Community orchestra?

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Community orchestra?

Postby Jialin » 04 Mar 2012, 12:34

I'm an oboist interested in playing in a community orchestra wherever I end up teaching in Taiwan this summer. Is there such a thing? Thanks.
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Re: Community orchestra?

Postby ironlady » 04 Mar 2012, 21:59

There is at least one, in which my friends in Hsintian (Xindian) play (violin and cello, but presumably it's a full orchestra). I think their personnel is fairly steady, and it might be difficult to get a seat as an oboist.

Your best bet would probably be to show up at a university orchestra as a volunteer. I've played double reeds for a number of university orchestras in Taipei over the years (be forewarned, these ranged from pretty darn good to excruciatingly awful). The university orchestras are generally pretty glad to see you, and many of the "lower tier" ones (the ones without robust music programs backing them up) are grateful to have a double reed player available.

If you're going to be there for less than a year, lie genteely about how long you'll be there, or I think your chances for a better group are slim. You can always have a sudden "emergency" that requires you to leave Taiwan mid-year if you're in a six-month contract.

Generally speaking, though, I think you'll find that there isn't so much of an amateur music scene in Taiwan for classical -- not the way there's a community orchestra in many cities of the US. Especially for double reeds, either you go career or you don't, for the most part. Not to say there aren't exceptions.
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Re: Community orchestra?

Postby Zla'od » 05 Mar 2012, 16:32

What's it like for brass? (Of course there are always the funeral bands...)
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Re: Community orchestra?

Postby Jialin » 06 Mar 2012, 03:29

ironlady wrote:There is at least one, in which my friends in Hsintian (Xindian) (Xindian) play (violin and cello, but presumably it's a full orchestra). I think their personnel is fairly steady, and it might be difficult to get a seat as an oboist.

Your best bet would probably be to show up at a university orchestra as a volunteer. I've played double reeds for a number of university orchestras in Taipei over the years (be forewarned, these ranged from pretty darn good to excruciatingly awful). The university orchestras are generally pretty glad to see you, and many of the "lower tier" ones (the ones without robust music programs backing them up) are grateful to have a double reed player available.

If you're going to be there for less than a year, lie genteely about how long you'll be there, or I think your chances for a better group are slim. You can always have a sudden "emergency" that requires you to leave Taiwan mid-year if you're in a six-month contract.

Generally speaking, though, I think you'll find that there isn't so much of an amateur music scene in Taiwan for classical -- not the way there's a community orchestra in many cities of the US. Especially for double reeds, either you go career or you don't, for the most part. Not to say there aren't exceptions.


Thanks for the info! ...Hopefully I will be able to find something at a university. I'll be around for a year or more so I'm glad that will be a plus. Also - sometimes orchestras are in need of oboists so it may actually work in my favor.

Maybe there will be people interested in meeting up to play trio music or something? We'll see...

Thanks again for the info!
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Re: Community orchestra?

Postby saddletramp » 06 Mar 2012, 09:11

OP, be very careful about doing any musical performances here. You may find yourself being deported. There is a permit that you can get for music performances, I think it is through the CLA, anyway, best to check with NIA and FAP before hand.
People have been deported for music performances in the past.
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Re: Community orchestra?

Postby Jialin » 06 Mar 2012, 11:36

saddletramp wrote:OP, be very careful about doing any musical performances here. You may find yourself being deported. There is a permit that you can get for music performances, I think it is through the CLA, anyway, best to check with NIA and FAP before hand.
People have been deported for music performances in the past.
viewtopic.php?t=18479


Thank you for the heads up.
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Re: Community orchestra?

Postby Taiwan Luthiers » 06 Mar 2012, 21:59

Jialin wrote:
saddletramp wrote:OP, be very careful about doing any musical performances here. You may find yourself being deported. There is a permit that you can get for music performances, I think it is through the CLA, anyway, best to check with NIA and FAP before hand.
People have been deported for music performances in the past.
viewtopic.php?t=18479


Thank you for the heads up.


I'll be glad if they deport me... but they can't because I have a TW passport...
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Re: Community orchestra?

Postby Jialin » 06 Apr 2012, 04:36

Anyone know how easy it might be to find a private teacher? I assume it would be easy for popular instruments...but what about oboe?....additionally, I'm wondering if it is easy to learn a traditional Chinese instrument? This is something I'd really like to do. Learn zhongruan or the guzheng. thanks!
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Re: Community orchestra?

Postby ironlady » 06 Apr 2012, 07:34

I played er-hu in the Fujen orchestra. Not difficult to learn if you have a string/violin background. Now, I wasn't first chair, mind you... :)

There used to be an oboe repair guy in the big apartment building on the corner of Hoping and Fuxing S. Road, the side more toward Xinyi and Dunhua. He worked on my oboe and bassoon -- traded him for English lessons. (He was hopeless.) I don't recall if he had actual signage and all, but he used to be a good source for double reed stuff in Taipei. Otherwise, I'd just call up a school of music or ask students in a university orchestra. Be aware that double reed lessons in Taiwan are really expensive. Seems they figure no one does it just for the fun of it -- all their students are cutthroat serious and the parents are willing to pay huge bucks for the lessons.
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Re: Community orchestra?

Postby Jialin » 06 Apr 2012, 09:37

ironlady wrote:I played er-hu in the Fujen orchestra. Not difficult to learn if you have a string/violin background. Now, I wasn't first chair, mind you... :)

There used to be an oboe repair guy in the big apartment building on the corner of Hoping and Fuxing S. Road, the side more toward Xinyi and Dunhua. He worked on my oboe and bassoon -- traded him for English lessons. (He was hopeless.) I don't recall if he had actual signage and all, but he used to be a good source for double reed stuff in Taipei. Otherwise, I'd just call up a school of music or ask students in a university orchestra. Be aware that double reed lessons in Taiwan are really expensive. Seems they figure no one does it just for the fun of it -- all their students are cutthroat serious and the parents are willing to pay huge bucks for the lessons.


Interesting. Thanks for the info. I'm willing to pay..but how much are we talking? I used to paying 15-25 USD an hour in the US. Is it far more than that? It sounds like I'll be able to find a way to keep playing in Taiwan which makes me happy! :) Thanks again!
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