Rock the classical vote

This is so freaking cool!

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is seeking a soloist via a YouTube contest!

Starting Thursday, people who play any one of 10 instruments — piano, violin, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet or harp — can upload clips up to 10 minutes long on YouTube through March 22. The musicians must play certain concertos without accompaniment, and orchestra musicians and other officials will judge the clips and post 20 semifinalist videos on April 13. The public will vote on the finalists until April 30, with the top four winning paid trips to Pittsburgh to audition for Honeck in June.

If only I stuck with my piano lessons. Or my violin lessons.

But my piano teacher was six thousand-years-old two thousand years ago and she would know my sisters and I weren’t practicing at home and then when we missed a note, she would take our finger and she would jam that disobedient digit into the correct piano key with just a smidgen too much old lady gusto. “B FLAT. B FLAT. B FLAT.”

I’m pretty sure there are cats that play the piano better than I did.

Oh, look, there are!

YouTube Preview Image

And violin. Well, I sucked at it. I remember playing a song for my grandfather (Love him. Miss him dearly.) and he sat there quietly, pipe in his mouth (Loved those. Miss the smell of them dearly.), as I played “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and then when I was done, he took that pipe out of his mouth and said, “Do you think you need some of that rosin there or something?”

Now that I’ve typed that, I may have taken one of my sister’s memories and made it my own. Oh well, finders keepers, sister-bitches.

Anyway, seven years of piano lessons and I can still play Mary Had a Little Lamb and about seven bars of The Entertainer. Here’s hoping “Mary Had a Little Lamb for the Right Hand” is one of the audition concertos.

As for the violin, five years of lessons and I can still play diddly squat. That’s not a Reba McEntire song. That’s diddly squat.

Like zero, only zeroier.


  1. Cassie
    February 13, 2012 11:42 am

    Now tell me, because I’m curious, how difficult was it playing the piano for you with a hearing disability? The fact that you gave it a go and stuck with it for so long makes you kind of awesome.

    Like Beethoven, but with cooler hair.

    • Butcher's Dog
      February 13, 2012 12:28 pm

      Actually, I was wondering about the hair and the violin. Didn’t it get in the way? Did you ponytail it? Any pictures? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • Noelle
      February 13, 2012 4:53 pm

      Actually, it’s hard to have cooler hair than our man ‘toven. (me: rocking out on the air clavichord)

  2. facie
    February 13, 2012 12:38 pm

    Last week I subbed for a music class and kept silently cursing myself that I did not practice the piano more (and hide from my piano teacher less) when I was in grade school/high school. And now you give me another reason to say that Mom was right, and I should have practiced more.

    I would love to be able to play a song on the violin. For some reason I think if I pick one up, I should be able to. I guess not.

    Cool idea, though.

  3. Noelle
    February 13, 2012 4:51 pm

    That cat is the bomb.