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Stand down!

After my post about looking for a BSO digital marketing intern replacement, there has been some concern that I will be abandoning the blog at the same time (I’m pleased you care! :D). At this time, I have no such plans. I still enjoy this medium, and I’d like to continue writing about classical music even if I’m not actively involved in the field.

That having been said, without the direct BSO connection the continuation of the blog will rely ever more upon you. If I find steep drops in readership and commentary, I may leave off. This probably sounds like the basic blogger blues of “wah wah wah, comment or I feel purposeless!!!!” emo style. And I’m not gonna lie: responses please me so.

However, also remember that the beauty of the blogging medium is that it allows for interactivity with the reader. If I wanted something static and/or personal, I would write a book or a diary. I’m not saying EVERYONE COMMENTS ON EVERYTHING!!!! or expecting those weird “first!” posts (seriously, do you get a prize or something? What are those people trying to accomplish?), but if you like something or have an opinion, I want to hear it! That’s a big part of what makes this fun.

Okay, so, yeah. Anyway. Thought you might like to know. Carry on with your lives.

Oh what a world Ravel gave me

This is Rufus Wainwright. He is interesting. He is also, evidently, interested in the classics. If you’re feeling impatient for the punchline, fast-forward to about 2:15, but you’ll be missing quite the performance.

(Am I making things up, or did Ravel once say that he hated Bolero?)

When pigs compose

Maybe Les Ballets Trockadero can do this.

Tchaikovsky, Presents....           ...SWINE Lake!
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Passage to Viola

This comes from one half of my two-person best friend team, Rebekah. She’s reading A Passage to India, and found this delightful viola joke replacement – a viola quote!

This isn’t a viola joke, but it’s viola-relevant. And it comes from a good source – EM Forster.

“They had tried to reproduce their own attitude to life upon the stage, and to dress up as the middle-class English people they actually were. Next year they would do Quality Street or The Yeomen of the Guard. Save for this annual incursion, they left literature alone. The men had no time for it, the women did nothing that they could not share with the men. Their ignorance of the Arts was notable, and they lost no opportunity of proclaiming it to one another; it was the Public School attitude; flourishing more vigorously than it can yet hope to do in England. If Indians were shop, the Arts were bad form, and Ronny had repressed his mother when she enquired (must be a British thing) after his viola; a viola was almost a demerit, and certainly not the sort of instrument one mentioned in public.”

Viola jokery, we see, is not bound by culture.

Mahler for dorks

Today is Mahler’s 150th birthday, and in honor of this I would like to present you with my absolute favorite use of Mahler ever, including the time we used a bunch of his symphonies for our ballet performance in 10th grade. This is from the Voyager episode “Counterpoint,” one of my all time favorites, at least 70% because of Mahler. Here’s the beginning, but feel free to keep watching to the end; Mahler makes it all the way there!

Could you replace me?

My friends, it is time. As much as I have enjoyed my time interning at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, there are no full time positions available for me, and I am on the cusp of finding employment elsewhere. Therefore Benevolent Dictator Jamie is looking for a new digital marketing intern. Want the position? Read below!

E-Commerce & Digital Marketing Internship

Supervisor: Jamie Schneider, E-Commerce & Digital Marketing Manager
Address: 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852
Term: Fall Semester 2010 with option to continue through Spring 2010
Compensation: $50/week honorarium or academic credit
Hours: 15-20 hours per week
The BSO’s E-Commerce & Digital Marketing Team is responsible for promoting many aspects of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra including but not limited to online advertisement, e-communications, overall web presence, viral marketing and guerrilla marketing initiatives.  The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is internationally recognized as having achieved a preeminent place among the world’s most important orchestras and continues to stay at the cutting edge of technology. The BSO presents nearly 160 concerts throughout the season across a diverse range of series including SummerNights, Off the Cuff, Classical Saturdays and Thursdays, SuperPops and mid-week education concerts serving public, private schools and home-school students in Baltimore, Baltimore City, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Howard counties.  This internship is an excellent opportunity to develop a strong foundation in modern marketing techniques as well as experience the diversity and excitement of working with a major symphony orchestra or a nonprofit organization.


  • Content management for social networking websites as well as friend communication and contest implementation
  • Assisting with the development and implementation of promotions and partnerships to generate tickets sales
  • Designing and proofing of online advertisement
  • Designing and proofing of ePatrons emails
  • Participation in planning and strategy sessions
  • Supporting marketing initiatives at select concerts
  • Assisting with the expansion of the BSO’s online presence, viral marketing campaigns and grassroots marketing efforts
  • Research as needed
  • Additional projects as assigned, based on marketing needs

The E-Commerce and Promotions Marketing intern will also assist with administrative and general marketing duties, and at times support the BSO Marketing Department at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, MD.

The intern is eligible for complimentary tickets when available.

Candidates should possess strong writing, organizational and interpersonal skills; basic facility with computers and technology; basic html knowledge preferred; a basic knowledge of Photoshop and artistic abilities; impeccable attention to detail; positive energy and an eagerness to learn.  A basic knowledge and interest in symphonic music or the performing arts is helpful, but not required.  Candidates should also have an interest in gaining valuable and direct experience in the marketing department of a major performing arts organization.  The position requires flexibility and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment.  College students at the junior, senior and graduate levels studying marketing, communications, music administration or public relations are preferred.  Please include a list of completed relevant coursework as well as whether college credit will be requested for this internship.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to Jamie Schneider, E-Commerce and Digital Marketing Manager at jschneider@BSOmusic.org.  No phone calls please.  References may be requested.  The department’s goal is to interview qualified candidates and select an intern by mid August – September 2010.

The direct link is here.

If this doesn’t sound like your bag, forward it to a friend! Apply ASAP, because ideally, B. D. Jamie would find someone before I left so I could assist in your training. If it helps, there are free tickets involved! B. D. Jamie is, of course, extremely benevolent and the proverbial pleasure to work for. Also sometimes she brings you coffee and/or chocolate. Apply now!

I hear the kids are all right

Holy smoke Rocky, there are two different BSO concerts this week! (Technically there was a concert last week, but I didn’t do a post on it because 1. I was busy and 2. How hard is it to figure out a Fourth of July concert? Tchaikovsky, Sousa, anthem, done.)

On Thursday, July 8 at 8 pm at Strathmore and Friday, July 9 at 7:30 pm at the Meyerhoff, it’s Planet Earth Live! Conducted by composer George Fenton and featuring mezzo-soprano Haley Glennie-Smith, the BSO will play the score from the same-named BBC miniseries while scenes of Earth and its animals are projected onto a giant screen. It promises to be a beautiful, beautiful thing, if this video is any indication:

Then on Saturday, July 10 at 7:30 pm at the Meyerhoff, it’s a program entitled “Rising Stars Perform Tchaikovsky Concertos” on account of because the violin and piano soloist are Sirena Huang and Conrad Tao, both fifteen years of age. They both look relatively acne-free in their headshots, the jerks. Also they will be playing Tchaikovsky concertos, if you can believe it.

So that’s your entertainment for the weekend. You’re welcome.


Ladies and gentlemen, the failure that plagued me on Memorial Day has been defeated on the Fifth of July (which I’m counting as a holiday because most people have off work). Today I have for you the 21st Century car insurance commercial I wanted way back when. This is what you pack in your cello case.

In the immortal words of Eddie Izzard: the cello, slightly bigger with a spike at the bottom that kills you. Yes.

Talk about your contemporary composers

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Viola scandal exposed!

My analytics engine informs me that some people are getting to this blog via an “obama-scandal-exposed” link. If someone could tell me how this is at all related to what I do, I would be intrigued and appreciative.

Anyway, your viola joke awaits:

Q. What’s the difference between alto clef and a classic Greek manuscript?

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