Another long stretch of gigs has come and gone. Since the middle of January, every weekend but Easter and one other (that one only had a rehearsal), I have had a concert or a show, or maybe both. I think that’s the most I’ve ever had booked before! And this was the year that I was determined to cut back ever-so-slightly by not double-booking myself.
Mind you, I’m not complaining! Maybe I’m bragging just a wee bit.
But now that I have some down-time, I can get back to practicing, serious practicing. And maybe some reed-making over the summer?
I am so lucky! I get to play bass clarinet for the Romeo and Juliet excerpts in the upcoming North Shore Philharmonic Symphony’s concert in April. Here is one of the movements:
Isn’t the bass clarinet part incredible? This is the scene after Romeo and Juliet are married but before they separate to fake their deaths. And we all know how that turned out. I hope the end result on my unreliable bass clarinet turns out better!
These next few winter months are going to be fantastic for me and my music playing! I just finished a show in which I played flute/piccolo and a little bit of oboe. I took a handful of lessons to tighten up my embouchure and confidence, and what a world of difference. I also have been experimenting with new oboe reeds until I begin making my own again, and have found a superb reed from Forrest’s Music. So hopefully between that and lessons when I can will bring my oboe playing up another level. My goal: to do many shows on just flute/piccolo or oboe/Eng horn. Not that I don’t want to double, but I also want to be able to play an entire show on just these instruments. I also want to be able to play anything and have people wonder which instrument is my “main” instrument. It’s quite a challenge, but I think with some focus, I can do it.
Of course, in between practicing those instruments and taking lessons, I am learning the bassoon and have already switched to 2nd bassoon in my regular orchestra! I have a fabulous teacher and am renting a really excellent Fox Renard.
But do not think I’m giving up clarinet anytime soon! I still play principal with a band in Reading (again, I am so lucky) and will be playing with a couple of orchestras too, including Romeo and Juliet on bass clarinet again.