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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Three Shameless Plugs for a Sunday

Hi All-

Three quick, shameless, plugs for a beautiful Sunday.

First, a fun oboe (and more) blog to check out:

Oboeinsight  (

Second,  an artist/ensemble that is new to me,  thanks to reading/linking in the Oboeinsight blog:

I've been listening to a lot of recordings by the countertenor Philippe Jaroussky this week.  What a lovely, velvety and soulful voice!  My favorite so far is Ohimè Ch'io Cado. View the following link to enjoy a "Monteverdi-meets-jazz" experience. It once again illustrates how similar Baroque and jazz styles can be.

Third is strictly for the oboists reading the blog.  I just received some Medir cane from Midwest Musical Imports. While I haven't made many reeds with it yet,  it seems pretty good.  Thought it'd be helpful to share a lead on good cane.  (Thanks, Steven Maijala!) 
And I'm always open to hearing about where you find good cane too!..... :)

Ok,  I know the title mentions three plugs,  but I couldn't help myself to a fourth!
A shout out to Jacqueline and Chris Wilson on an absolutely fantastic performance today live on the Wisconsin Public Radio broadcast,  Live From the Chazen.   Bravo!!  So happy for my wonderful colleagues!


That's all for now.  Enjoy your day!

Oboe and out.

The Oboist.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Congratulations to Alex, Katie and Johnathan---you're in print!!!!

The three students worked on a student-faculty collaborative research project this summer to examine the effects of relative cane hardness on reed making.  We processed and carefully measured three pounds of oboe cane and then made literally piles of reeds.  The university funded their research time,  so the students got paid to improve their reed making skills.  How cool is that????  At the end of the summer we examined our research and wrote an article together. Fingers were flying and sentences were edited at light speed as we used Google Docs on four separate laptops to write the paper together in the same room. So fun to see such energy involved in a collaborative writing project!

But why should I explain it here?  You can read all about it in The Double Reed vol. 35, No. 3 pp. 89-94.  The online version will be at

Pretty cool for undergraduate students to spend the summer studying and  improving their reed making skills, and now have a publication in an international journal to add to their résumé! 

 So,  what research project shall we propose for this summer?

Mahler Symphony #6 last night

Congratulations to an amazing oboe/English horn section for the Mahler Symphony #6 last night! It was an honor and a real pleasure to be a part of your oboe "team." Words can't express how rewarding it is to look down a strong section and realize I'm playing with former students,  so we'll let the fine playing speak for itself.

Great job Steven, Sarah, Alexandra, and Rebecca!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Got Spotify??

Have you checked out Spotify yet? 

 There's a lot of great stuff on the web,  but Spotify may be one of the best for musicians and music lovers.  Spotify is an application that allows you to listen to countless pieces of music on your computer.  You can search for a specific artist or composer/piece to listen.  All music genres are included. For free.  Really,  it's FREE.  Did you hear me? I said FREE!  There is often a short commercial after a piece/movement,  but that's a small price to pay for so much free music.  If you don't want the commercials or want Spotify access for your phone or iPad, etc you can pay a small fee to have that service.  In the meantime,  enjoy the vastness and freeness of the regular Spotify account.

The catch is that you need to have a Facebook account to use Spotify.  If Facebook scares you,  just set up a Facebook account then never check it (my brother and husband are quite good at this).  Then go to to set things up.

Having Spotify has really transformed the amount of pieces that I listen to every day.

For instance,  here's a view into some of the works I've enjoyed over the course of the week

I'll be sending a look into what I'm listening to each week.  In the meantime,  I hope you'll share with me some of the pieces/artists that inspire you! Happy listening!

Oboe and out,

Dr. G

Monday, October 15, 2012

Check out my other blog

Hi All!

For those of you who just can't get enough of all things oboe and oboe blogs specifically,  I encourage you to check out my other blog:

Some of the posts that I present on EauClaireOboes are duplicated on TheOboist,  but for the most part I write about topics pertaining to oboe pedagogy (the teaching and learning of the oboe) on that blog. In particular, some of the ideas that I'm working with during my sabbatical project will appear on TheOboist over the next few months.  It's a useful way for me to organize my thoughts and present them to an audience.   There are oboists from all around the world reading it,  and I hope everyone finds it useful or at least thought provoking in some way.  It sure is enjoyable to share what I know and enjoy doing. :)

Feel free to subscribe and make comments too!

Oboe and out,

Dr. G

Thursday, October 4, 2012

DIY Day---Making an Oboe Reed Case

Hi All!

It's DIY Day:  a day that would make even Martha Stewart proud to be an oboist!

When I go to schools to work with young players, I inevitably see students in need of the same basic supplies. Most often I notice that budding oboists open their oboe cases to get reeds out of either plastic “coffin” cases or plastic tube “vials.”  These cheap plastic containers are usually used to ship commercial reeds, but don’t do a great job at protecting a student’s reeds on a day-to-day basis.  Why?  Because “coffin” cases often don’t stay shut and it is easy for students to crush their reeds in the case while trying to snap it shut.  For the cylindrical vial cases, students often accidentally smash the ends of the reeds into the cotton or foam padding in the tube while putting on the cap to close them.  Reeds are expensive and fragile, but sturdy reed cases can be made inexpensively!

Materials needed to make a sturdy reed case:

1 empty Altoids container (Altoids are a breath mint that is sold in metal containers in the U.S) or other similar box

Weather Stripping for doors, size can vary,  but I use 3/8” wide X 5/16” thick (available at most hardware stores)

Razor blade or sharp scissors

  1.           Cut the weather stripping into short pieces ( 20 mm or so) and
  2.      Attach weather stripping pieces to the container.  Make sure that the stripping is placed close enough so that reeds can’t fall out.
  3.     An extra rubber band helps keep the box from opening.
       Creative students can decorate the boxes with markers/paints for individuality (Make Martha Stewart proud!)

Now, with the $$ saved, go buy some cane and make more reeds to fill up your new box!

Oboe and out,

Dr. G