At Your Library – Holiday Woodwind Nostalgia

hello Quincy my name is eileen Fontenot
and I’m a librarian at the Thomas crane public library and today I’m with the
chrysalis trio a musical group will be performing at the main library on
Saturday December 7th from 3 to 4 p.m. welcome everyone thank you have you so
we are going to be hearing some familiar tunes is that correct right ok
could you describe a bit about or what can people can expect during this kind
of like pop-up performance show well we’re gonna do a program of traditional
Christmas music and I’ll be on oboe Sally’s on oboe and Cristina’s on de on
bassoon these are all like a family of double reed instruments and it’s it’s an
unusual combination that you don’t see very often and a lot of people have
never really seen an oboe or heard an oboe alive although if you hear it it’s
a familiar sound you’ll hear it often if you know what to listen for in
soundtracks etc so people we just want people to come to listen to the nice
music that they’ll recognize and maybe stop and you know visit with us and we
can show our instrument it’s you know something that I think they’ll enjoy
yeah so you’ll be in our atrium which is a large space right there be a probably
a nice sound and everything so what exactly prompted you guys to met form
this trio with these double reed instruments which I’ve never really
heard of people playing together before so we met during chamber music
rehearsals right about about approximately a year ago and we thought
it would be a nice idea to get together and just see what the sound would be
like because you say it’s not common so we thought it could either go one or two
ways I could either sound really nice and really awful because they’re they’re
really strong instruments you know and it actually it sounds really nice I
think people are gonna really enjoy it yeah so what sort of song is it can you
give us a little like yes we’re gonna play one of the songs that we’re gonna
do for you in a moment is a little town of Bethlehem and one reason that I like
that is because I have a recording that anyone can look up on YouTube it’s by
the Phil Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy so he would have been the
conductor writer in the 50s and 60s that timeframe is significant because that
was when Marcel Tabata the principal Oh voice and he’s the
father of all the American oboe playing so his he did that he was a Frenchman
but he developed an American style that’s what is taught now throughout the
throughout the country there’s no guarantee that that style is gonna live
forever though so it’s we’re kind of keeping that alive as I said the oboe is
not very common so there’s a handful of us around so it’s it’s that’s why that
piece is significant for me because there’s such a beautiful version that
I’m familiar with are you all from Boston area are you playing Boston well
from the south shore I’m from your well Chris is from Weymouth and Sally’s okay
yeah and we rehearse in Sally’s living room every Saturday and hang on her
Sally and Chris you are both oboist and yes also you’re the bassoonist rate
collect okay so what going all of you what prompted you to take up this
instrument and what it what how exciting is it for you it’s okay I can tell you
it’s okay okay I got married pretty young but not terribly young and my
husband told me to do it oh no it’s that after we got married he’s a very good
pianist okay and so we wanted to have something to do together and that has
worked out very nice right and so I took it up and and I was a little behind
because I wasn’t in fourth grade I got married young but not that not fourth
grade yeah and I love it it’s a really interesting lifetime activity and you’ve
played in like chamber groups before yeah before you guys met up and
everything climbeth Philharmonic and Quincy Orchestra oh wait a month or
costura and stuff like that okay in Pitts work it’s also fun and I bet
Chris we’re two guys have done that that’s like the grows okay okay okay
like for Sweeney Todd oh I see yeah I’m a little different I started in sixth
grade and I had never heard of an oboe before I just got a record and listen to
the different instruments and I like that sound it’s a very unique sounded
like said and it’s um I played it I was real
serious about it all the way through college I got a music degree and then I
moved out to Boston I grew up in Missouri to work for a couple of years
and to save up to go to graduate school but I got a job at State Street bank
when they were this is 97 when they were hiring a lot and I’m still there now so
I’ve track up after a couple of years I just gave up on graduate school I never
actually I do but I hadn’t played in about 20 years until about three or four
years ago I took it back out so I’ve only been back into it recently but then
I meant these two just putting some feelers out and then I found out that
they had this some night chamber music meetings and that’s how we we all came
together yeah okay did you have to ask somebody like a teacher like what is
this instruments you know but you’re nothing cool no I got it on a record it
was that it was Big Bird discovers the orchestra you can look at that yeah you
can still hear that on YouTube yeah yeah and I’d never heard of it that’s a great
sound you know yeah well like bassoon and oboe most people don’t start out
without particular instrument I started in fourth grade playing the flute loved
it but I wanted more so I tried a couple of different instruments I tried oboe
mm-hmm I liked it but didn’t love it and I was
fortunate when I was young I had a very supportive music school in Weymouth and
they said hey you know where we’ve got this scholarship you can go take lessons
at this house our conservatory and we’ll get your bassoon and you can just take
lessons and see if it works and I didn’t I loved it in fact through high school I
took a lot of lessons got involved in a lot of local in organizations in Boston
so I decided to major it in school and went to college for music hard industry
to make Olivieri so like Chris I work for a bank okay but enjoy playing music
with really talented people that take music very seriously and it’s a lot of
fun to play with them what about the bassoon that you liked better than
Oh Bo soon is really the base of the double reeds it’s really the supporting
it’s like the trombone or tuba of an orchestra so to me it’s just a little
bit more fun you really you get a lot of diversity in terms of different pieces
you can play you can be in critically in orchestras and you can be in a wind trio
with Sally and I started with a couple of rehearsals as I do way and when
Christine came in and added a whole new dimension to our sound it was definitely
the missing piece yeah yeah can you explain to me double reeds versus single
reason how does that work yeah so a clarinet would be a single Reed it has a
plastic mouthpiece and the end of this a flat Reed just kind of sits on top of it
it gets you know attached with a metal binder was with a double reed you’ve got
two pieces of the you know the bamboo that you tie them together onto a cork
and then you know most all the one bassoon players will make their own
reeds because it’s it’s such an integral part of the sound you know what you do
when you make that Reed will influence how your instrument sounds so you’re a
very particular and you want it to sound a certain way you’re gonna make your own
oh wow yeah I had no idea was that that yeah I’ve I make I make my own and I
thought about going into a business but the problem is that I’m so slow and I’m
so I kind of gave up on that idea yeah well this is gonna be a very fun little
performance and I can’t wait to see it so I hope everybody here in Quincy comes
on Saturday December 7th from 3 to 4 p.m. and our atrium at the main library
to check out this wonderful performance and now we’re going to have a little
sample of what you can expect Oh

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