36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 065: William Tell, meet Bonanza


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 65 — William Tell, meet Bonanza
06-October-1971 (Wed.)

AES Show Mixer


Had my horn audition. Was terrible. Very nervous—mainly because my lip was in bad shape. Well anyway, because I embarrassed my teacher, now I am really determined to overcome my deficiencies and, by the end of the year, I want to play for these guys and hear them say:

“Is that the same kid?”

Tomorrow starts the long job—it will be frustrating.

Saw [the] Vienna Symphony [Philharmonic]. Excellent and enjoyable concert. They did the “Lone Ranger” [theme], I mean the
William Tell Overture. In fact, Mike (my friend), told me that a girl who spent 1 year in the States, turned around during the often-played “fanfare” and said, “Oh! Bonanza.” Ha, I should mail that to Reader’s Digest.

Also did Tchaikovsky’s
Symphony No. 5—beautiful. One of my favorite symphonies.


Another 2007 photo (iPhone) of a digital recording mixer at the AES show in New York. There is a connection here (see below), if you remember that all TV and other broadcast media use such mixers and other audio equipment that is the heart of the show. Go Lone Ranger.

Poor horn audition. Ok, I must have purged this event from my memory. I was obviously beyond nervous and totally blew my audition. The fact that I say that I embarrassed my teacher must mean that it must have been bad. What surprises me, is that I immediately garner up some determination to keep going at it and improve. Wow, I even surprised myself. That’s it, John! What’s your slogan?—Never give up.

Life lessons? Here is what I can say about today. This kind of thing happens to everyone, a lot, and all the time. That’s life. So, I messed up an audition. Not to take away that it WAS important, it was still not the end of the world. Hey, I’m alive 36 years later, writing this thingy here. I went on to play horn for many years and I don’t remember too many people yelling out, “you, suck.” So, what are the life lessons here?

• Life is full of frustration. Look at this journal—at certain things like playing the horn, I’m a frustrated dude.
• Nothing is so bad that it ruins everything.
• We all have bad days, poor auditions, and such.
• Regroup—keep plugging away, keep working at it.
• Don’t give up.
• Be realistic — maybe I was learning that I was never going to be first horn in the Vienna Philharmonic.
• Life goes on.

On to better things.

Vienna Philharmonic plays soul. What is the saying? Music soothes the soul. Looks like I needed a lot of soothing after my audition. What better way to return to humankind? Music. How about the William Tell Overture by Italian composer, Gioachino Rossini, and Symphony No. 5 by Piotr IliychTchaikovsky? That did it. My soul is soothed. Symphony No. 5 has a beautiful horn solo opening in the 2nd movement, if I remember correctly. I should have played that solo in my audition.

Piotr Iliych Tchaikovsky. It doesn’t matter what you say. You’ve heard Tchaikovsky. A Russian composer of the Romantic period, Piotr’s style is often characterized by lush, lyrical, melodies, powerful symphonic passages, and that full Romantic Russian sound (whatever). His symphonies and orchestral works are a favorite of all orchestras. You’ve heard his music—1812 Overture. Think fireworks on July 4th in the nation’s capital. Or The Nutcracker, one of the most popular ballets performed during the Christmas holiday period. Think men in tights and women in tutus. Or the reverse.

William Tell, meet Bonanza. For those of you who are too young, you may not know the TV shows, Bonanza and The Lone Ranger. They both had distinct opening musical themes, recognizable by many viewers around the world. Too bad the lady-friend was wrong on this one. The William Tell Overture theme was used on the The Lone Ranger TV show, not Bonanza. Ha. It’s a bit funny. Here’s the first part of the Bonanza theme—dun, da-dah, dun, da-dah, dun, da-dah, dun, da-dah, dah______ dah_______.

Here are some web and Wikipedia links for you:

The Lone Ranger Theme (requires Quicktime)
The Bonanza Theme
Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5
William Tell Overture
Piotr Iliych Tchaikovsky
Gioachino Rossini

AES banner
2007 New York AES. In 2007, I hit the AES (Audio Engineering Society) show in Javits Center in New York City. It’s the annual show for folks interested in high-end recording gear, music software, and other music recording related topics. A great show for music recording gearheads and recording engineers. Is there a difference?

Other slides available in the Slide Show section of this site. Remember, these were taken with my iPhone and cropped in iPhoto.


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