February AFM Horn Audition Ads

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Just popping in to post these. On my way to Santa Fe this week to play Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, study and eat green chili.

Illinois Symphony Orchestra

FRENCH HORN – Horn II

Resume Date: March 15, 2013
Audition Date: April 14, 2013
Start Date: see website
Salary/Benefits: see website
Services: see website
General Information: Alastair Willis, Music Director Announces the following vacancies for the 2012-2013 season
Contact Information: Send resume & $25 Audition Deposit Auditions Illinois Symphony Orchestra P.O. Box 5191 Springfield, IL 62705
Phone: 217-522-2838

FRENCH HORN – Assistant/Utility Horn

Resume Date: March 15, 2013
Audition Date: April 14, 2013
Start Date: see website
Salary/Benefits: see website
Services: see website
General Information: Alastair Willis, Music Director Announces the following vacancies for the 2012-2013 season
Contact Information: Send resume & $25 Audition Deposit Auditions Illinois Symphony Orchestra P.O. Box 5191 Springfield, IL 62705
Phone: 217-522-2838

New York Philharmonic

FRENCH HORN – ASSOCIATE PRINCIPAL HORN AND PRINCIPAL

Resume Date: February 15, 2013
Audition Date: Spring/Summer of 2013.
Start Date: see website
Salary/Benefits: see website
Services: see website
General Information: Please do not send recordings at this time. Application information will be sent upon receipt of resume.
Contact Information: Applicants may receive information regarding these auditions by sending a   one-page written resume to this office: Carl R. Schiebler, Orchestra Personnel Manager,   New York Philharmonic, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023

FRENCH HORN – ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL AND UTILITY HORN (1 position)

Resume Date: February 15, 2013
Audition Date: Spring/Summer of 2013
Start Date: see website
Salary/Benefits: see website
Services: see website
General Information: Please do not send recordings at this time. Application information will be sent upon receipt of resume.
Contact Information: Applicants may receive information regarding these auditions by sending a   one-page written resume to this office: Carl R. Schiebler, Orchestra Personnel Manager,   New York Philharmonic, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023

FRENCH HORN – THIRD HORN (1 position)

Resume Date: February 15, 2013
Audition Date: Spring/Summer of 2013
Start Date: see website
Salary/Benefits: see website
Services: see website
General Information: Please do not send recordings at this time. Application information will be sent upon receipt of resume.
Contact Information: Applicants may receive information regarding these auditions by sending a   one-page written resume to this office: Carl R. Schiebler, Orchestra Personnel Manager,   New York Philharmonic, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023

U.S. Marine Band

FRENCH HORN – French Horn

Resume Date: see website
Audition Date: see website
Start Date: see website
Salary/Benefits: Starting salary is $54,300 – $61,800 with excellent  benefits: medical and dental care, prescriptions,   30 days paid vacation per year, exchange and  commissary privileges, and educational assistance.
Services: see website
General Information: Founded in 1798, the Marine Band is America’s oldest professional musical organization. Lauded by Time magazine as ‘the best the world has ever produced,’ the Marine Band was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.  For more than two centuries, it has been part of the events that have shaped our national heritage. Members perform concert band, chamber orchestra and chamber ensemble repertoire in public concerts and provide music for many official ceremonies at the White House and in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.  Each fall, the band travels through a portion of the U.S. during a 30-day concert tour. Initial enlistment in the Marine Corps is for four years. Applicants must pass standard medical and aptitude testing and comply with age and weight restrictions to be fully qualified for enlistment.  Members are exempt from recruit training and are appointed to the rank of Staff Sergeant/E-6 upon enlistment under a contract for duty with the Marine Band only.
Contact Information: For application and repertoire write to: Operations Officer; U.S. Marine Band; 8th and I Sts., SE; Washington, DC  20390, or visit our website.

Washington National Opera

FRENCH HORN – Principal Horn

Resume Date: March 15, 2013
Audition Date: May 28-30, 2013
Start Date: August 2013
Salary/Benefits: see website
Services: see website
General Information: Information will be mailed by April 5, 2013. Equal Opportunity Employers.
Contact Information: Highly Qualified candidates should mail, fax or email a one-page résumé to: The Kennedy Center KCOHO/WNOO Auditions c/o Aaron Doty, WNO Orchestra Personnel and Operations Manager 2600 Virginia Ave, NW Suite B100 | Washington, DC 20037 Fax: (202) 416-4804, Email: wnoauditions@kennedy-center.org

An affair to remember

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I’m having an affair. A somewhat scandalous one. And it is completely supported by my husband.

So, a not-so-secret affair, then.

With whom, you ask? Well after hearing interview an interview with Deb Perelman on the Diane Rehm show a few months ago (I spend a lot of time in the car and have listened to disproportionate amount of NPR in the last 2 years), I starting browsing the Smitten Kitchen website for her recipes and her prose, too. Because that’s how good her recipes sounded on the radio. You can listen to the interview here.

Now Smitten Kitchen is a giant in the food blogosphere. And after sampling her wares, it begs the question: how did I not find this before? Because everything has been awesome. And thoughtful. And well-written.

And then, for Christmas, my husband gave me the cookbook. Which was not even on my wishlist. But has definitely been to the benefit of my marriage. Some of the recipes are from the website and some are unique to the cookbook. All are well-tested, have yet to flop at my house and the photography makes me want to take better pictures. All this is to say that it’s a cookbook that gets used and is likely to get used for the foreseeable future.

Here’s a partial list of the yummies that have made it to the table in the past little while:

Buttermilk Roast Chicken

Buttermilk ChickenPeach and Sour Cream Pancakes (with strawberries, because that’s what was in our co-op basket)

Whole Lemon Bars

Tomato Meatloaves

Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad

Cheddar Swirl Breakfast Buns.

Droolishiciousness. That’s a word.

So a little review of a book by someone who wouldn’t know me from a cactus. But it’s really about this: friends don’t let friends not know about good cookbooks. Now go forth and cook!

 

 

 

 

A Couple Things…

I disappeared for a while. Not by design, but what became busy-ness became laziness. And then it turned into a habit. And I justified this by telling myself that nobody was reading (except for my mom!), nobody was paying attention and it didn’t really matter if I dropped off the face of the blog world.

But then I remembered: that’s not why I started this. I started this for me. To share – yes – but to write, mostly. And to see what came out as I got more used to putting pen to paper fingers to keyboard.

In the mean time, a lot of things happened or have changed. Mostly in a good way.

1. Little m was in her first Nutcracker. Her teacher has been mounting a full-scale (minus the orchestra) production in our small town for about 37 years. Did I mention Little M’s teacher is 85. You should see her legs!

The Nutcracker, Act I

Mother Ginger costume

2. Christmas came. And it was mostly lovely. My brother and sister-in-law came to visit, arriving in the wee hours of Christmas Eve. There was also a train set, books, caves and wine. I do not remember the order. And a camera may or may not have been stashed, helpfully we think, by Little c in a box with the parts for the food processor.

Christmas cookies at preschool

3. I went to Greece. Without my family. For a trumpet conference. I know.

4. We’re moving. While this isn’t earth-shattering news, seeing as my husband is in the military, it’s a bit unique as this will be our last move for at least 8-9 years. Mr. T got a job with the U.S. Army Field Band and because of the special nature of the ensemble (it’s one of the elite, permanent party military musical groups in the DC area), it’s a posting until he reaches his 20-year mark or possibly longer if he/we want(s). So we’re leaving this house, the first we’ve ever owned, and are house hunting in an entirely different part of the country. I can’t pretend to be sad about leaving Desert Town. There are good points (including wearing birks in January), but I think living near major metropolitan areas again will be good for my career and my state of mind. We’ll be taking off for Maryland in the early Spring. Any comments or suggestions about the area are welcome!

Best pic of our attempted Christmas photo shoot.

5. I completed the coursework for my doctorate. Now comes everything else. Woot.

I’m going to try to be better about keeping this up, for me (and my mom!) and anyone that wants to partake of my company. You’re all welcome. All two of you!

Today

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Today, I was going to celebrate being finished with the coursework with my doctorate with a little rundown of Christmas music, maybe even a Top 10, along with some sweet pics of Little m doing the Nutcracker or a regaling tale of a weird gig that I did last week.

But I won’t. Because today, it doesn’t matter.

Comfort ye.

Because today, I was having a hard time keeping my temper and found myself getting frustrated with my little people. My beautiful, vibrant, curious, intelligent little people. The same little people that I carried inside of me, that I nursed in the wee hours of the morning, that I hovered over when they were sick, that I watch on the playground equipment, that I marvel over their growing fingers and toes and vocabulary. The same little people that I tucked in to bed tonight, trying to balance the need for one more hug with their droopy eyelids.

My need as well as theirs.

I’m lucky/blessed to have put my children to bed tonight. To know that they are safe, happy and loved. To not know that ache, firsthand, of those parents in Connecticut.

And yet I ache, all the same, as I imagine the unimaginable. There are no words to express this, just prayer.

Peace be upon them.

Anatomy of a Recital, Part…Oh I don’t know anymore

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I’m going to finish this up lickety-split. After all, my recital was 2 months ago. But I just wanted to get a few things out there for people (yes, my mom) who wanted to read or who are having to generate program notes.

First off – I’m not a music historian. I have an extensive background in music history because I’m old, curious and have taken lots of classes but it’s not my area of expertise. By a long shot.

Secondly, I’m not a great writer. I used to love writing in high school, especially journal entries for my pre-university english class, but it’s been a while and I’m still finding my voice. And even though I’m a really fast reader, I’m a really slow writer. Like, glacially slow. I analyze every word and sentence and still end up making lots of typos.

Thirdly, I took all my own pictures. Or rather, I framed them out and then my husband hold the camera and press the button. I just ordered a remote control for my camera so I’m going to try some self-portraits in the coming weeks and months. As I wade through this photo stuff, I’ve come to the realization that I need really good head shots and I’d like to do it myself (DIM…haha).

Fourth – These program notes are probably not what you’d read at a professional chamber music concert/solo recital. Not that I’m not a professional but I also had to recognize that they were for an academic setting. So there is some language that I would never use if I were doing this outside the ivory tower.

Fifth – despite all of the above, I’m hoping that I still sound like me. And that even for a recital in an academic setting, that they still look pretty good (I used a template in Pages, if anyone is wondering).

So here they are:

DMA Solo Recital Programme Notes

Take a look, or a read, if you’d rather. I’d welcome comments about my writing as it’s something I’m trying to improve before I get to the meat of my dissertation in the coming year.

Knead-free bread. But not mess free.

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I really don’t mean this to be a food blog, but it seems like whenever I have time to write something, it inevitably ends up being about food.

But it doesn’t matter. Because this bread is REVELATORY.

Yes, I said it. (Or at least I wrote it).

And I made it, then I ate it.

This is what it looked like before I ate it:

I don’t have an after photo. We ate the whole stinking thing up in a few hours.

I’d been avoiding the whole no-knead bread before, mainly because I couldn’t be bothered to buy the “right” kind of yeast. The instant stuff that people use in bread machines, if you must know. Lo and behold, I was cruising around the interwebs and found out that I could use my normal Active Dry stuff.

Recipe-wise, I followed the instructions on the Smitten Kitchen, but instead of using 1/4 tsp of instant yeast, I used 1/3 tsp of active dry. I also used bread flour and not all-purpose, mainly because we’re high and dry up here. Everything else I kept the same. And you should be forewarned, I still found this pretty messy and managed to get flour all over my newly cleaned stove top. But apparently sticky is good for the yeasty-beasties! Also, while it takes a lot of time, it’s not actually time-consuming. That being said, it’s a perfect, lazy-weekend-at-home kind of project.

Here’s the recipe, from smitten kitchen. And probably other places, too.

Yields one 1 1/2 pound loaf

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast/1/3 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. Mix together flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70F/21C.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your hands, gently (and quickly) shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450°F. Smitten Kitchen says to put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. I only had a 2.5L casserole on hand and that’s why mine a little oddly shaped. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

The Verdict: Fantabulous. Stupendifying. European loaf of goodness in the my Desert Town, USA kitchen. Crunchy crust and airy, bubbly middle. And four very happy boulangerie customers for lunch.

UPDATE: I tried dividing the dough in two so I could have two smaller loaves. It worked beautifully. You’ll just need a second casserole dish, but then the dishes don’t have to be as big as in the original recipe.

This cake has no sugar. Well, almost.

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So apparently there was an election ’round these parts. Snort. I can’t truthfully say that since I’m not a US citizen, I wasn’t paying attention, but I can say it was nice to not live in one of the so-called battleground states. And it’s brilliant that we don’t have cable.

So instead of voting, I made a cake. The idea was to make a cake with no processed sugar. The intention was there. Unfortunately, the maple syrup was not. Once I got over the heresy of running out of maple syrup, I got a little creative and came up with something beautiful. And ever so slightly pink.

The recipe was adapted from Aimée over at Simple Bites, where she was running an unprocessed food series for the month of October. So naturally I found the one of the few things (probably) that was the least healthy. But it was yummy.

Dark Chocolate Beet Bundt Cake

2 large beets, cooked and cooled (or 3 medium)

1/2 cup s=unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup honey

1/4 cup brown sugar (I was all out of maple syrup!)

3 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup unbleached, preferably organic, white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour, preferably organic

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp. sea salt

NB: My fave method of cooking beets for something like this is to wrap them in foil and roast for about 1 hour, maybe longer if your beets are really big, at 350F. Take them out when soft-ish (you can squeeze the foil to check) and let them cool. When you need to peel and grate them later in this recipe, you can do all that over the foil and clean-up is muy easy.

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Butter bundt pan and dust with cocoa. Grate beets with box grater and measure out two cups (I was a little over and didn’t sweat it). Transfer to a colander and let drain bit. Mix together butter, olive oil, honey and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, one at time, beating after each addition. Sift together dry ingredients and gently fold into wet ingredients. Do not over mix! Fold in beets until well-distributed and scrape into bundt pan.  Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until wooden skewer comes out clean.

Pretty, no?

The Verdict: Rich, earthy and comforting. Yes, you can taste the beets but I didn’t find it overpowering. For for my taste, I’d rather have maple syrup instead of so much honey, so at some point I’ll follow the original a bit more closely (we’re dry and high here in Desert Town, USA, so I usually have to alter things because my dry ingredients are, well, drier).

You can find the original recipe here.

 

 

Auditions update: October Edition?!?!

I’ve been MIA for a bit around here but I thought I’d update the audition info, since I forgot to do it at the beginning of the month.

Here are the October AFM audition ads for horn:

Daegu Symphony Orchestra

FRENCH HORN – Principal Horn

Resume Date: November 14, 2012
Audition Date: email for info
Start Date: email for info
Salary/Benefits: $40,000(negotiable) plus medical coverage and 25 days paid vacation
General Information: Located in South Korea will make 1 year contract and can be renewed DVD recording ofaudition repertoires, current resume/bio
Contact Information: For audition repertoire, and further questions please contact Ms. Song athaileysong@gmail.com

 

Nashville Symphony Orchestra

FRENCH HORN – Associate Principal 3rd Horn

Resume Date: November 2, 2012
Audition Date: February 23-25, 2013
Salary/Benefits: 2012-13 Salary: $69,000.36 + EMG (Signatory to the IMA), Benefits and  7.63% AFM Pension
General Information: Employment begins at a mutually agreed upon time.  Repertoire will not be given over the phone. No phone calls please.
Contact Information: E-mail resume to: auditions@nashvillesymphony.org Or post two copies of your one-page resume to: Audition Coordinator The Nashville Symphony One Symphony Place Nashville, TN 37201-2031 Visit our website for more information: www.nashvillesymphony.org/auditions
Hopefully I be posting a bit more regularly this month. I’ve a got a bunch of things going on, but I’d like to attempt to have some continuity. Or at the very least, some cake recipes.

Company’s Here!

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We had an uninvited guest drop in on us this week-end.

And the party in question promptly took care of the mouse problem we’d had in our compost bin. And it wasn’t this guy below.

It was this guy:

And for some reason, he was really ticked when we asked him to leave and got all punk teenage bad-boy on us when we did.

In fact he was downright angry. Sabres drawn, rattles blazing.

Sorry, dude.

I guess we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

 

 

 

 

A cup of Chai? Why yes, I think so.

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Things in the desert are cooling down. Moderately. It doesn’t really feel like Fall, especially if you’re used to trees turning outrageous colors or the nip of frost on the pumpkin.

That doesn’t happen here in October.

But, the nights gets cool, if not down right chilly and we wake up in the morning with some kind of anticipation of something, even if we end up playing in the sprinklers in the afternoon and sucking on popsicle.

So with this in mind, I present what I whipped up on a recent pretend-Fall morning.

When I was in between university and high school, I spent a summer working as a barista at this local coffee place on the old main street of the town where I grew up. The kind of place with sagging couches, poetry readings on Tuesday night and folk jams on Saturdays. Best summer job ever. At the time, though, I didn’t drink coffee. But I’d drink chai, and a few weeks ago, I started having cravings for it. Not that iced stuff that you get at Starbucks, with frappé whatever, but nice, hot chai tea.

So I made some. And this is what I did:

1/2 tsp ground cardamom (or 8 cardamom seeds)

8 cloves

4 black peppercorns

2 cinnamon sticks

1 1-inch pice of fresh ginger, sliced

2 cups milk, 2% or whole (but not skim)

4 bags Darjeeling

Sugar, to taste (or honey, if you prefer)

Crush cardamom, cloves and peppercorn with a mortar and pestle or with a rolling-pin and a heavy plastic bag. If I was doing it again, I’d prefer a little less pepper flavour, so I might leave them whole. Place crushed spices, cinnamon sticks, ginger, milk+2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to just a boil. Add tea bags, cover and let steep for about 10 minutes. Strain into cups. Add sugar to taste (I used over a tsp per cup, but you might want more).

The Verdict: Fragrant and comforting. A good straining method is imperative so you don’t feel like you’re swallowing bark with your tea. I’m not sure how authentic this is, but it work for a chai fix.

 

 

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