Orchestra Life
:: Music Librarian

Russ Girsberger  

College & Conservatory Performance Librarians

Russ Girsberger
November 25, 2019

Most of my career as a performance librarian has been spent working in colleges and conservatories. Over the years I have seen more schools create these jobs as they come to realize the importance of having a librarian specialist...

GO TO ARTICLE

Melissa Rogers  

A Glance into the World of a Music Festival Orchestra Librarian

Melissa Rogers
November 9, 2019

With all this music and bustle of activity [at a summer music festival like Aspen], you may ask how it's ever possible for an orchestra librarian to get it all done. Well, I ask myself the same question almost every day...

GO TO ARTICLE

Ronald KrentzmanKaren Schnackenberg  

The Role of the Orchestra Librarian as Music Copyist

Ronald Krentzman & Karen Schnackenberg
August 18, 2019

As orchestra librarians, we are expected to deal with printed music in a variety of ways. We correct errors, fix bad page turns, mark in bowings and perform many other tasks. But what if the printed music doesn't exist?

GO TO ARTICLE

Marcia FarabeeKaren Schnackenberg  

MOLA (Major Orchestra Librarians' Association) Conference Agenda, 2009

Marcia Farabee & Karen Schnackenberg
July 21, 2019

The "theme" for this conference was special programming. Nearly every performing organization does some type of "special" concert, whether it be an opera gala, an opening night ball, or Pops concerts with dramatic elements..

GO TO ARTICLE

Laura RossPaul Gunther  

MOLA (Major Orchestra Librarians' Association) Conference in Nashville, 2008

Laura Ross & Paul Gunther
December 1, 2019

Founded only a quarter-century ago, MOLA quickly has become a truly international organization, with 248 member organizations representing 420 librarians on six continents. Nearly one hundred member librarians traveled to Nashville from as far away as Spain, Sweden, New Zealand, and Germany.

GO TO ARTICLE

Karen Schnackenberg  

Training to Become an Orchestra Librarian

Karen Schnackenberg
January 8, 2019

If someone wants to become an orchestra librarian, s/he need to take as many advanced music courses as possible, and s/he needs to get a great deal of orchestral experience - playing, marking parts, doing the library tasks. Working knowledge of German, Italian and French is important, as are strong computer skills. Of course, it won't do a person any good to take all of those classes aiming for an orchestra librarian position if s/he is not very organized, extremely detail-oriented, and has good people skills.

GO TO ARTICLE

Marcia Farabee  

Copyright Issues

Marcia Farabee
July 16, 2019

One of the most common violations is people using photocopied sets they've made without the permission of the publisher. Maybe they wanted a set for future reference and they "forgot" to tell the publisher about using it, but when the publisher finds out, they can send a nasty letter plus an invoice for what the rental would have been, or they could impose a fine.

GO TO ARTICLE

Karen Schnackenberg  

Agenda for the 2007 MOLA Conference

Karen Schnackenberg
April 11, 2019

The 2007 Major Orchestra Librarians' Association (MOLA) conference runs from Friday, April 13th to Monday, April 16th in Chicago. Take a look at the agenda.

GO TO ARTICLE

Kim Hartquist  

Dark Chocolate Works! Building a Good Relationship With Your Orchestra Librarian

Kim Hartquist
January 10, 2019

In Karen Schnackenberg's article, Who Is That Orchestra Librarian, we read about the diverse backgrounds and variety of skills that go into making an orchestral librarian. As Karen points out, librarians may have training in performance, history, musicology, orchestration, or any combination of the above. I would add music education, music copying, and even retail music sales to those backgrounds.[l=http://www.polyphonic.org/admin/articles.php?id=28][/l]

GO TO ARTICLE

Karen Schnackenberg  

The Parts We Play

Karen Schnackenberg
November 13, 2019

There has been a great deal of interest in, and speculation about, the future presentation of orchestral scores and parts. Will players still read from paper, a PDF-like file on a screen, or some other medium as yet unimagined? Publishers and librarians have long engaged in lively discussion about how we will get there - to this "future" - whatever it may be. Technological advances have revolutionized how music is written, published and distributed. This new technology, while offering new opportunities and possibilities for creativity, can cause composers, publishers, orchestra librarians, conductors and players real headaches.
To envision where we may need to go with "printed" music, it's important to understand where we are today.

GO TO ARTICLE

Clinton NiewegJennifer Johnson  

Errata and the Orchestra Librarian

Clinton Nieweg & Jennifer Johnson
July 24, 2019

We've all experienced rehearsals that stop while a player and the conductor consult about which note is correct: the one in the part or the one in the score. For a professional orchestra, time is money, and that one wrong note can cost valuable rehearsal minutes.

GO TO ARTICLE

Marcia Farabee  

Your Librarian and Your Orchestra:
Just How Do the Players Get the Music?

Marcia Farabee
June 5, 2019

It is easy enough for a librarian to say that the main job is to have the right music on the right desk at the right time. Many factors can impact a performance, but the librarian's role is to make sure that the printed music enables the performer to do his/her best job.

GO TO ARTICLE

Karen Schnackenberg  

Orchestra Librarian Column Introduction

Karen Schnackenberg
May 2, 2019

In this area of the website we will focus on issues relating to the orchestra library and librarians.

GO TO ARTICLE

Karen Schnackenberg  

Who Is That Orchestra Librarian?

Karen Schnackenberg
May 2, 2019

When I was a player in the Oklahoma Symphony during the 1980s, my colleagues and I were often asked the question "What do you do for a living?" This was a particularly astonishing question, because it usually came from our own Board members, who were very well meaning but misunderstood the life of the professional musician. We would carefully explain that, although the orchestra didn't perform in the summer (much like teachers not teaching), during the fall, winter and spring, this was our full-time job. This was our living.

GO TO ARTICLE