Unexpected developments in the oboe section

I’ve just returned from an intense day’s rehearsal with the Lancashire Chamber Orchestra for our concert this coming Saturday, October 18.

I had to share a little random moment with Vftp readers. In the run up to this concert, I’ve been in regular touch with our new wind, brass and percussion fixer, Simon. We conflict this time with a nearby orchestra, so some of our regular wind players are unavailable, but I’ve been trying be helpful in recruitment, but in the end, Simon has had to sort it all out with a lot of time and effort. As of Monday, he sent an email confirming that we had a complete wind section of satisfactory standard, and that he was the happy father of a baby boy (Theo James).

When I came to rehearsal this morning, I was a bit surprised, given the difficulties Simon had had in putting the section together. There were a lot of familiar faces- clarinets- seen them before, bassoons- the usual suspects, flute- new (our regular team are playing with another band), and oboes, all familiar.

Then, at the break I congratulated Simon on his job well done, and he said he’d only filled the section the previous Saturday when he found the 2nd oboe player.

“But she’s played before,” I said.

“No mate,” Simon answered, “she’s played for you before, but this is the first time she’s played for us. Think Glasgow…”

Then it hit me, far from being an LCO regular (indeed, this is her first LCO program), she’d played in the Kelvin Ensemble these last two years when I worked with them.

And suddenly, Britain became that much smaller. For a conductor who just moved this country knowing one person (my wife) a few years ago, to start seeing unexpected and un-facilitated cross-pollination of orchestras is a wonderful surprise…..

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at www.kennethwoods.net

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1 comment on “Unexpected developments in the oboe section”

  1. Pingback: Kenneth Woods- a view from the podium » Elgar 1- Down to work with the GCSO

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