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Showing posts from March, 2014

WHY They Should Come

I don’t often attend symphony concerts.  I love them from my side of the footlights, but when it comes to paying a babysitter to go out in the evening, or even just leaving the house after dinner, I can’t see it.  I listen to music, but usually only to learn a specific work.  I love the oboe.  I love what I do.  I love the collaborative experience of making music - but I don’t care that much for passive listening.

And that makes me wonder why ANYONE attends a concert. 

I am not the first person to raise this question, I know.  The audience is declining, the audience is graying, the audience is giving up on us.  This is the perpetual refrain of orchestra management, and organizations are cutting back and even closing their doors all over the country now. 

We talk about improving the concert experience, making the Symphony Orchestra less of a stuffy, tuxedo-clad institution and more of an event to go out to.  We argue about the relative merits of more education and lower ticket prices…

Work/Life Balance, AGAIN. Again.

I love to work. 

I’m happy playing in orchestras, and would gladly do so every single week, but some weeks are slow, and some months. 

I enjoy teaching.  The challenge of finding the right words to inspire incremental improvements in many different people is a fascinating one which uses many facets of my brain and gives me pleasure. 

I am proud of my reed business.  It’s grown enormously since I started it 16 years ago, and I get to pour my entrepreneurial spirit into it.  Plus, I pretty much always have good reeds to play on since I’m making so many every day. 

I love my annual recital tour, which keeps me learning (and inventing) new repertoire and gives me my spotlight fix.  And I’m ecstatic about Musicians for Michiana, my new chamber music series, which is forging new connections in the community and just being a lot of fun along the way. 

I also adore my daughter, and here’s the challenge.  When the orchestra work is slow, I worry about our family’s income, so I run a reed speci…

Upcoming Concert - VIOLINS

Our Chamber concert this afternoon will be delightful.  It’s a program of violin showpieces, played - on the violin(!) - by our amazing concertmaster and principal second violinist.  Lots of notes, lots of stylishness, at least one fancy dress.  Short and sweet.  I’m looking forward to it, and hope to see some of you there!

Details HERE.

Just Glad to Be Here

We were driving home from the dress rehearsal tonight, and griping like musicians do.  The tempos were too slow.  We didn’t love the programming.  Why were the OTHER musicians so out of tune?  You know, normal after-work complaining.  Everyone does it.

But as I was sitting in the orchestra tonight, I just felt so fortunate.  How many people in the world got to be part of a Brahms Symphony this evening?  How many people got to be in the middle of that kind of lushness?  How many of those people sat in my chair, the principal oboe chair, the best seat in the orchestra?  Yes, it was Brahms’s 4th Symphony, and my part is not overloaded with oboe solos, but still every entrance is precious.  Everything fits, and when, like tonight, the group is all pulling together and the conductor is giving us what we need and the empty hall sounds liquid and clear and warm, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing. 

We’ve had a rough winter.  The work has been slim, and the weather has been dreadful, and we’v…