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You may now proceed to wish me a happy birthday

Thanks for remembering! And as a reward – albeit a non-musical one – I present this fantastic birthday quote from Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore, to be read in that slow, depressed Eeyore manner. Largo, if you will. There, see? Now it’s musical again.

Eeyore: Can’t you see the cake? The candles? The presents?

Pooh: Uh, no…

Eeyore: Neither can I.

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The only thing I can recommend

Look, kid, if you haven’t finished your holiday shopping by now, I really don’t know what to tell you. Most stores seem to be closing around 6 pm tonight. Good luck.

Oh, okay. If you’re truly in a jam, you can’t really go wrong with an iTunes gift card, although I should note that that can sometimes be a bit of a cop out. (It appears that in order to purchase the email-able type, you have to have downloaded iTunes onto your computer. Just a heads up.)

However! You’ve chosen a good week to purchase classical music from iTunes. I usually ignore those New Music Tuesday emails, but this week the headline was all about classical music, so I clicked. Turns out Yo Yo Ma is offering some free tracks, the New York Philharmonic has an iTunes pass out, some guy named Rattle conducted some Brahms for your purchasing pleasure, etc., etc. Seriously. Tons of stuff.

Disclaimer: I copied the link locations directly from the email iTunes sent me as that was the only way I could think to do it. If they don’t work, please let me know so I can take them down; if such is the case I’m afraid you’ll have to ferret the tracks out yourself. My apologies in advance.

Anyway. If you celebrate it, merry Christmas Eve! If you don’t, happy Thursday!

Revenge of the viola joke!

It’s a twofer!

Q. Why are viola jokes so short?

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Wake up!

Ir’s time for a bonus viola joke!

Q. How many violists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

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Here, have another

Similar to Thanksgiving (only more so ’cause it’s the hardcore winter holidays), I intend to keep the posts on the light side for the next week and a half or so. Nobody has time to sit down and read a lengthy, serious discourse, so instead, give your brain a 37 second rest and enjoy someĀ  Beethoven for commercial use.

Feel better? Good!

What I especially like about this use of classical music is that the pianist appears to be at least aping the actual movements involved in the piece, but I’m not a pianist so I could be wrong.

Oh, by the way – there’s still one more BSO Holiday Spectacular performance tonight and two tomorrow, so if you’ve been wanting to go, now’s your chance. I’m pretty sure the Twitter discount is still in effect. If you had tickets to the performance on the 19th that was canceled due to the snowstorm you can exchange for upcoming concerts, too.

Check back soon, ’cause I think I may indulge you with some bonus viola jokes this week.

Not classical as such, but certainly classic

On this, the last Monday before Christmas, I offer you the most apropos video I possibly can, and the best carol anybody possible could. Remember the number one holiday rule: only Judy Garland may sing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

As promised

I mentioned the Music Matters campaign yesterday in my charity gift post, but I wanted to elaborate a bit. What’s the point of being a BSO intern if you don’t shill for them once in a while?

Okay, so Music Matters: Play Your Part is the campaign slogan for the BSO’s donation campaign. The BSO musicians accepted salary cuts so as to save a solid million dollars in the orchestra’s budget, a million they really needed in today’s economy. You, the BSO audience, have been challenged to match and even surpass that amount for the year’s donation.

You can pay a lump sum up front or pay small amounts over time; whatever works best for you. Your money goes to the general needs of the BSO, of course, but also enables the continuation and growth of multiple education and outreach programs and children’s opportunities.

If you’re looking for a musical organization to support for the holiday season, look no further than here. If you make your donation by December 31, 2009, you can apply it on your upcoming tax form. More details about that in the link.

And now comes the really cheesy, heartfelt bit that fund raisers just love, but you know I mean it because I’d be a terrible fund raiser (it’s not that I don’t like strangers, it’s just that… I just lied about that. I don’t). The BSO truly is an amazing orchestra, a fact to which any classical music lover can attest. I remember sitting in the audience at the Thibaudet Returns concert marveling at how perfect the cellos were, like their sound was emanating from one gigantic cello with stereo capabilities. If you want to support classical music in the Baltimore-Washington area, you couldn’t make a better choice.

Right. Back to being cynical. I say bah to puppies and rainbows. Bah!

Thursdays are good and good for you

A violist and a cellist were standing on a sinking ship.

“Help!” cried the cellist, “I can’t swim!”

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It’s the gift of giving!

And it’s a practically perfect gift too, because:

  1. If you select the printable/e-card option, it can be as last minute as you like (less than nine days till Christmas!).
  2. Your music teacher already has enough tchochkes.

Today’s music gift is the gift of charity, courtesy of charitygiftcertificates.org. This nifty site allows you to donate between $5 and $5,000 to the charity pool, give the recipient a gift certificate, and allow them to choose what charity gets the money. For an extra five bucks shipping you can have actual plastic cards sent, but e-cards and printable certificates are instant.

Although your giftee can select up to three of over a hundred charities to distribute the money amongst, you are permitted to make a suggestion. For your music lover, you might try the Metropolitan Opera Association, the Sphinx Organization (which was founded to “help overcome the cultural stereotype of classical music, and to encourage the participation of Blacks and Latinos in the field”), or the Public Broadcasting System, all of which are part of the web site’s program.

However, you needn’t be limited by these hundred or so charities. You can always yank the autonomy out of the experience and make the decision yourself! Just roam around the web site of your favorite organization and if the webmaster is worth his salt you’ll run into a donation page in no time flat. I’ve yet to encounter a music organization that won’t cheerfully let you donate money in the name of anybody you wish. Heck, the BSO’ll do it.

Incidentally, tomorrow I’ll be doing a post on a favorite BSO project that you might find worth your money, Music Matters. Stay tuned! (Get it? Stay tu… never mind.)

Adventures in Facebooking and other stories

Benevolent Dictator Jamie has me posting events to the BSO’s Facebook page. It used to leave off after the Holiday Spectacular, so I have to add every remaining concert for this season, from January until June, including links and pictures. Don’t make my hard work in vain, people! Peruse the list, figure out what you’ll be attending, and RSVP. Add a comment. Become a fan. It’ll be fun! Click here!

(Note: for some reason Facebook sticks a big ol’ span of white space at the top before the events that makes the page look blank. Don’t be deterred; just scroll down.)

Speaking of the aforementioned Holiday Spectacular, that run of concerts begins tomorrow. There are ten showings over this week and next, but several are sold out, so if you plan on attending you’d better buy your tickets before you get shut out completely. The BSO Twitter contest is still running, so for 20% off go to the BSO Twitter page, find the code, and follow the instructions.

Do it now! Or face a year devoid of tap-dancing Santas. What a bleak dystopia that would be.

While you’re there, you might consider hopping over to the Ain’t Baroque Twitter page and following me too. Just a thought.