Tuesday, December 23, 2014

'Tis the Season for Christmas Gigs!

It was a joy performing The Nutcracker this weekend with the Midland-Odessa Symphony in their beautiful hall.  I can't wait to join them again in January for Der Rosenkavalier Suite, Overture to Die Fledermaus, Radetzky March, and Navarro's Clarinet Concerto No. 2.  The concerto was originally written for Jose Franch-Ballester and if you have not heard it yet, you definitely need to check it out.  

The clarinet section in the pit before a performance of The Nutcracker.
My view from below the stage.

Excellent rehearsal fuel.
The previous week, I played a Christmas pops concert with the Monroe Symphony Orchestra which was a lot of fun.  Aside from the festive music from the symphony and chorus, the audience could get pictures with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, listen to handbell music at intermission, and enjoy the beautiful decorations. 
I wonder how many times I've played Sleigh Ride in my life.
I also enjoyed joining my SAI sisters for Christmas carols and small ensembles at a local nursing home. 
I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season.  I think that my New Year's resolution will be to update my blog more often!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

What a musically rewarding week!  I just finished performing three concerts over the past three days with the Garland Symphony, Symphony Arlington, and Las Colinas Symphony.  The program included Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, excerpts from Khachaturian's Sparticus, Verdi's Overture to I Vespri Siciliani, Strauss' Lagunen-Waltzer, and Ponchielli's Danza delle ore from La Giocanda.  We also ended up playing two encores: Delibes' "Pizzicati" from the Sylvia Suite and Denza's Funiculi, Funicula.  The orchestra sounded great and I'm looking forward to playing with them again next week for a series of children's concerts.

 (Top Left) On stage at the Irving Arts Center, (Top Right) Arlington Music Hall, (Bottom Left) Dinner after the concert with colleagues at i Fratelli Ristorante, (Bottom Right) Artwork outside of the Irving Arts Center

Sunday, September 28, 2014

I bought another new clarinet gadget this week.

Those of you who know me will not find this shocking since I really enjoy trying out new clarinet equipment and teaching tools.

I'm pretty excited about this one.  The Wind-O works similarly to the facial flex in that it strengthens the corners of your mouth using elastic bands but it also will not allow you to blow through the device until you have it in the proper position.  The device also has an tube and balloons that attach to add extra air resistance.  I will definitely have a full report on it later this week after I've had more time to play with it.  Between rehearsals and teaching there was not a lot of extra time for new things this week.

The concert with the Abilene Philharmonic was great by the way!  Performing great repertoire is always exciting but I also enjoyed catching up with my colleagues and making new friends as well.

Our program and three soloists.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Starting the Season

It has been an excellent start to the orchestral season and for beginning a new school year with wonderful clarinet students.  I have concerts coming up with the Abilene Philharmonic, Monroe Symphony, Midland-Odessa Symphony, Las Colinas Symphony, Garland Symphony, and Symphony Arlington.  The Abilene concert is next Saturday, September 20th and features Brahms Symphony no. 1, Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture, and Ford Stubernic Fantasy.  This is the U.S. orchestral premiere of Stubernic Fantasy which is a concerto for three marimbists, there’s also a version of this piece for wind ensemble.  Check it out if you’re in town, you can buy tickets and get more information of the Abilene Philharmonic website.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer time is here and I’m glad to have some free time and warm weather!  I’m still teaching lots of clarinet lessons but since there are no massive projects looming, it’s a great time to try new things, set new goals, and recharge my artistic batteries.  A few weeks ago, I went and tried some new clarinet equipment and ended up with a beautiful new Behn vintage mouthpiece for my bass clarinet.  I’m really enjoying playing on this mouthpiece, the high notes speak with ease and it’s incredibly resonant.  I can’t wait to play this with orchestra.

 I also made a trip to Kansas City for their bass clarinet audition.  While I was up there, I made a stop at Luyben Music and browsed through their awesome selection of clarinet music and enjoyed a delicious meal at Jack Stack Barbecue.

As for the rest of the summer, we have trips planned to Houston, Memphis, and Atlanta so that will keep us busy.  And of course, there’s always plenty to practice.

 I’m still going strong on day 25 of my run streak!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

There are lots of exciting things going on as we wrap up our busy season.  I finished up the orchestra season with an Abilene Philharmonic concert and our final Sigma Alpha Iota meeting for the spring was today.  At the meeting, I performed a duet with my good friend for our musicale and I was installed as the new president.  I’m pretty excited about this because I have lots of really great ideas that I believe will help us grow as a chapter and that I think would get us to be more active in the community.

Private lessons are also winding down as many schools in Texas let out for summer vacation after next week.  We still have a summer lesson program that runs throughout the summer so I’m busy scheduling students and it looks like I should have a good turn out.  It’s great to have dedicated students and supportive music programs!

This, of course, gives me a little more time to participate in some races!  I recently ran the Chisholm Trail Half Marathon and have been participating in the Runner’s World Run Streak.  This is the first time that I’ve done a run streak but I’m on day six and still going strong!

Anyways, I’ll be driving to Kansas City in the morning and then it looks like I’ll get a short vacation.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Recitals and Tigers and Gigs, Oh My!

I had a blast playing a guest artist recital and teaching a master class at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma this week.  A huge thank you to Dr. Anne Watson for inviting me and to all of her wonderful students who participated in the master class and attended the recital.

The weekend before the recital, my husband and I went to Monroe to play a classical concert which included Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody No.1, Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, excerpts from La Damnation de Faust, and the world premiere of Mel Mobley’s Labored Breath.  I had never played the Romanian Rhapsody before and had to buy the transcription for clarinet and piano for a future recital, I feel like I’ve been missing out!

In between rehearsals, I spotted this tiger statue and had to take a moment to get this photo op.  Tiger embouchure and hand position jokes are welcome!

And of course, whenever I’m in Louisiana I have to binge on awesome Cajun food.  Crawfish étouffée and po’ boy sandwiches, yum!
There are only pops and children’s concerts left for the rest of the season so it should be pretty stress free.  This is also a good time to start registering for some more races since I have not done one since last month’s Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon.  I’m registered for the New Year’s Double but obviously I need some more races between now and then!

By the way, if you have not checked out Anne’s new CD, Raretés Romantiques, it’s a really nice collection of Romantic works from all female composers and is available from Just for Winds

Happy Easter, everyone!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

This entire month flew by like a whirlwind, hence my lack of posts!

So allow me to play a little catch up.  Right now, my main objective is getting ready for my recital, which is less than three weeks away.  So needless to say, I’ll be pretty much hiding out in the practice cave and putting the finishing touches on everything.  On the program is the Alwyn Sonata, Debussy Première Rhapsodie, Yadzinski Sirène, Muczynski Time Pieces, and Lovreglio/Verdi La Traviata Fantasia da Concerto.  I am really excited, I can’t wait!

Gigs have been great, I’ve been playing with Monroe, Abilene, Midland-Odessa and even played on a friend’s ophicleide recital (you read that right).  Behold one of the most awesome recital posters that I have ever seen:

Aside from gigs, I also took a trip to Colorado to take an audition.  Even though I did not win, I still had a great time after the audition enjoying the sights around Denver.

I also took the opportunity to try out the “Phil Smith practice cave.”  This works really well for practicing in hotel rooms, especially if you have to practice something that can really disrupt an entire floor (ahem, Daphnis and Chloe).
I also had time to catch a recital by Paul Garner, Yuri Anshelevich, and Gabriel Sanchez at the Dallas Museum of Art.  They performed the Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major and the Trio in A minor.  The recital is part of a series through the Fine Arts Chamber Players.  On a non-musical note, I also ran the Rock ‘n Roll Dallas Half Marathon last weekend which was tons of fun!
Anyways, this practice break is over.  Until next time!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Never forget that the technique, the virtuosity, an attractive tone, are only a means of action, and that the purpose, it is the music.” 
—  Louis Cahuzac

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Last weekend’s Monroe Symphony concert was lots of fun, our audience was encouraged to bring the entire family out for some light classical fare.  For this concert, we changed it up and instead of our usual massive venue, we found ourselves in a beautiful church. 

We had some of our family in town for this concert so we went out to socialize.  The king cake cheesecake that we had at Copeland’s was incredible!

This month is busy with concerts and gigs.  I will be going to Abilene to play with the philharmonic this coming weekend while my husband stays a little closer to home to play with the Plano Symphony.  I am also playing on a friend’s upcoming ophicleide recital and of course my own guest artist recital is starting to sneak up on me!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Carmina Burana with the Midland-Odessa Symphony

Playing Carmina Burana last Saturday with the Midland-Odessa Symphony was so much fun and the performance was marvelous!  The soloists, choir, and orchestra were all a joy to work with and the crowd’s energy was incredible.  The symphony has a beautiful hall, the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center, that is situated about halfway between Midland and Odessa.  The acoustics are as beautiful as the building itself.  I was told that you can hear everything from the audience, even something as small as pulling your swab through the instrument too noisily…no pressure!

Behold my camera phone pictures that do not do this place justice!
Aside from getting to play an incredible piece, the camaraderie here cannot be beat.  My hostess spoiled me and even though this is only my second visit, I have made a lot of friends in this orchestra.