Tag Archives: housekeeping

Tickets to the Sibelius Concert…and a SOTL Reception

Do you want to go to the Minnesota Orchestra Sibelius show? Tickets are going on sale at Monday January 14 at noon Central Standard Time in the Year of Our Lord 2013. Details here. Even if you’re not sure if you’ll be able to go, buy them and turn them back in. Because this thing is going to sell out fast. I’ll go out on a limb and say this will be the single most historic concert the Minnesota Orchestra has ever put on. I honestly don’t think that’s hyperbole. So be there.

***

I’m attempting to throw together some kind of informal reception for my darling readers in downtown Minneapolis before the concert.

If you think you would come, either

  1. comment on this blog entry
  2. email me at songofthelarkblog [at] gmail [dot] com, or
  3. like the SOTL Facebook page and then like this status update about a reception.

I need to know approximately how many I might be planning for. Details TBA. Nothing formal – just a drop in, drop out kind of thing. Maybe with drinks or dessert.

I’m also trying to cook up some kind of popcorn-based fundraising event. So there’s that.

POPCORN!!

Mr. Michael Henson is, of course, warmly invited to our fabulous Song of the Lark soiree! Even if he does not come, I am planning to print out a picture of him and tape it on a conspicuously empty chair, so that all of us can remember the reason we’ve been brought together.

Thanks, Mr. Henson!

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy New Year

My favorite performance from the Song of the Lark Advent calendar. Ella Fitzgerald in “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?”

2012 is over!

Thank crap!

GUYS! WE MADE IT!

I have some housekeeping stuff…

2012 STATS!

Every blogger worth his salt is writing something about his 2012 stats today. So I will, too, but with a twist… Following the example of the Minnesota Orchestral Association, I will release a number to you, completely out of context, which has been independently audited, by WordPress:

Traffic at Song of the Lark has increased by roughly 1600% from last year.

Here’s what this statistic looks like on a satirical graph I made to advance my pre-ordained narrative that this blog is doing fabulously.

Graphs are fun

Seriously, though. Traffic did increase by 1600%, and my readership has grown beyond my wildest dreams. There are a lot of people reading this blog. Want to know how many? Drew McManus is currently running a poll, asking readers to guess about various statistics about Adaptistration. Under the question “Which culture blog referred the most traffic to Adaptistration in 2012?” Song of the Lark is one of the options (along with Slipped Disc). I won’t tell you if it’s the right answer, just in case you want to take the quiz yourself, but the fact that Drew even considered using SOTL as an option… Craziness! Craziness, all of it.

So anyway, thank you thank you thank you, all! And how about a special shout-out to Michael Henson? He’s a huge reason why this blog is so popular!

In the continuing vein of British GIFs…

tumblr_m97xv2G6DL1qldmpj

MOST POPULAR POSTS!

In case you want to take a trek down memory lane… (Entries are listed in reverse order for optimal countdown excitement.)

5) Great Female Violinists: A List. Proof that before the Orchestral Apocalypse, I mainly wrote about Victorian violinists. If you’re remotely interested in the history of music, and you’re a reader who came aboard after August (and most of you are), you should check out this page. I’ve written about some really amazing inspirational women who are very unjustly neglected.

4) A Layman’s Guide to the Minnesota Orchestra Lockout. What the title says. As an update, yesterday I wrote and posted a sequel: A Layman’s Guide to the Minnesota Orchestra Lockout, Part 2.

3) Violinist Jill Olson Moser Writes About Minnesota Orchestra Subs. Proof that my readers like it when I shut up once in a while and bring aboard amazing guest writers. A big thank you not just to Jill, but to all of my 2012 guest bloggers. You brought perspectives I don’t have, and I’m so thankful.

2) Is Minnesota Orchestra management lying to us? Ah, yes, the good old days before we knew they were…

And of course…

1) The Key And the Lockout: Minnesota Orchestra Musicians In-Concert, Oct. 18. Well, of course. This is the essay that led to the great Alex Ross Recognition of 2012.

Possibly the best tweet of all time.

Possibly the GREATEST TWEET OF ALL TIME.

NEW FACEBOOK PAGE!

I’ve had one for a while but I only revved it up yesterday. Here it is. You can also like it by checking out the link on the right-most column of the blog. There you can connect with other readers, share stuff, and message me privately. It’ll be interesting to see how the page evolves. Just a quick reminder to be respectful to everyone. Remember that important people are reading what you write.

Once the lockouts are over, and I go back to blogging about historical female violinists nobody has ever heard of, you have my permission to un-like me. ;)

OPEN THREAD!

Feel free to talk in the comments about what you want to see in the blog in the new year…ideas for mobilization…what exactly you want to see state representatives do in the new year… Anything, really.

Thanks for being my readers. You’re the best. xoxo

- Emily

tumblr_meonmv76XF1rp5xr0o1_500

2 Comments

Filed under My Writing

Michael Henson’s Advent Calendar

Well, the two weeks of breathless anticipation have finally passed, and the First Annual (?) Song of the Lark Advent Calendar is now live on Tumblr!

Our primary theme this year is “Michael Henson’s Advent Calendar.” Our secondary theme is “a gaudy chintzy glitter-based aesthetic.” Our tertiary theme is “accountability to patrons and taxpayers.”

For more information on the project, visit

michaelhensonsadventcalendar.tumblr.com

You can get all the sparkly details there. Watch me! In a jerky Youtube video! Adorned in a silky red shirt and a glittery garland! Yammering into a webcam for twelve whole minutes! While giving dramatic readings of three of the Christmas cards I sent this year! And showing off my holiday crafting project! And explaining for the unenlightened what an Advent calendar is, and how generally awesome they are! (There also may or may not be some Alex Ross fangirling.) (Spoiler alert: there’s Alex Ross fangirling.)

As the MOA is fond of saying, we all have a part to play! Jon Campbell, Richard Davis, Michael Henson, every reader of this blog. Let’s all come together in this celebration of the holiday spirit. Bookmark the calendar. Follow michaelhensonsadventcalendar on Tumblr. Check back daily. Answer my questions. It’s a veritable cornucopia of accountability! Yay!

If you have a memory or encouragement to share, you can email me it at songofthelarkchristmasproject [at] gmail.com. We still need more.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season.

2 Comments

Filed under My Writing

Minnesota Orchestra Lockout Concert Announcement

The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are now selling tickets for their lockout concert at the Minneapolis Convention Center on October 18 at 7:30pm. The program will consist of the Dvorak cello concerto with Tony Ross soloing (……his last time doing so with the orchestra? wouldn’t surprise me) and Shostakovich’s fifth symphony.

You can buy tickets here. They range in price from $15 to $40.

This promises to be one of the most unique shows in the orchestra’s 110-year history. So you should really come. Because we don’t know when we’ll hear the Minnesota Orchestra again. Or how much of the Minnesota Orchestra will still be the Minnesota Orchestra by the time this is all over.

A visual representation of how I’m feeling right now

Anyway. Yesterday I made reservations at a hotel near the convention center. Would any SOTL readers want to think about getting together briefly before the show? I don’t know where yet, or even if it would be feasible, but it would be interesting to get a head count of who would be interested in such a thing. If you want, I can email you at the address you use to comment here and we can try to arrange something. Otherwise we’ll try to say hi at intermission.

Love to my readers.

xx

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

What Do the Minnesota Orchestra and the SPCO Mean To You?

I have a simple question for y’all.

What do the Minnesota Orchestra and the SPCO mean to you?

How have they inspired you, moved you, transported you? When did you first see them? When did you last see them? What makes you love them? What makes them special, and worth preserving in their current forms? Write down your thoughts and then post them in the comments section here (or if you want to communicate through email, leave a comment saying so, and I’ll get in touch with you privately as soon as possible). Write a few sentences, or write an essay. I’ll then re-post them as actual entries that you can then spread and share with your friends and family. I want to hear funny anecdotes, profound experiences, intellectual epiphanies: anything. Let’s take a minute to remember what we’re fighting for. I’ll post them all under the tag What Orchestras Mean. I think in the middle of the fight it’s vitally important to occasionally step back and remember all the amazing music we’ve been blessed with.

By the way, Minnesota Orchestra and SPCO managements are more than welcome to participate in this! :D Even if you don’t want to answer my questions, feel free to take part in this activity! (*shrug* Hey, it’s worth a shot…)

7 Comments

Filed under Not My Writing

Just a quick fyi

Hello dear friends,

First off I want to thank y’all for following this blog. I’ve been blown away by the reception these entries have gotten and I feel so very, very lucky to know I’m a part of a world where people love orchestral music so very, very much.

Second, I wanted to let you know that I got an email this morning from Facebook, extending their condolences that I was having trouble logging into my account. Only thing is, I hadn’t been trying to log into my account… :/ It may have been a total coincidence – or a technical snafu – I’m not accusing anyone of anything – I just wanted you all to be aware that if things would fall silent here without explanation, or if I start sounding not like myself, or saying things wildly opposite of what I have been saying…or if this post disappears…keep in mind I may well have been hacked. I’m taking all the precautions I can, but I want to put this post out there on the .001% chance something unfortunate does happen. Once again, not accusing anyone of anything…I just thought better safe than sorry.

Take care, all.

With gratitude, Emily

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

New Tumblr For Minnesota Orchestra and SPCO Negotiations

As y’all know, I’m writing a series of mini-articles about the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s ongoing negotiations. As y’all also know, the rest of my blog is mainly geared toward leisurely essays on music history. Those are two very different animals with two very different audiences. So I decided to start another blog (or more accurately, a Tumblr) focusing solely on negotiation news. That is now live at http://orchestra-negotiations.tumblr.com/ I’ll still be posting everything here, too, under oft-updated weekly entries tagged Orchestral Apocalypse ’012. However, if you want updates without having to constantly refresh and scroll here, the Orchestra Negotiations Tumblr, and its associated RSS feed, will probably be your best bet.

Thanks for the support and interest, all. Sending best wishes to both the Minnesota Orchestra and the SPCO.

19 Comments

Filed under My Writing

Twitter Account

And one more thing…

I got a Twitter account. Which is something I’ve been meaning to do but hadn’t gotten around to yet. Here ’tis…

https://twitter.com/#!/song_of_lark

I’m not quite sure what I’ll use it for. Short concert reviews? (1stmov=gr8) 140-character Bruckner tirades? (BRUCKNER 2 LOUD!1!1!!111!) Favorite quotes from musician friends? (“It’s okay to sound sh*tty as long as you’re trying not to sound sh*tty.”) So many possibilities. I guess we’ll wait and see.

Well, even if I don’t use it much, I knew I should get one before someone took all of the Twitter handles remotely related to my blog name. (SongoftheLark, SongofLark, and others were already taken, and I had to settle for song_of_lark.)

So anyway, if you’re into that kind of thing, friend me. Or follow me. Or whatever stalker-like-verb the kids are doing online nowadays.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Two Announcements: Summer Break and the Chartres Kickoff

One year ago today I published the very first entry on the blog – a little essay called Indulgent Claptrap. And so Song of the Lark began!

This may be incongruous, but on the one-year anniversary of beginning the blog, I’m announcing a hiatus. Don’t worry, it’s just for a few months, and I won’t be leaving entirely; I’m sure I’ll toss off some entries in my spare time. However, I am hoping for the lion’s share of my attention and energy this summer to be directed toward fiction writing. I haven’t told enough artful lies lately. That being said, I’ll still be online and all – I just won’t be posting as regularly. As always, I’d be happy to answer any questions or comments you may have about anything on the blog.

The bigger (and more exciting!) announcement is that I finally have an essay to post on violin prodigy Vivien Chartres. I’m embarrassed to admit I started advertising it last year; unfortunately, life got in the way and its publication was delayed. But I’ve finally got my act together and am ready to share. It’s a bit on the lengthy side and consequently will be in four parts. I had a fantastic time writing it and am very proud of how it all turned out. But more of that next entry.

To close…

I’m a writer, and writers write whether or not they have readers. Even if none of you were here, I’d probably still be shouting concert reviews and biographical essays into the void. But I can’t tell you how happy it makes me feel to know that you are here, and reading, and responding. That just brings a big old smile to my face. Thank you all so very, very much.

If there’s anything you want me to cover when I come back from break, let me know. I want each and every one of you to have a gorgeous summer full of friendship, late nights, and great music. Okay? Take care.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Song of the Lark 2011 Roundup

I’m always a sucker for a good end-of-year review. What went right, what went wrong. The highlights, the lowlights. So without further ado…

Best Decision: Starting this blog.

Best Readers: You, obviously. *obsequious smile*

Best Concert as Performer: Community Table, April 2011. It impressed upon me what’s really important about our art. It’s not about the repertoire or the competition or playing every note perfectly. It’s about passion and communication – saying things that can’t be said in words. Everything else is a bonus.

Worst Concert as Performer: Let’s just say I’m glad I was paid for playing this concert. Interpret that as you will…

Best Concert as Audience Member: This category was super-difficult. I had the immense honor of seeing the Minnesota Orchestra three times this year. Only two of the concerts got written up in reviews. But I think  my favorite was actually the one concert I never wrote about – the Ravel Inside the Classics concert in Minneapolis in March. First of all, it was repertoire I’ve loved forever, and second, it was a lot of fun to hear musicians talking about it. That weekend opened so many doors for me, intellectually, emotionally, professionally… It was everything a good concert should be, and more. Possible Honorable Mention – I have tickets to one of the music world’s most coveted concerts of 2011…the final Bon Iver homecoming concert in Eau Claire on December 13. I have a gut instinct it will be one of the musical highlights of not just the year, but my life.

Worst Concert as Audience Member: Once again, won’t say, but the problem wasn’t actually the music, it was the snotty people around me!

Biggest Musical Regret: Not being part of an orchestra. I’m in a string orchestra, and I love that, but there…are times…that…I miss the brass and woodwinds. Okay, I said it. I won’t say it again.

Favorite Repertoire: Bach g-minor adagio. I will work on that piece until the end of my days and still not get to the bottom of it. But it’s so satisfying to try.

Favorite Impromptu Concert: A friend played some solo Bach for me on a warm breezy August afternoon. We were in the parlor of an 1880 house and the porch door was open and the birds were chirruping out the bay window. Those few moments were perfect. For the rest of my life, whenever I hear that piece, I will remember that moment in the parlor, and how the tears started draining down my face.

Best Remix: The Oh Long Johnson cat remix. Obviously.

Best Comment by a Conductor: “Okay, guys, let’s get out our Jewish Christmas carols!”

Worst Comment by a Conductor: From a guest conductor, and inappropriate to reproduce here.

Best Non-Classical Group And Track: Bon Iver. I love just about every one of their songs, but… The one that was the gateway drug for me was Skinny Love. Yeah, I’m a few years behind the times. Sue me.

Best Musical Movie Scene: Actually, make that seventy years behind the times. This year I discovered Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and in particular, their dance to Night and Day. I covet Ginger’s dress, which is the single most beautiful gown I’ve ever seen.

Favorite Soundtrack: The Fountain.

Favorite SotL Blog Entry, Tagged “My Writing”: Out of the fifty I’ve posted this year, this one.

Favorite SotL Blog Entry, Tagged “Not My Writing”: This one with Marie Hall. Her personality just shines through the pages. She was fearless.

Best Lyrics: From Bon Iver’s Holocene – And at once I knew I was not magnificent / strayed above the highway aisle / jagged vacance, thick with ice / I could see for miles, miles, miles. Those words say it all, really. They celebrate the significance of insignificance. If that makes any sense. It’s my Song of the Year already.

Most Encouraging Hometown-Related Epiphany: You can be based in Eau Claire and still take on the biggest names in music.

Best Music Blog: Inside the Classics. If I can be half as entertaining and informative as the folks over there, I’ll be a very happy blogger. Honorable mention, Emily Grossman’s thirty-day blogging project at violinist.com.

Best Music Website: Violinist.com, always.

Best Music Book: I’m not exactly in the center of the music book biz (/understatement); everything I read is courtesy of the Internet or the library. But the best book of the year that I did get my hands on was Alex Ross’s collection of essays, Listen to This.

Most Blatantly Obvious String Instrument Dub: The violinist on Celtic Woman.

Cruellest Violin-Related Tweet: Sherlock co-creator, writer, and deity Mark Gatiss, tweeting an image of Sherlock’s violin from the filming of season 2, with a quote from Doyle about Sarasate. New season of the show starts January first! (Forgive my enthusiasm, but when you’re 22, and you’ve been a Holmesian for over half your life, this show becomes a pretty big deal.)

Favorite Single Line I Wrote This Year, Taken Completely Out of Context: Everything about her was predictable: her eagerness, her enthusiasm, her obsequiousness, her obsessive thirstiness for knowledge, her conviction that classical music is a sacred art and every semi-talented practitioner of it a kind of high priest.

Best Colbert Report Duet: Technically not on the Colbert Report, but Stephen’s rendition of the modern-day classic “Friday” on Jimmy Fallon’s show. It was done to raise money for arts education in public schools, which is a cause I think anyone reading this blog can get behind.

Weirdest Google Books Find: This was a very strong category; I am a magnet for vintage Google Book crazy. In the end, I can’t decide between the article about brass players going bald from 1896 or or the crazy hilarious sexuality of musical instruments article from 1921.

Favorite Bit of SotL Spam: You guys miss so much spam on my blog. So much of it is so entertaining that I almost feel like starting a separate blog for hilarious spam. But the best one came about a week or so ago, when I had one from a diarrhea prevention website that quoted Mark Twain. Not even kidding.

Favorite Tumblr: Aside from mine, of course? Cough. Actually, Facepalmmozart. About half of the entries I reblog on my Tumblr come from there.

Favorite Tumblr Post from the Song of the Lark Tumblr

I can’t choose just one, so here are five.

1) Violinist, poet, salon leader, and outspoken lesbian Natalie Clifford Barney

2) Marie Hall anticipating the rise of female conductors in 1905.

3) Portrait of Marion Osgood, writer, violinist, teacher, conductor…the list goes on and on.

4) Portrait of Leonora Jackson in a lovely Victorian room.

5) A picture of Irma Saenger-Sethe and a quotation from the Bach d-minor partita.

Best Lesson I’ve Learned: Do what you want to do as an artist. Trust your gut. If you’re good at what you do, and you have potential, then seize that potential, and don’t make excuses. Don’t let anyone keep you from doing what you want to do. If  people keeping you hostage emotionally, and you decide to keep quiet about it to not upset them… You’ve lost. You’re either going to do what you want to do and have them be angry with you, or you’re not going to do what you want to do, and then you’ll get angry with them, and then they’ll get angry back. Both alternatives are painful. Incredibly painful. But the first one less so.

Thinking toward 2012…

Best Bet for Best Concert of 2012: Minnesota Orchestra and Ehnes in Brahms concerto in January 2012. Or the premiere of Judd Greenstein’s new Microcommission work for the Orchestra in March. But who knows…it may turn out that the best concert will actually be the one I have no idea is happening yet. Now that is an exciting thought.

Crazy Musical Goal That I Feel Insecure About And Will Continue To Waffle About Over The Next Several Months: Auditioning for a local orchestra.

Secret Musical Goal That I Feel More Confident About: To become semi-fluent in alto clef. Yes, I’ll admit it: I’m seventy-five percent sure I’m going to rent a viola next year. Edith Lynwood Winn said every violinist should be able to play viola, and I definitely think there’s some truth to that. I can’t imagine it will ever become my first instrument, though. I enjoy viola jokes too much. (And more seriously, I’m a very high-strung tension-prone double-jointed small person, and it remains to be seen how well I’ll take to a bigger instrument.) But in any case, I do hope to do this, and blog about the experience.

What You Can Expect From This Blog In 2012: I don’t even know what to expect on this blog in 2012! But safe to say it’ll probably include a lot more discussion about female violinists and, more broadly, the history of women in classical music, period. Because there just is not enough information out there about the wonderful women who made it possible for me and all the other ladies out there to partake in this beautiful art form.

I love this blog and I love my readers. Really and truly. Thank you for coming back again and again, and as always, if you have any questions or comments, please let me know. A happy holiday season to you and yours.

Love, Emily

1 Comment

Filed under Lists, My Writing