college · Music · Uncategorized

Oboe Life: Take 17 – What has been going on after 10 weeks of school?

I’m still alive!

It’s been quite awhile since I actually posted anything on here. I know I meant to write some stuff here and there, but I didn’t get the chance to until now…I should be studying for a Musicianship test though…

Anyway, Fall has officially hit Southern California, and when I mean hit, I mean rain and cold sweater weather. I have really enjoyed it so far because I’m getting to wear my sweaters and scarves finally. Might opt in to wear tall socks again!

Music Life

After 10 weeks of school, I have slowly progressed in my musical studies  and it’s been sort of wonderful and at the same time sort of eh. We are just 6 more weeks in until the end of the semester, so that means Juries are coming soon. Juries are just miniature performance tests to let the school know that we’re actually improving and not just being lazy. I’m still not sure what the heck I’m even playing for that thing. I have an idea of what my teacher may want me to play, but at the same time I’m like, what? Well, I probably should worry about that more as it comes close.

I’ve experienced performing in 2 concerts now. The first concert was in late September and it was the Woodwind Chamber concert. I was playing Oboe and Native American Flute (oh yeah, I joined the CSULB Native American Flute choir). To me, the concert could’ve been handled a lot better. Before the concert we had a mini dress rehearsal with NAF choir, and I was sweating so badly, and it wasn’t just me. The whole recital hall was so hot because no one had turned on the air conditioning before hand. I feel like it affected some people more than others, especially the groups that went on first. In terms of how we performed, well for my woodwind  trio at least, I think some of us were nervous. We performed 2 pieces: Ronde des Lutins – Christiaan Kriens and Pastorale Moderne – Whitney Tustin. The Ronde started off…faster than what we originally practice, so it was sort of like a race to the end with everyone’s fingers flying all around. It could’ve been better. The Pastorale…I can’t really remember only that whenever I think about it, it’s like a jazzy version of Morning in the Peer Gynt suite. I was okay. The NAF choir performed Nahwaanax – Alexander Elliott Miller; it was a piece written for the group and the composer was the one who conducted us at the concert. I was a little off still, only because I should have practiced more. It was an interesting experience playing the High C Soprano flute. There is like no resistance in playing that instrument compared to the amount of resistance I play on Oboe, so breathing was something to learn (like every 2 bars). I very much enjoyed the Woodwind Chamber concert. I stayed in to listen to other groups (with better players), and doing that just makes me want to be a better player. I liked it.

The second concert that I performed in was the Symphonic Band concert with Wind Symphony. I thoroughly enjoyed this concert. It was my first time stepping into the Carpenter Performing Arts Center when we had rehearsal that same day, and it reminded me of the auditorium venue at Lincoln High School in San Diego. Big audience seating which is what I like. I didn’t get to perform English Horn for this concert because none of the pieces called for it, so I was doubling 2nd oboe. It’s pretty difficult to tune 2 oboes, so I learned a lot of playing extra carefully on a 2-month-old reed (never again). Our director had appointed me change the music scores between each set of music, so I would awkwardly get up from my seat and switch the scores while the audience members watched  me. I later learned this job is usually appointed to the piccolo player because they are more seated closely to the podium, so our piccolo player in Symphonic Band got scolded a lot the next day when he wasn’t appointed the job. I do have to say that the piccolo player in Wind Symphony did do a better job than me at changing the scores. I don’t know it was just much better. Anyway, the concert was actually delayed pretty long; our 3rd flutist had missed her bus to the school, so she had to wait for the next one, and a lot of people were wondering what happened to her because it was pretty unheard of for this group to start 10 mins late. Good thing though that she came as soon as she could. I was given a complimentary ticket to bring someone, so I picked up Yoshi from Irvine and brought him to support me (even if I had a minuscule part). I had him meet my viola friend, Marylin (if you’re reading this Marylin/Yoshi, I’m sorry for what I’m gonna say next), and unfortunately, I left them alone to awkwardly hang in silence while I went to go prepare for the concert. I didn’t learn about this until a week later, but I guess Marylin went to show Yoshi where the venue was, and she stopped by a trashcan to throw something away real quick and Yoshi went ahead to sit somewhere by himself, and Marylin contemplated whether or not to sit with him, they didn’t but I just find it funny how their meet ended up. So after my part of the concert, I sat next to Yoshi and…then we saw him. I’m going to refer to this person as Him because I just know people google him up, and I don’t want my post showing up. Anyway, I knew that someone of significance from UCLA Music was coming to see the performance, but I didn’t exactly know who, until he scooted in front of Yoshi and I and sat in the same row as us! I was on the edge of my seat wondering if he remembered us (I doubt it), but it made me cringe just because he was a person that made me question my life choices that I knew should not have to be questioned. Anyway, Wind Symphony played such exuberant and long pieces, but they were really interesting. I make it my goal to be in that group, even if there are 11 Oboes and counting.

Right now, we’re all preparing for our 2nd concert in December and the Woodwind Chamber in November. I’m almost playing completely English Horn for the 2nd Band Concert, and replaying Percy Grainger’s Spoon River, so I’m excited for it. For Woodwind Chamber, we’re playing  Malcolm Arnold’s Divertimento (ahhh), and replaying Paul de Wailly’s Aubade. Playing things here and there. My lessons are going all right. I’m almost done with all my high school repertoire (solo pieces I’ve been working on in high school), and moving on to new material after this week. I’ll be starting Saint-Saens’s Oboe Sonata, so woo. I recently learned that my teacher’s pregnant, so next semester I’ll be studying with Joe Stone, and so that should be interesting…

Regular life…

I’m very much doing well in my GE classes. Next semester I plan on just letting myself do only 2 GEs (if the school will let me) and a whole bunch of music classes. I really want to just do my GEs online because it’s easier managing that on my own time, or hybrid class. I plan on doing the rest of my GEs this following summer at a local community college back home (hopefully online as well).

As for my living situation, (apologies to my roommates who could impossibly be reading this), I feel slightly uncomfortable because I feel a clash of personality between my roommates and I, and I kind of want to move out and transfer to a different hall. I have my paperwork filled out and I’m just waiting to send it, but at the same time I’m contemplating the benefits and cost of me staying here. I want to, but at the same time I don’t, if that makes sense. I do hope to find my own place next year, it seems unlikely because of money, but when I look at it, it’s a lot cheaper than me staying here. Housing is so expensive, and my financial aid does not cover housing, so I’m gonna try to change that.

I am currently job hunting, and right now, I have a hope for a music store that I applied to in Westminster. It seems hopeful, but if not, then I have to look elsewhere. On campus is sort of convenient, but it’s on main campus, and my time is spent mostly in the music building. So I don’t know.

That’s a lot for one post, I’ll stop now. I’ll mention about my T-shirt Quilt next time (it’s beautiful!).

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