lovers and the do-gooders, the wealthy and the ones who would like a complimentary kazoo with their $12 donation.




Later in this series: The Musicians.  The Music.  The Organizations.  The People.  The Venue.  The Success of the Fundraising Venture.  Stay tuned!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Resonance

When my students get too MOUTHY with the oboe, I put them in a corner.

Really.

They tend to play the oboe only from the TOP of their body, north of the collarbone, and it winds up unsupported.  Fussy.  Weak.  And out of tune.

So I back them into a corner, and have them stand a foot or so out from it, facing out into the room.  And I challenge them to find a sound that resonates BEHIND them, out from the corner of the room that they are not facing, to fill the space without blowing directly into the space.

It's a weird metaphor.  I wouldn't have any idea how to describe the physical technique to do it. When I find it in myself, it feels like my back is puffy and my body is round, and large, and barrel like, and also collected and zipped up, and supremely powerful.  If you know me, you know that these statements about my body aren't remotely true.  But that's what I feel when I'm blowing well, and filling the room, and owning my resonance.

I teach resonance.  I talk …

Five Minute Reedmaker: Length of the Windows

My Five Minute Reedmaker Season Two seems to be largely about experiments.  People ask me how LONG, how THICK, how SLOPED, etc - and I'm running the experiments for them and for you.

I've been posting these videos on YouTube, and sharing them from my Facebook Page, but haven't totally kept up with sharing here on my blog.

Here are the ones you may have missed:
Length of the Heart
Fallacy of the Long Tip
Moldy Cane

And here's the new one:




Here's the YouTube playlist with all of my other Five Minute Reedmaker videos.  You could subscribe right there if you wanted to - I'm dropping a video each week until I run out of ideas this season.
Here's my website, where you can order reeds or cane or ask me questions.  Questions will keep these videos flowing! 

Here's how you can send me your own reeds to analyze and improve on video for your learning pleasure!

Never Trust an Oboe, Part 2

(Part One HERE)
(Similar story HERE)

Mercifully, THIS one didn't happen to me.  But my poor student was playing an audition for his orchestra, and reached up with his right hand to turn the page of his music.  And heard a "plink".  And when, a split second later, he returned his hand to his oboe to continue playing, he found that his entire thumb rest had fallen off onto the floor, leaving only the post it had been mounted to.

With his hand now contorted uncomfortably, he finished the audition - ably, I am sure - and tracked down the crucial little piece of metal.  Evidently the screw that secures the adjustable thumb rest into its most optimal position had come out - never to be found again - so the thumb rest itself now can escape at will.

He devised a workaround - teflon tape to keep the thing in - but let this be a lesson to all of us.




Seriously, the oboe is not your friend.  It's like a cat trying to slip out the door - it's just WAITING for an opportunity …