Wednesday, October 21, 2009


OK, I'm just copying and pasting what I put on Team Camwell, so if you've read that, skip this. Stay tuned for a swab-stuck-in-oboe story.

I had a great time playing with Wicked, but it was very tiring, and I'm happy to be back home and back to the usual routine. Here are some photos from my last day at Wicked.

On Sunday October 18, the Des Moines marathon started and ended across the street from the Civic Center.

The Start Line

The Finish Line with the Civic Center on the left. Notice the Wicked display on the windows.

The Finish Line with some runners coming through.

I spent a lot of time with two other local musicians, Sonya (piano) and Sandy (flute). I will miss hanging out with our trio!

It turns out I know the touring drummer from my first year with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada! Romano Di Nillo! And...unfortunately he wasn't with the group when they came to Des Moines. He's on a leave of absence. Fortunately, there was an excellent drummer and super nice guy to take his place. Here's Rich in his drummer's cage. (Don't worry, they unlock it to let him out at the end of the show each night. They only forgot once in between shows on the weekend.)

As if those drums weren't enough, the show also uses a plethora of other percussion instruments. I couldn't get them all in one shot.

Ridiculous amount of percussion, angle 1:

Ridiculous amount of percussion, angle 2:

Ridiculous amount of percussion, angle 3:

Local musician Mark Dorr and his ridiculous amount of percussion set-up (I wonder: how much doubling does he get paid??):

Reeds 1, 2 and 3. Clarence (clarinets and soprano sax...wait, he doesn't want to publicly admit that he plays sax!), Jill (oboe, English horn) and Sandy (flutes). Sandy and I normally don't share a chair.

All the local musicians. Top row L-R: Contractor (as in the guy who hired me!) Harold, Sonya (keyboard), Brett (horn), Grady (trombone), Andy (trumpet), Gary (bass), Mark (percussionist with his eyes closed). Front row: Clarence, Jill, Sandy.

And finally, some photos for which I hope I won't get in trouble! The book that stared me in the face every night and four times a weekend for four weeks:

Everyone's favourite oboe solo in the show--I have to play right into the mic.

My least-favourite oboe solo in the show. This page is preceded by English horn stuff, then a super-quick change to oboe, continuous playing (not super-tough but hard enough), and hardly a change to breathe before a 6.5 measure solo. I usually left out most of the B before the solo so that the first notes of the solo would actually speak.

Some of the hardest music of the show: The Bow/Exit music! Of course, I nailed it each time. ;)

Back to reality now!


Patty said...

I used to love doing shows. Sadly, I've been nixed from the "list" so I no longer get 'em. Ah well ... truth be told, the drive and the hours made me totally crazy. I'm not sure HOW you did it with a young one at home and all.

It always took me a few weeks to recover, too.

You must be super woman! :-)

Randy Brush said...

Most of that equipment Mark Dorr had in the pit he had taken from Grinnell College, and lied about it's whereabouts..saying for instance the timpani were out being repaired....and I personally recognize most of it from the school's Room #103 in Bucksbaum

His contract was not renewed, and he is no longer employed at Grinnell College. He has also been telling people he was fired (unfairly according to him)

LegalPercussion said...

Randy, you are an example of a proper unprofessional musician going online and on record stating things about a person that legally is hearsay. I am not saying that there is no truth to your statement, but I am suggesting that you are blatant in your disregard to professionalism in the music industry. Before you ask, I only came across this page as a professional musician searching for my friend Romano's email, and saw your unethical comment about another percussionist in our guild (Percussive Arts Society)instead.