Lots of new happenings, and the Summer

May 25, 2011

My first year as a DMA student came and went quickly and while I wasn’t real crazy about a lot of the classes I took, I enjoyed my musical studies and opportunities. Working with Martin is very systematic and logical, and I really appreciate that he doesn’t just tell me to “play it better” or “get more tone”, but rather he helps me breaking down my technical problems, and discuss how to get better tone by scraping, blowing, embouchure, etc. Despite being ill for a good portion of the year, I managed to make more improvement than I ever did in my undergrad and Master’s. Maybe combined.

Meanwhile, I’ve been on break since the first week of May and have been trying to take care of reed orders, practicing for the IDRS convention and house shopping. Namju (my wife) and I are looking to buy a house here while the market is cheap, and it probably means that we’ll be staying for a while.

I got my April reeds out in the middle of May, and am finally getting caught up. Who knows, maybe I’ll actually get ahead one of these days. Starting May 31st, the IDRS convention will be here and I’m making extra reeds in case the opportunity to advertise/sell on the spot come up. If you are making it to the IDRS Convention here in Tempe, please do track me down and say hello. I’m always curious who’s actually out there. Who knows, maybe I’ll have a reed to sell.

At IDRS, I’ll be playing on the Masterclass with Richard Woodhams. I’ve always drooled over Richard Woodhams’ tone and playing, and am honored to have the opportunity. I’m just hoping I don’t make an idiot of myself. The masterclass is called “Dare to be Musical” and is strange in that the material which one could choose from was so basic, but I suppose he wants to focus on the musical concepts and not have a student bogged down with technique. The pieces available for choosing included the Vaughan Williams Concerto, Haydn Concerto, Cimarosa Concerto and the Handel G minor Concerto. In the early stages, everyone applied for the Vaughan Williams Concerto so Martin encouraged me to choose something else, so I chose the Handel G Minor.

The convention is going to be a lot of fun because I have a lot of friends coming into town, including the Seattle gang (Adam Shapiro is doing a Baroque Oboe seminar, while Anne Krabill, owner of Emerald Reeds is coming to hang, as is Peter Hurd and his wife Christine.) We should all have a blast.

Finally, I’m selling a bunch of oboes and my English Horn to get money for the down payment/move-in fees/general work on a new home. Hannah Selznick has the all plastic Loree oboe that I bought only a few months ago, while Peter Hurd has my C series oboe which is really quite good. One professional oboist already wants to buy it but is trying to dump his current oboe to pay for it. Haven’t we all been there before. Meanwhile my English Horn is a real gem: a plastic top joint Loree, with a hand picked Hiniker bocal and BAM case. I wanted an instrument that I didn’t have to worry about cracking, and so when this one came up a couple of years ago I jumped on it. Russ DeLuna (EH of the SF Symphony) tried it last year and was impressed, as is Martin, as they both agreed that you really can’t tell the topjoint is plastic unless you look at it carefully. It’s a big sounding instrument with a clear voice and a lot of projection. It kills me to sell it, but what’s more important – House or English Horn? Hm…

Well, I guess I’ll probably be selling my EH Graf gouging machine as well if I end up selling the English Horn as well. Lots of changes, to our household, even our Hamster. After two and a half wonderful years, our little Nebby passed away and went to a better place. It was hard on both of us, particularly my wife who is quite soft-hearted, but yesterday we went to Petco and chose another baby hamster, whom we named “Pepper”. She’s another Robo Hamster, and is very small, sweet, and super duper hyperactive.

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One Response to “Lots of new happenings, and the Summer”

  1. Jerry said

    Hi Cooper, congrats on what sounds like a successful year at ASU. I see you are selling oboes with Peter and Hannah, but are you selling the English horn yourself? What price range are you looking at, and might you sell both the E.h. and gouger together? Just a curious amateur here; you can email me if you would rather discuss $ privately.

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