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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000226.txt from 2005/12

From: "KEVIN J FAY" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Nutcracker
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 22:21:54 -0500

Adam Michlin posted:[]
Sent: Monday, December 26, 2005 6:15 AM
Subject: RE: [kl] Nutcracker

Dear List,

To play devil's advocate, McDonald sells the most hamburgers. Should all
restaurants start making hamburgers in the style of McDonalds? Filling up
the seats is important, but it can ultimately become self defeating if it
is made the one and only measure of success. The San Francisco Symphony
comes to mind as an organization which has managed to balance artistic
concerns and commercial concerns quite well. It can be done, but don't let
anyone tell you it is easy.

That, however, has nothing to do with musicians who are tired of playing
the Nutcracker. Clearly, many aren't so sick and tired that they choose not
to accept the money, but I submit they have earned the right to complain.
First, just because many people *want* to do a job doesn't mean many people
are either *qualified* or would really want to do it if they received a
dose of reality. Second, being able to sit through dozens (months and
years, in some cases) of performances of the same blasted piece is one of
the things that makes a professional musician professional. It can be quite
shocking when one realizes that how well you play is rather low on the
requirement list of being a professional player.

Yes, of course, it is the job of that professional player to play as if
they aren't bored to death, but it is completely unfair to blast them for
being honest in a forum such as Klarinet. There are some absolutely
wonderful aspects to being a professional musicians and there are some not
so wonderful aspects. I think each and everyone of us could make a similar
list for our respective professions. Why is it we don't blast doctors,
lawyers, and teachers when they complain about their day at the office
("You should be just lucky to have a job", "People would kill to have your
job")? Perhaps this is partly because we think professional musicians get
to "play" all day. It is important, however, to realize that professional
musicians work very hard for their money earning every right to complain
about their bad days. Especially since students thinking about a career in
music need to realize performing is just as much a profession as any other
profession. Very few, if any, professional musicians get to make a living
performing what they want to performing, when they want to perform it, all
the time.

To attack these musicians is to encourage their silence which only serves
to perpetuate what to me is a dangerous utopian view of being a musician.
Please don't shoot the messenger.


At 09:53 PM 12/25/2005, Patton Hunnicutt wrote:
>I agree 100%. If it brings people in, thats what we
>Forest. Two words for you: Team Player.

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