Ok, I really am going to try to make a better effort to blog. Even if its just a little update…I’ve just been too lazy! I guess that’s what happens when I have a job that takes so little work.
Anyway, things have been pretty slow at the band. I am usually on only one gig per week…but this week I have two! OMG. Just kidding. Otherwise, I’ve been keeping myself busy with practicing.
I’ve also been asked to “sub in” for the oboe player in the woodwind quintet at work while she is off having a baby. Its been really fun playing chamber music again! And this experience is pretty unique…not only am I playing a different part than I’m used to, but I’m also playing it on the C clarinet! Luckily, the band has a really nice Buffet Prestige C clarinet, but it is still a pretty wonky instrument! I would describe it as a weird hybrid of a Bb and an Eb clarinet…but more of the Eb part. The pitch is crazy in the throat tones, and its bright as crap. I think I’m managing to tame it, but I still hate how bright I sound!
In other news, I’ve been playing with the Virginia Wind Symphony the past few weeks. Its nice to get out of the military world of music every once in awhile (although a good percentage of the players in the ensemble are either military or former military musicians!) The size of the group is what kills me…at least 100 people are in this band. Its so loud! But we are playing fun repertoire. And it gives me an excuse to play my personal horn regularly!
Related to that, I realized the other day that I have 6 clarinets in my possession that I would like to regularly practice. 6! Holy cow, I didn’t realize I had so many until I counted just now, LOL. Let’s see…I’ve got my Leblancs Bb and A, my Buffet Eb R-13, and my Navy horns – Prestige Bb, Prestige C, and my greenline hunk o’ junk for outdoor gigs. Yup. That’s 6! So I’ve come up with a plan to play my warm up routine on each horn.
Monday: Leblanc Bb
Tuesday: Leblanc A
Wednesday: Prestige Bb
Thursday: Prestige C
Friday: Eb OR Greenline Bb
I’m not too concerned with playing my greenline, since I play it so regularly on gigs where we are often outside. But I would like to get back into playing Eb. When I was at the saxophone symposium a couple weeks ago, I noticed that the Eb clarinet player in the band was looking preeeetty old, LOL. That may mean he is retiring soon and there will be an audition! Maybe.
I’ve also been trying to practice flute every day. So far, so good. But I usually only make it about 30-45 minutes before my arm gets too tired. But my tone is getting better…and I’ve been diligent in practicing slow scales. I’m hoping in about 6 months or so I will feel comfortable enough to start taking some formal lessons…something I’ve never actually done on flute! But I will need to if I want to get the NEC (secondary instrument) at the band. To get it, I’ll have to take and pass the audition, just like I did on clarinet. But I only need a score of 2.85 – I scored a 3.20 at the school on clarinet, so once I get past the technical part of flute I should be good to go! If only it were that simple!