The Orchestra Is a Remarkable Instrument!

Published on March 14, 2012 by Vincent Ellin

The orchestra is a remarkable instrument. The sheer beauty of sound can’t compare to any other musical medium. Of the various sections, the woodwinds have a huge range of colours available. No other area of the ensemble can even come close to this range. It sometimes dismays me that woodwind…

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Published in Orchestras
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Are Some Music Schools Better Than Others?

Published on February 18, 2012 by Vincent Ellin

Music is a subjective art. Whether you are listening, playing or writing it is a matter of taste. I’ve known musicians that won’t listen to a Viennese orchestra because they dislike Viennese oboe playing. I admit, it is different because of the kind of oboe they use. It doesn’t seem…

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Published in Orchestras
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How To Deal with Leaky Tubes in Bassoon Reeds

Published on December 14, 2011 by Vincent Ellin

As fall turns to winter and the air gets dryer, I find students have problems getting proper tubes for their reeds during this season. When I first came here from a more temperate climate, I had to struggle with leaky tubes myself. The winters can be brutal here, and very…

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Published in Reed Making
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Reed Happiness in 5 Steps!

Published on October 28, 2011 by Vincent Ellin

Try these 5 steps for flawless reeds:

1. Measure everything. Yes, I mean everything. This includes your gouge before you even begin shaping and profiling.

Keep the same length for your tube and your wire placements. Keep your tip generally the same length also. Limit the number of variables for your reeds…

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Published in Reed Making
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Bach and Beyond — Join me for a Winnipeg Wind Ensemble Concert!

Published on October 22, 2011 by Vincent Ellin

This Sunday, I’ll be playing a concert with the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble. This will be the first of three Winnipeg Wind Ensemble concerts this year – I’ll be playing in all of them. Some of the players are colleagues I know from my Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra days and I’ve played…

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Published in Concerts
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How Music Should Really Be Taught!

Published on May 30, 2011 by Vincent Ellin

I have taught a number of young musicians over the years. Some of them have even ventured to become professional musicians. Being a teacher is, in many ways, daunting.  I firmly believe you can’t teach anyone anything. All you can do is lead and hope they do the work needed…

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Do Orchestras Need Improvement?

Published on May 12, 2011 by Vincent Ellin

It’s no surprise that North America orchestras are in a crisis situation. Orchestras like Philadelphia, Honolulu and Detroit have experienced serious problems with sustainability, despite the popularity of classical music in general. The situation in Europe is slightly better. European orchestras enjoy state sponsorship, but they have had problems as…

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Do You Need Expensive Tools To Make Great Reeds? Not!

Published on April 19, 2011 by Vincent Ellin

I am not a great fan of reed making. I do it because I need to have reeds to play my bassoon. Over time, I have been able to get the kind of reeds that work for me. It hasn’t been easy. I studied with Louis Skinner when I…

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How NOT To Tell Your Musical Story…

Published on March 16, 2011 by Vincent Ellin

We live in very connected times. Information and access to it is so easy.  Streaming live performances can be viewed from almost anywhere, and a musician can hear what a performer is doing from another country almost instantly. The availability of recorded music has helped introduce new musicians to the…

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The Myth of Perfection

Published on March 9, 2011 by Vincent Ellin

Not long ago, a musician friend and I were discussing various colleagues that we have both worked with in our city. I said I thought one particular player we both know was “cold’ or “clinical”. My friend, replied “Yes, but he never makes any mistakes.” This was hardly a ringing…

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