Heading Out...to Mexico

Merry Christmas to everyone!!! yay!!!

As you may (or may not) have read at my mom's blog...we are having a different kind of Christmas celebration this year. For what seems to be becoming a yearly tradition, I played (along with Alison, Jake + Kara Bancks) for a bilingual midnight mass in Logan Square. Its pretty fun even though its kind of late. This morning we drove down to Chinatown and had "Christmas Lunch" at a Chinese restaurant. The food was very good and then we stopped at Joy Yee's for Mango and Strawberry/Kiwi bubble tea...yum yum...

Then it was in the car and off to Milwaukee (I can feel Heather's presence near me...however I'm sure she is quite busy with the fam on Christmas and I'm seeing her in a week anyways). After some hotel room boredom we braved the ice fields (aka parking lots) and walked over to the movie theater next door to the La Quinta and saw Juno...I kind of loved it, but I don't have much to compare it to in terms of movies this year...I'm confident to say it was my favorite, but I only saw like 3 anyway. Wait, maybe 2.

Our flight leaves at 7am for Puerto Vallarta so the iPhone (yes, thats right, I have an iPhone now!!!! thanks parents + uncle) is set to 4:20am...I guess the airport is very close, so good thing we don't need to get up any earlier than that!!!


Home and Cold

I am back home in Chicago right now. Its 37 degrees right now...which isn't too cold for Chicago, but it is pretty cold for me! The thing that surprises me every time I come home is at night when I brush my teeth, the water is sooooo freezing out of the tap. For some reason in my building in Houston, the water never gets very cold, the coldest it gets is a few degrees under room temperature, which really disturbed me at first, but after a year and a half I got used to it. Now I freeze my mouth whenever I brush my teeth while I'm at home. One benefit is that I don't usually need to put ice in my water. I'm not really sure where that came from. Maybe because I just brushed my teeth.

I really wanted to watch the final disc of Season 2 of Big Love tonight, but my neighborhood Blockbuster didn't have it in! I asked the guy if someone had recently returned it and he said, "Yes! I just saw it!!" and then he went back to get it, and turned around and said, "sorry...its actually something else." I was very sad. I rented Ellie Parker for the 3rd time (I've rented it twice before and never watched it...3rd times the charm right?) I haven't watched it yet...oops.



I am going home tomorrow (today?) .... I think things will be very cold in Chicago...but I will only be there for a few days since I will be going to Puerto Vallarta for 10 days!!! yay!!! then right back to Houston (and preparing for my preview!) yikes...I am seriously thinking about doing the Rochester Phil audition...there are three cello openings and it is a month after my recital...what do you guys think? Should I go for it? I already know all the excerpts and would only need to learn one...and I could stay with friends making it pretty cheap...should I go for it?



Some of you may notice some updates to the right side regions of the blog! An updated link list at the bottom (with all of you old favorites rearing their ugly heads again!) and some new ones for you to enjoy. If you secretly read my blog and have one yourself that isn't listed there, please let me know and I would be happy to add your name to the roster. Also, if I have forgotten you (shame on me) just say the word and your name will appear.

My Amazon.com Wish List

Also, you will notice at the top right, there is a small button labeled "wish-list." By simply clicking, you will be transported to a list of goodies on Amazon that can easily be purchased and shipped right to my door! Please pay particular attention to the more expensive items...it just means you love me more!


List Of Things

When I haven't written in a while its always easier to update with a list! So here you go.
  1. Just finished my orchestral repertoire final...it was torture as usual including excerpts from Mahler 5, Brahms 4, Tchaikovsky Serenede for Strings, and Mozart 39...yikes...its over...and I only have one more semester of orch rep to go!!! yay!!!!
  2. I need to make a recording now for summer festival audition...that should be exciting...
  3. It has been very cold here...and by very cold I mean like 40's and 50's...I do realize that I used to endure much colder temperature than that all the time...but now, to me, this is very cold.
  4. I'm going back to Chicago on Friday, then a few days after that, I'll be off to Puerto Vallarta...should be exciting.
  5. I played in the Woodlands Symphony last weekend...it was fine, thank you, and the Woodlands (along with all of the Houston suburbs) scare me.
  6. Big Love Season 2 is on DVD...so watch it.
  7. I guess I don't really have that much to say after all.



In Case You Were Wondering

I was supposed to play my preview this afternoon...but due to cosmic circumstances Patti (my pianist) came down with the flu or something or other and to my surprise (since most of my recital is solo) Mr. Fischer decided to forgo the whole thing and do it after break! Lucky me I suppose...I am happiest about not having to play the Carter: Enchanted Preludes...that shit is hard...and we sounded kind of heinous...but I don't have to worry about it now!

I'm playing a gig tonight at a church...its actually the same Vaughn Williams: Fantasia on Christmas Carols that we just played in chamber orchestra. That should be fun...I hope. I'm all dressed up in my tux right now! In case you were wonder that is...which you probably weren't.

Classes are over, except orchestral repertoire which seems to go on forever...we had our review class today (even though classes are over) and we have our final next week (even though this week is finals week)...it all kind of confuses me...but I'll just go along with it anyway. I played much better in class today than I should have.

I'm starting to think hard about summer...does anybody have any suggestions...I still have until the 21st to decide about Tanglewood (although I've basically said no...but I still feel like I should go for some reason...aghh!!!) I'm starting to think about just moving to LA right away...but I dunno if I will be able to...but I just kind of want to get things started!!!




A Reminder to all of those in the Houston Area...and those of you within 8000 miles...I will be playing in the Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra tomorrow night (Thursday) at 8pm...the program is:

Stravinsky: Danses Concertantes Saint-Saens: Oratorio de Noel Vaughn Williams: Fantasia on Christmas Carols

The concert is a little bit Christmas heavy for my taste, but it also happens to have a cello solo in every piece! (random I know) so if you are my friend, you should come and support me. Yes, that means you.


The Week in O(h)M(y)T(rill)

Its the end of the semester and things are getting kind of crazy...seriously. My preview is next week...a good 7 weeks before my actual recital...so things are kind of falling into place...well, like one piece...sigh...its gonna be a little bit rough around the edges I think...oh well...I need to go an teach now...
  1. Hilary and I are attempting to throw the Carter Enchanted Preludes together in one week. This piece is pretty hard...we are rehearsing basically everyday (even though her boyfriend is in town!) I know that she kind of hates me right now...but I'm really glad we are doing it! Thank you Hilary!
  2. I'm playing the Lopez and the Plylar in studio on Tuesday...yikes...and the Popper Requiem with Meta, Chrissy, and Patti!
  3. I start my new job at T.H. Rogers on Wednesday (and Friday)...I'm teaching sectionals...yay!
  4. Thursday is the Shepherd Chamber Orchestra Concert...Music of Stravnisky, Vaughn Williams, and Saint-Saens...yes, its Christmas Music...but you should come and hear my solo in the Vaughn Williams!
  5. Friday is the Symphony Concert...go hear them.
  6. I'm judging region band auditions on Saturday...that should be interesting. Very interesting...more on that later.


New Job

I officially got a new job teaching sectionals at a Junior High near the Galleria! This makes for my fourth school here in Houston (except this is the only school I teach at that is actually in Houston...hmmm). I taught a region clinic there a few months back, and they hired me to come twice a week...I think it will be fun..yay!


Carter Sonata

So...my Carter Sonata performance last night was a bit 'interesting' in a first performance kind of way...we probably hadn't really rehearsed enough to be playing the 4th movement in front of people...but that didn't stop us and we kind of futzed our way through it...and had kind of a meltdown backstage afterwards...good times...

For those of you wondering...I am back in Houston now...have been for a few days...and its cold here...I keep accidentally wearing my checker scarf with my checker shoes...oops...I think I'm going to not play in studio today...mainly because I feel kind of tired and won't play well...that means I have to next week...or else...

I think I will get a haircut today.


The Week in O(h)M(y)T(rill)

There are lots of happenings this week in OMT...the Thanksgiving break has been very relaxing but the next few weeks are going to be pretty insane...in kind of a good way...lots of music to know...and lots more venues to play it at...
  1. Sunday is a travel day...but my flight leaves Chicago at 6:30am...which puts me back in Houston at 9:12am...leaving plenty of time to practice and run errands alls day...and then collapse around 7pm (since I will have gotten up somewhere in the vicinity of 4am...yikes)
  2. I return to teaching at La Porte (on Monday) and Cinco Ranch (on Thursday)...I've been playing a few gigs lately and have had to cancel (which is both good and bad...)
  3. Studio Recital on Monday night...I'm playing the entire Carter Sonata...which will be very interesting...I really love the piece, but its a work out and Patti and I haven't played it since I left for Thanksgiving break...obviously.
  4. Studio Party on Monday night...nuff said.
  5. Hilary's Flute Recital is Saturday at 3pm...I'm playing continuo...again...come if you wanna laugh at me. And hear a good flute recital.
  6. The Contemporary Music Practicum concert is Sunday Night at 7:30pm...hear some pretty good pieces by real composition majors and some 'interesting' pieces by performance majors...it is also my acting debut...


Apple and Stuff

I just came back from the Apple Store with my uncle...he bought an iPod Nano (blue) a 20" iMac, and got a free printer (with scanner etc.) and a free copy of Microsoft Office (both after rebate)...I can only say that I'm a little bit jealous (even though I already have two iPods of my own and a MacBook...so I really have no reason to be)...but his stuff is newer and better and cooler. I also drooled over the iPhones for a while...I'm getting better at using them, mainly from just playing with them at the store...now all I need to do is actually own one!

Project Runway: I have to admit, I kind of heart Elisa...even from the first challenge when her dress was a total train wreck (as M. Kors said)...it was nice to see her go from almost being the first one auf'ed to almost winning! Yikes! I guess Victoya's was good too...but I just don't like her right now for some reason...I didn't like her metallic flower dress either (from the last episode) that the judges were all drooling over...seems like she will be sticking around for a while. My favorite right now is Chris March...he's kind of hiding in the "I don't get kicked off, but they also never say anything about my dresses" territory right now...so it seems like he'll be around for at a few episodes.

I'm kind of obsessed with David Lynch and Pedro Almodovar right now...I've watched Inland Empire, Twin Peaks Season 2, Volver, and Talk To Her in the past two weeks...and they are all amazing...I really need to go back and fill in some Almodovar gaps...he is such an amazing writer and his movies never go exactly where you expect them to (and always put the audience in a unique position...aka...should we like the main character or not?)...see Talk To Her and look at the main character Benigno for a prime example.

I've actually been doing some pretty good practicing since I've been here...not a ton of time...but I've been getting some things done...which is what I need to be doing. The last three pages of the Duarte-Lopez are pretty crazy in a tongue-twister fast notes/rhythm kind of way...but my fingers are slowly but surely figuring out where they need to be. For those of you who are keeping track I'm playing the entire Carter Sonata at our studio recital on Monday night, then the Duarte-Lopez in studio on Tuesday, and hopefully the Plylar at my lesson on Wednesday...in other words...its a big cello week for me (not to mention all of the orchestra music that I need to know really well...ouch).


Back at Home

I made it back to Chicago in one piece...although my flight was seriously delayed. I got to the airport on the early side and then found out my flight would be leaving four hours later than it should have! Yikes...Good thing I had "Talk To Her" in my bag...actually didn't end up finishing it and then watched most of "Edward Scissorhands" on the airplane...and slept a little too...was home by 12:30 or so (after getting to the airport at 4!)...


On My Way Out

You've probably noticed I'm experimenting with some new things here at the blog...I switched from Template to Layout yesterday...I hope I end up liking it, since I can't switch back! Yikes! It makes things like adding an image to the header super super easy...the trick is to find a good image...this one is very very temporary.

Orch Rep midterm went about as well as it could have gone yesterday...of course, Mendelssohn was the worst of the four pieces...as expected...I got a very mixed review with a really good compliment and some much expected criticism. Orchestra was a bit rocky yesterday...the first reading of the Stranivksy Danses Concertantes could have used a little more rhythm and counting...but there was only one conductor storm out...so things will probably be better after the Thanksgiving Break!

Speaking of which...I leave in a few hours...couldn't really find someone to drive me so I'm driving myself to the airport (for the first time!) Yikes...the parking won't cost too much...about the same if I took the shuttle...and its much more convenient!


The Week in O(h)M(y)T(rill)

  1. There is nothing quite like a Monday morning Orchestral Repertoire midterm, is there? I missed to real one a few weeks ago and my make-up is tomorrow morning. I'm sure it will be amazing, especially since the teacher is pissed at me right now...and I can't play Mendelssohn Scherzo anyway (for those of you keeping track its some random Suppe Overture Solo + Don Juan + Brahms 2...nothing new...just stuff I suck at).
  2. Project Carter Movement 4: Patti and I will attempt to begin to put together the 4th movement of the Carter Sonata...that will be interesting...its pretty freakish on paper, but maybe it will be a lot easier to put together than it seems? Maybe not...Some of Carter may be played in Studio Class on Tuesday (we had a GREAT lesson on the 3rd movement the other day)
  3. Chamber Orchestra continues...aka more Christmas music. We start the Stravinsky "Dances Concertantes" with Larry on Monday.
  4. Tuesday is lobowell's birthday...its a special day indeed.
  5. Strangely enough Wednesday is plyply's birthday.
  6. This week is Thanksgiving...I'm flying home on Tuesday evening (and missing orch rep...one of the reasons said prof is pissed at me...hmmm)
  7. I expect the highlight of the week to be Project Runway on Wednesday...I'll be watching it with my mom for the first time! I picked Chris (big Chris) to win this one...I thought his dress was amazing last week...but they just advanced him to the next round with no commentary...I'm sure he'll be up there with the best in the next few episodes.
  8. Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite, if not my favorite holiday. There is just a certain feeling that I have when I think about the whole day leading up to the meal...everybody is around the house...cooking doing whatever...hard to explain, but it just doesn't really happen on other days. I was just at home a few weeks ago, but I'm looking forward to the break (since I'm kind of wiped out from Beaumont this past week).
  9. I'm gonna learn Plylar's "Duel Intentions" and Duarte-Lopez's "Ekphrasis" while I'm at home...my preview is really soon!
  10. Back in Houston early early early Sunday morning...yikes!


On The Horizon

It seems like out of nowhere there are suddenly tons of things to be thinking about. Jairo called me yesterday saying that we need to make the recording sooner rather than later. (if you haven't been paying attention his solo cello piece that he wrote for me won the national composition competition in Columbia...it will be recorded and published and won a big cash prize) That means I either have to take a trip to Rochester or he needs to take a trip to Houston...neither of us wants me to do it solo with no input from him...problem is finding a date that works for both of us...easier said than done...yikes!

My future new music ensemble (right now referred to as Cape Cod of Context) is also in the brainstorming/planning stages of our first concert/performance...sometime in May or June...I think we need to figure out a concept before we pick rep...there is a ton of work to be done though and May will be here faster than we ever expected...


Today is the first day of season 4 of Project Runway. I have arbitrarily picked Jack to win the first challenge (I had to make a choice since I'm playing Fantasy Runway with Allison, Plylar, and Kimberly). We'll see what actually happens. Its nice to know where I'll be spending my Wednesday evenings for a while (aka in front of the TV watching Bravo).

I'm doing Beaumont Symphony all week which means I'll be in Beaumont, TX from 7-10 and won't get back to Houston until 12 or so...so I'll be watching the midnight replay. Beaumont is...interesting. It would be a lot better if it wasn't so far away...we left at 5 yesterday and arrived in Beaumont just in time to walk right in and start rehearsing at 7...and then its a little under an hour and a half on the way back. Yikes. But, there is a check at the end...so its all worth it, right?



I survived teaching early this morning...it turns out that 5am is waaaaaay too early to get up, but I think its better that I was there at 7 (even though I was literally the only person in the school)...now I know that I probably don't need to get up until 5:45...which somehow makes a world a difference. Its kind of refreshing to get up that early...it made me feel like a "real person" driving to work with all those other "real people." And it didn't hurt to get a peppermint mocha from Starbuck's to sip on the way down to La Porte. Yum...

Masterclass with Trio con Brio Cophenhagen also went really well...we brushed up in two short rehearsals and did the first movement of the Schumann D Minor Trio. They actually had some good things to say, although the cellist didn't really say anything to me! Oh well...I guess I could have asked something...but we did already perform it...so, yeah...

She's Here!

I'd like to welcome Emily Ruth Keener to the world! I'm sure she'll have a blast. Congratulations Mary and Daniel! This is her mom's blog.


The Week in O(h)M(y)T(rill)

  1. I'm playing in the Symphony of Southeast Texas this week (aka Beaumont). Beaumont is very far away...like over an hour and a half...rehearsals on Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday...concert on Saturday. Should be a blast! (since I get a check at the end).
  2. I'm starting a new job in La Porte on Monday morning...a cello sectional at 7:30am and then 4 students. I'm not very happy about the starting time...but I am happy about having a job.
  3. Trio Baggins is playing in a chamber music masterclass on Monday for Trio con Brio...I'm not exactly sure who they are, but we get to play in their masterclass!
  4. Working on putting together the 2nd and 3rd movements of the Carter Sonata with Patti (and maybe the 4th too!). Playing the 2nd in studio class on Tuesday.
  5. Project Runway starts on Wednesday! Unfortunately I'll be out in Beaumont and I'll have to watch the replay at 12 or later...hmmm...hope I'm not too tired!
  6. I'm playing for both Hilary's and Rachael's recitals...Hilary's preview is this week and Rachael's recital is on Sunday...I'm doing continuo for both, and you all know how amazing I am at continuo...sigh...
  7. Chamber Orchestra starts for me again on Friday...I'm sitting principal so I need to find time to learn the music! Yikes...


Region Band

Yesterday I got invited to judge region band auditions...thats right...not orchestra...but band...wind instruments only. I was a little surprised at getting this email (that went on to ask your instrument preference...I asked for oboes and bassoons...we'll see what I get). I've never judged an audition before, and I've never listened to that many wind instruments play in a row. So it will be a day of firsts. Should be exciting. (Region band is one of the steps to all-state down here in Texas...they have about 75 rounds before you actually get to go to all-state...because they are crazy and love evaluating and judging and giving rankings.)


Crazy Day So Far

I got up at 6am this morning...and by "got up" I mean that I set my alarm (and by alarm I mean both of my alarm clocks set at 5:55am and 6am) and hit snooze until 7am when I actually got up and wrote my music for Contemporary Music Practicum class and then I sprinted over to Starbucks and bought the necessary latte (non-fat sugar-free) and sprinted over to school and printed the parts and scores because I have no ink in my printer and then I went to Mind-Body class where we danced around doing eurythmics with Mrs. Fischer and then I went to contemporary music class where we played me pieces (which actually turned out ok...especially for being written at 7am) and then I went to rehearsal with Patti (and by rehearsal I mean that we talked for about 35 minutes of the hour on a wide range of topics not having to do with the Carter Sonata we were supposed to be rehearsing) and now I'm back at my apartment wasting time writing this entry because I should be showering and eating lunch before I drive out to Cinco Ranch to teach the little cello kiddies (and by little cello kiddies I actually mean the students I have which range in age from 6th-11th grade)...and then my day will be done.


Teaching and stuff

I just got called to sub with another orchestra...but I can't do it. Man! I hope that they will call me again...I really need the money...today I begin teaching at a second school out in Katy. I taught some cello sectionals (on region music) there last year...and they asked me back this year as a teacher. I'll have five students tonight (if they all show up) but then lessons will stop for a while...too much orchestra stuff going on.

Carter is going really well...Patti and I are aiming to play the entire sonata in the Studio Recital right after Thanksgiving break...we will have the 1st and second movements done by the end of this week...I think we are both having fun with it.


Ups and Downs

I guess when things go well for you for a while, they have to go the other way for a while too...my one private student just let me know they are switching to another teacher for "reasons not related to me." She told me this in a one sentence email...thats the money I used for my groceries every week...I also heard from the teacher at my new school in La Porte that she doesn't have enough students to make it worth my time (even though she let me know at the beginning of the year that there would be at least 18...hmmm)...thats two jobs that I'm out of in one day...yikes...

In other good news, I got called to sub with the Symphony of Southeast Texas...I have to cancel some of my teaching but I think its worth it. Hmmm...now I need to double my efforts of finding more work...anybody hiring cellists in the Houston area?


I'm Still Here

Yeah...I'm still here...been all over the place and had lots of crazy stuff going on...both bad and good. Here's a summary of what has been going on:
  1. Headache situation is going better...much better actually...hope that doesn't jinx anything.
  2. Lots of good news from Tanglewood...I won a prize and I got invited back for next year...now I have a lot of thinking to do...should I go back? They are playing tons of Carter and James Levine is conducting tons of stuff and Renee Fleming is singing in the opera and Emanuel Axe is playing with the orchestra! Hmmm...
  3. I just bought a Missy Elliot Album...This Is Not A Test!
  4. Was at home last week for my grandmother's funeral...it was a really nice service and I think she would have loved it. Sigh...
  5. Jairo won the composition prize in Columbia for the solo cello piece he wrote for me...he got a lot of money and I might be recording it! No details at all yet...so I won't get my hopes up...but they already are..so too late.
  6. I bought a black tie with tiny gold skulls all over it today.
  7. I have a ton of work to do on my recital...I'm currently two weeks behind because of all of this stuff that has come up...agh!!!
  8. Winter break will be kind of amazing...I'm going to Puerto Vallarta with my parents and uncle and then I'm zipping back to Houston in time for Heather to arrive...she is visiting for almost a whole week!
  9. I'm getting a lot of new students! I added another day of teaching out in Katy and might start teaching in LaPorte any week now...still waiting to hear back from the orchestra director there.


I Like Today

It is very cold and rainy today and it makes me feel like we actually have seasons here...of course that will all change when it gets hot again and it becomes apparent that we actually don't have seasons at all. But I will enjoy it while I can and carry my umbrella around and wear a sweatshirt (outside!!).

Some of you may know that I've been having some headache problems lately...things got better over the weekend and I've made some (temporary) lifestyle changes...no caffeine, no alcohol, and mostly organic food. It was very fun to go shopping at Central Market over the weekend searching out all the good organic stuff (although it is a little pricey...but whatever). I'm happy to be back in business and getting things done (since that didn't happen very much this past week). Last night was an apartment cleaning, so now everything is tidy and in its place and ready to go for the week...I should make it a tradition to always clean up on Sunday afternoon/evening...its makes getting up on Monday much easier.

I saw the University of Houston's production of The Breasts of Terisias (Poulenc) and Gianni Schicci (Puccini) yesterday. Both great operas and great production with lots of stunning performances from Eastman grads (featured as leads in both operas). Its always great seeing the operas there...they spare no expense and put on huge lavish productions.

Trio recital this Saturday at 8pm in Duncan...Brahms: Trio in B Major/Schumann: Trio in D Minor....you should be there!!!


Conference Over

So after three very intense days and weeks of planning, the Shepherd Careers Forum is at last over. It was pretty cool to see all of the people arrive and be really excited about everything and have fun and do work and play/watch concerts and have discussions etc... But three full days (two 7:30am starts) with minimal breaks has its wear on you. Rachael and my big project was getting all of the food picked out and catered, and according to everyone attending, the food was one of the highlights. So I guess we did good! We decided to switch to Starbuck's coffee at the last minute too...which was a huge hit...sidenote for people hosting a conference: get Starbucks coffee because everyone will go crazy over it (and they get to carry around little starbucks cups all day and feel special). Over all I think it was a pretty great success and people seems really happy and excited about it! Things would have been much more enjoyable if I didn't have a pounding headache for three days...which may or may not be sinus related...I'll try and go to the health services tomorrow. Hope I can get rid of it soon!



Its been some time since I posted...just haven't been feeling the blog lately...hmph...I have a busy couple of days right now...this weekend is the Shepherd Careers Forum: a few students from every major music school are coming to Rice this weekend and will be watching performances by the Chiara Quartet and 8th Blackbird...they will take what they have learned from these alternative performances (and lectures) and present their own performances on Sunday in randomly assigned groups. Rachael and I are the student coordinators and have been picking up some odds and ends. If you are in the Houston area you should definitely attend the events that are open to the public!


Shamleless Concert Plug

I'm performing both of the Carter Figments for solo cello tonight at 8pm in Duncan...I'm kind of near the end of the concert, so maybe plan on being there by 8:30 or 8:45? Hope you all can make it!


The Week in O(h)M(y)T(rill)

Its a new week here at OhMyTrill...and there are several things of note happening! First of all, a very close friend of Carrie Bean (she doesn't have a website, so I can't link to her...) is staying with me for a few days. He is taking a lesson with Mr. Fischer and will be hanging around until Thursday morning. I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with him for 3 days, but maybe he'll just practice a lot...

Tonight there will be a chamber music concert with Lynn Harrell playing the second Brahms Viola Quintet (with the big cello solo at the beginning)...I haven't really gone to a lot of chamber concerts while I've been here, so I should really make that change...its tonight at 8pm in Duncan.

This Wednesday is the Fischer Studio Recital (at 8pm in Duncan)...yours truly will be performing both of the Carter Figments for Solo Cello...I think I have the first one pretty well down, but the second still has some kinks to be worked out...but its going MUCH better today than it ever has, so I have high hopes for it going well on Wednesday! I think there is some Dvorak and other stuff on the program too...so be there.

This weekend is orchestra concert time...Symphony Orchestra is playing Don Juan, Dvorak Carnival Overture and Beethoven 5 on Friday and Saturday...and yours truly is playing in the Chamber Orchestra on Sunday (look for me waaaaaaay in the back...bring binoculars if you can)...we are playing Ives: Three Places in New England, Mendelssohn: Piano Concert, and Mozart: Symphony No. 36



X-Files: Seasons 1-9...Trust No One

Approximately one year ago, I began receiving Season 1 of the X-Files on DVD with the intention of watching the entire series in order (I know, who much more nerdy can you get?). Last night, I watched the 9th Season (and series) finale. I took me about a year to get through the entire show, watching it on and off, sometimes 5 episodes a day, sometimes 3 episodes a month...but I made it. Its a unique show in that it really has only two characters...everyone else is only a guest star (except in later seasons when David Duchovny leaves the show and is replaced...)

Seasons 2-7 represent what the X-Files really is...the overarching storyline about alien abduction and invasion...alien/human hybrids and secret government conspiracies to cover it all up. I was surprised to find out that these episodes (which x-files is really known for) only show up about 4 -6 times a season...the rest are all stand alone episodes about creepy monsters that go on rampages (or whatever else the writers came up with for that week). Sometimes these creepy crawlies show up again, sometimes they don't.

Sometimes X-files is hilarious...classic episodes like the roaches that kill everyone, or fake aliens abducting people but end up getting abducted by real aliens while in the process. Sigh...to watch it all over again...

But the X-files is really about the relationship between Mulder and Scully, and how it grows (or doesn't grow) from season to season culminating in Season 7 (probably the strongest season) when the show really pushes it to the front. Unfortunately, season 8 is probably the worst season...hmph...

If you get the chance and have the time, try watching the whole show in order from start to finish...its really pretty great.

The Truth Is Out There


Music This Week

Performance on DVD

I just watched a tape of myself for my Mind-Body Connection class. We each had to perform for 2-3 minutes in class, which was videotaped. We were given a DVD and had to write a response paper after watching the tape. As most of the you know...I hate watching and/or listening to myself play, so this was really hard for me. (which it is for everyone) I played the first page of Dvorak, which went pretty terribly (although it was 9:30am and I hadn't warmed up). Its always kind of sad to see all of your bad habits on tape...watching me play must be torture sometimes. But, I managed to get through the whole performance and write the paper. Image above is from the DVD!


Wish Me Luck

Today I am taking the audition for the sublist of the Woodlands Symphony...I've been practicing this morning and decided to go with slow movement of Brahms 2 and the noodly thing in the middle of Don Juan...I hope those are good choices! And of course, Dvorak, the old standard. I don't really know much about the Woodlands Symphony except that they are located in a suburb of Houston and they are having a sublist audition today. That would be a very nice list to be on! For the rest of the day I will be doing a deep cleaning of the apartment and Mr. Volvo...things are getting a little out of control. An afternoon of cleaning will take care of business though.


More Teaching

So it looks like I'll be adding another school to my teaching roster...I drove down to La Porte this morning (at 8am) to meet with the orchestra director at the Baker 6th Grade Campus...they need a second cello teacher because they have 24 cello students there! (apparently the school district supplies students with a cello at school and a cello to take home!) I can teach during the day there (and possibly at the junior high down the street) which means that I probably don't have to apply to Starbucks...

Now its back to learning the 2nd Carter Figment in time for my lesson...its getting harder every time I play it, which probably isn't a good sign that I'm practicing it right...I should just slow it down...but the first figment is starting to go really well. Guess I should start dragging out the Sonata...


From School

So...the lesson went really well yesterday...my new beginner is a very eager student and promised she will practice everyday (30 minutes!!). This starting out thing is a frustrating business...lots of little changes that seem like nothing...and that bow is pretty tricky to hold...isn't it?

I need to hit the Carter hard in the practice room today...I'm supposedly playing both Figments in studio class next Tuesday (not today!) and I need to have them in some kind of working order for my lesson tomorrow. I think that this weekend will be a big one in terms of practicing.

Above is a picture of me hiding out in a random corner in school...thats where I'm writing from. I look a little on the tired side, no?


Lesson and Blog

Today I will be teaching my first beginner! I've never started anybody before...but, I know how to play this thing, so I really should be able to teach it to someone else, right? We can start with some basics like plucking the open strings, correct posture, and maybe even an introduction to the bow? This is also my first lesson not associated with a school...wish me luck!

In terms of blogging...please check my links to the right and let me know if you need to be, or would like to be added...I reconstructed my links list from memory, so I apologize if I have forgotten you...

Music This Week

For some reason I was listening to Les Parapluies de Cherbourg constantly this week...I woke up and turned it on, and went directly to my computer to turn it on every time I came in my room...that accounts for all the random French names in the artists this week, including Michel Legrand, who is the composer.



I've currently re-fallen in love with my (not-so) new MacBook. This afternoon I was chatting with Morgen, and for the first time discovered three-way video chat on iChat (picture at left). What other crazy-amazing things will Apple come up with? My infatuation brought me to the apple store this evening where I purchased a new bag/sleeve for my MacBook...the only one that was sort of a bag, but not the price of one (they went up to $200...mine was $30)...actually, I think it was the cheapest one...but it has a pocket for other things, and that pocket fits music and folders perfectly...so I can carry this bag around from class to class and leave my bigger one in my locker...um, yay?

I also couldn't restrain myself from playing with the fun new Apple products...I was introduced to my friends iPhone last night...and have decided that I really need to get one...maybe I'll do it when I graduate? I feel like there is some way to justify it if I just use Internet on my phone and don't pay for it wherever I'm living at that point? I can just figure it out later...I wasn't aware that there was now an iPod Touch...which is just an iPhone without the phone part...it even has Internet...so why not just get an iPhone? And I really don't like the new nanos...they looks short and stubby...I much prefer my cute sleek little black one.

Cremona Family Reunion

Last night I played the first and last movements of the Mendelssohn Octet with four Strad violins and William Primrose's viola. I was invited last minute to the home of a wealthy Houstonite (who's brother is a well established violinist that has played in the L.A. Phil for 28 years). Anyway, these two seem to have a taste for really great instruments (Guido, who plays in the phil was actually able to buy his own Strad by way of some smart investments in real estate and a little bit a luck). I'm unclear on what exactly the point of this get-together was...there were lots of wealthy Houston people there...lots and lots of them...including the president of the Houston Symphony (who gave a little talk about donating to the symphony)...I think the whole evening was about buying these amazing instruments...but for us lowly musicians, it was a one time chance for us to play them.

Unfortunately for me, there were no nice to cellos to try out...but it was still fun playing with all these other instruments...everybody does sound instantly better...a little kid played the flashy first movement from a concerto and when he was handed Mozart's violin to try it a second time, most of his technical mishaps just vanished. The evening went really late...but after reading the Mendelssohn Octet, Dvorak Piano Quintet, and the Brahms B-flat Sextet you'd have to expect that...


Great Debate

I'm not sure if I really want to be applying for the MSM Contemporary Music Masters Degree. Not that it doesn't sound like an amazing program, or that I don't want to study with Fred Sherry, but because its a 2nd Masters Degree. In one year, I will already have a masters degree...and right now, I'm not feeling like I need to be going to school for another two years to get a degree I already have...also since I will most likely need to pay for said 2nd masters degree and try to make a living in NYC at the same time. Not to mention making a pre-screening tape including 2 movements of a concerto and several of Bach and some other stuff...none of which overlaps with the music I am preparing for my recital (and would be audition). And a $100 application fee plus the cost of auditioning...hmmm...it just doesn't seem like its all worth it for something that I don't really want to do that much. I think a certificate or diploma program would be perfect...I looked at the USC grad diploma...its only lessons and ensemble...thats something I could deal with...only problem there is, who knows who the cello teacher is?!?!? And then there are these fellowship programs like Carnegie Hall and New World...but I'm not that excited about those either...maybe I just need to take a year off of school/institutions? Sigh...any suggestions from anybody?


Hurricane is Bust

Tropical Storm Humberto became a hurricane last night before it hit land. But somehow, it completely missed Houston even though it made landfall only an hour away. Not one drop of rain fell, and after checking the forecast, there won't be any rain for a few days! Hmph... I guess Louisiana isn't so happy about it hitting the...they declared a state of emergency before it made landfall, just in case. I guess I'll just have to wait to actually see a hurricane...the season doesn't end until the end of November!


Tropical Storm

Tropical Storm Humberto is about 50 miles off the coast (near Galveston). Its gonna hit sometime in the next few hours and will be coming through Houston tonight and/or tomorrow morning. This is my first official tropical weather disaster, so I'm expecting a big production. They say to expect winds up to 50mph and 6-10 inches of rain. I'm not sure if any of this will happen, but it would be exciting to see a big storm tonight! I think flooding is certain no matter what.



Back Here Now

After messing around with wordpress a little big, I realized that you can actually do a bit more with blogger...like put more cool things in the sidebar...only thing is, the templates get a bit annoying...so I'm gonna just stick with this nice one provided by blogger for a while. Hope you guys like it...and give me some input on the order of stuff in the sidebar (to the right).... How come Tuesdays are always so busy? Mind and Body Connection, Contemporary Music Practicum, practicing, Studio Class, and Orch Rep...then gym if I have the energy. Wish me luck!