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.