kyle mustain tackles 10 questions

if you’re anything like this rodent, you’ve still got that second-movement horn solo from dvorak #9 stuck in your furry little head.  (i know, right?)  well, we have uncle antonín’s pen and mr. mustain’s reed to thank for that insanely brilliant music last week.  i thought it was high time to learn more about this guy pullin’ double duty in our fantabulous woodwind section…

what has surprised you the most since joining the band last year?

My amazing group of colleagues and the amazing city of Portland.  I am constantly finding new things to love about this city.

i know, living here is like a 24/7 staycation, eh?  alright, put the voodoo donut down and explain why the oboe is so awesome?

The oboe is awesome but the English horn is even more awesome!

oh yes, i was gonna get to that – tell us more!

The English horn is basically a larger version of the oboe- it is a fifth lower than the oboe and has a unique bulbous bell (the bottom joint of the instrument). It has a deeper and more melancholy sound that many composers utilize for its lyrical qualities.

sweet!  hey – what’s so great about experiencing classical music live?

The fact that unlike a recording, which has been cut, spliced, etc., when you experience music live, each night and each performance is different.  That is what makes it interesting.

so, i noticed you’ve played with symphonies in richmond, sante fe, houston, and brazil ~ how are you feeling entering into another portland winter?

As I am entering my second winter in Portland, I can say it has become easier this year.  I do miss the amazing sunshine of Brazil but appreciate Portland weather – it is a great place to eat soup and better for sleeping ☺

agreed: it is a great soup-eating town!  yo, if you weren’t a musician what would you be?

I would probably have done something with comedy.  I am good at mimicking people and impersonations.

well, feel free to type the rest of your answers with some outrageous accents.  if i could buy you a drink, what would you order?

I am not so difficult in that department.  Anything but tequila shots – I had enough of that in Texas!

i could almost read the twang ~ man, you are good!  any favorite concerts this season?

For selfish reasons I enjoyed playing Dvořák’s New World Symphony.  Why you ask?  Because it has a beautiful English horn solo!

dear god… a solo that you apparently practiced your whole life for.  ‘twas buttah!  has playing horn physically changed your body in some way?

The oboe and English are challenging in many ways – reeds, *embouchure, endurance, etc.  I have always strived to minimize the physical difficulties and play in a way that is natural for me.

embouchure, eh?  ooh la la, what a great word.  alright, final query: what sets the oregon symphony apart from other orchestras?

My great colleagues!  I’m amazed at their talent and kindness.  In addition, we have a music director who is inspiring and challenging, which I think is important for any artistic group.  Also, we have a great administration. Everyone should know that during these trying times and with so many orchestras in trouble, we are operating in the black and without any debt! This is nearly unheard of in our profession and should be applauded. The community should be proud of this – it is because of your generous ongoing support that this orchestra can continue to grow and thrive.  The members of the orchestra appreciate all your support… It truly makes a difference!  Please continue to come hear us play live, and don’t be shy – come up and meet the musicians of the orchestra.  We love the interaction.

well, you don’t have to tell me twice.  and amen to everything you said.  thanks kyle ~ for the great responses and the gorgeous music!  k.i.t… cb


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