A few weeks ago I performed with the Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra a very special concert. We created a performance specifically for children on the autism spectrum. The lights were half illuminated, audience members were free to get up and walk around or make noise if they needed or wanted to, and there were designated areas where children could go dance. Anyone was welcome, but it was geared as a chance for those who would have a difficult time attending a regular performance. We performed at 10am on a Saturday, and while the audience was sparse they were extremely excited and appreciative, and we felt like this was an awesome thing to do.
There wasn't a lot of time to rehearse, and we had a guest conductor, because we were trying to put a full regular concert together at the same time. So while it's not our most polished performance it was great fun, because the concert featured a lot of well known classical pieces that we often don't get to play. One of those was a bucket list item of mine...the 1st movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony. Y'all know the piece, and will recognize it in the first 4 notes. But it holds a very special place in an oboist heart as right smack dab in the middle of one of his most famous works Beethoven wrote a cadenza for the oboe.
That's right, everyone in the orchestra pauses and the oboe PLAYS A CADENZA LIKE IT'S SUDDENLY AN OBOE CONCERTO.
Since I was playing principal for this concert, that was me.
The other fun thing that happened at that concert was that we had a company there trying out recording the concert for VR. They had a sphere of cameras placed right in front of the conductorthat recorded everything in 360 degrees, both audio and video, and afterwards turned the Beethoven into a VR experience as if you were sitting right in the middle of the orchestra.
They just posted the video on YouTube, so now you can listen to my bucket list concert for children with autism in VR! Sadly you can't see me as most of the woodwind section are behind a forest of strings. But you want to watch the conductor anyway, as that's the best view.
If you happen to be in the Seattle area this week or next week you can actually hear me playing live. Tomorrow I have a concert with the Federal Way Symphony, mostly Christmas music but we are playing the Ravel Piano Concerto so you get to hear me play a MASSIVE English Horn solo in the second movement. And if you need more Christmas music then I'm playing principal oboe again with the Lake Washington Symphony next weekend. And if you come please let me know so I can say hello!