college · Music · Projects

Oboe Life: Take 22 – Librarian Opportunities

I have went from “I have so much time to relax and practice” to “Oh my goodness, do I even have the time to read my books”

The Music Gods have finally answered my prayers and bestowed upon me the opportunity to gain Music Librarianship. It is indeed rare to find a lot of Oboists in the music world compared to finding Flutists (They’re everywhere…), but it is even rarer to find a Music Librarian, especially ones who actually enjoy their job as one. Musicians, at least once in their life, have seen and worked with a pile of music and organize it to its proper order only to find it to be a very dull task. However, I’m one of the handful of people who actually enjoy spending hours organizing and studying scores, as well as finding the Oboe/Eng. Horn parts and making the appropriate marks needed.  It never really occurred to me until a few months ago that I could really find happiness in pursuing a career like this. Of course, above all, my dream is to be able to perform with a professional orchestra, but being an orchestra librarian will in no doubt also lead me to be a part of a professional orchestra.

I wondered what brought me to this side of music, and I’ve been thinking about that as I was working in the conservatory’s band library. It may have been that I was Librarian in my high school’s music program, but I feel there’s just something deeper to explain why I would be willing to do this for a career. It could be because of the type of personality I hold – organized, technical, slight perfectionist, studious, hard working, and as Sarah described to me once, my “love for office supplies” (I do enjoy the complex stationary I have in my pencil pouch, including my 5 in 1 Pencil/Pen device). Maybe it’s because I see Music more as a language to be spoken rather than just a bunch of scribbles to be read. Or maybe I was secretly genetically altered to be that rare specimen in order to preserve the human work…well whatever it is, I’m enjoying it.

Anyway, so I have started my work as a student music librarian last Thursday afternoon. My current project right now is to go through each music in the band library and see if it’s missing in the online catalog and vice versa. I worked yesterday morning only to finish with band music written by J.S. Bach (there was over 30 works). Monday I’ll start off there. I did try to find this kind of opportunity last semester, but I figured I was asking the wrong people for help. So, I had to ask one of the band directors of the conservatory to get me in contact with the Music Resource Center’s archivist. From there, I was introduced to the entire conservatory’s library and my enthusiasm to work shot up (this is all voluntary and I’m not getting paid).

Along with the conservatory’s library, I also get the opportunity to work with the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra’s Librarian (Eeep!). My current private teacher right, Joe, plays with the orchestra, so I asked him if he could get me in contact with their librarian. I was expecting him to just give me an email address, but he gave me a physical meeting instead! I was beyond excited that I practically ran away from some friends to meet her. Remember when I said that I’m one of the handful of people who actually enjoy music librarianship? Well, let’s just say the person I was about to meet isn’t one of those people. I kind of got the idea and totally understand. Some people go to school to study music hoping to make it into the big leagues and play professionally their whole life. In reality, those music degrees don’t always guarantee your happiness let alone financial stability. So, there are those who seek out other employment in the music business, but it might not be what they enjoy doing. Regardless, no matter her feelings for her job, this orchestra librarian was happy to help me gain the experience that I want and needed. Going to meet with her this Wednesday afternoon when my classes are done for the day to see how I do on this little project of notating bowings. If I do well on this project, it has the potential to be turned into a paid internship! Music Gods give me strength.

With all that, I am so grateful for the opportunities that lies ahead. Currently, I’m waiting back to hear from the SD Symphony to see if I will be able to intern with their librarian this upcoming summer. Crossing fingers. Other than this and school, later today I’ll be helping out with the conservatory’s audition day for the prospective students coming in and interviewing for the RA position on Sunday. Oh, and also to have an early birthday celebration with my family who are driving up to see me as they do their taxes. Turning 19 on Monday….Ahhh….

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