Today could very well be the last time I accompany ballet at Hope. As usual the teachers are not forthcoming on how they plan to use the accompanists in the next semester. I expect Julie (the instructor with whom I have been working for the last couple years) to be very cordial at our parting today. I don’t think she suspects how badly the department treats peons like me.
Eileen pointed out that I charge more to teach per hour than the college pays me to accompany ballet. I told her I knew it, but in fact it hadn’t occurred to me.
I found my last conversation with Julie odd. Once again she asked me if I knew of any pianists who would be interested in accompanying ballet. She and/or presumably the department have ruled out my first idea which is to have student musicians do this work. Too many scheduling problems, she said. I think the departments are rivals myself. It certainly bothered the chair of the dance department to find out how much less he is paying pianists than the music department. He seemed upset but hasn’t communicated further with me.
I just checked and the dance department hasn’t posted any pics or bios of pianists yet.
She also weirdly indicated to me that one of the other pianists was not quite up to snuff. Sigh.
It will be a relief to have dance over. This is little ballet of back and forth is tiring. I have reconciled myself to not doing this work next term. In the meantime my second set of jacks is on its way to me. I would love to replace the effort I use for accompanying dance with assiduous work on refurbishing my harpsichord.
One of the important builders of my kit was Ray Fryer. His son, Ronn, was my friend at the time. Many of us were working on my harpsichord kit. Mr. Fryer was a carpenter. He saw what we were doing and simply took the basic box of the sound board away from us. He himself glued and constructed with the care of a master carpenter. I have always said that the extraordinary sound of the instrument came from Mr. Fryer’s work on it. Mr. Fryer passed away this week at the age of 94. Ronn and I are estranged, but I am friends with his ex-wife, Mary (Eileen’s sister), and his kids, Cindy and Jody, now adults whom I have known since their birth.
I am learning some new (to me) Bach for this Sunday. I had a good practice session yesterday on the F minor prelude BWV 534. I think I can only go so long without learning some new Bach or Buxtehude or something meaty.
I’ve also been goofing around with a movement of Próle de Bébé (The Baby’s Family) by Villa-Lobos. This work is a set of movements each one of which is based on a doll. I have been looking at “Caboclina (A Boneca de Barro)” (The Clay Doll).
Here is a fine recording of this movement.
I have this video bookmarked for random video shares on Facebooger. So you see I haven’t given up on sharing music. Sarah “liked” my Monday video and that’s good enough for me.