The Update that Should Come As No Surprise

I’ve been away for awhile. Much has changed. In my last post, I made a pivotal decision to make a significant course change in my career search. From Corporate America management to music. The shift has occurred. There has been some continuity and some not so continuous change. Music is a broad field so the honing continues.

I landed, and am no longer unemployed. I have now joined the Violin Faculty of the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music. I never dreamed I would teach at a conservatory. But I have successfully taught 300 7th graders Renaissance Dance before so I have demonstrated my effectiveness with this group. The timing is odd with 2 weeks left in the year until the holidays, but it is the “foot in the door.”

This now combines with my work as the Strings Coach for the Community Women’s Orchestra’s junior orchestra, “Strings Attached.” They performed extremely well at their debut on the 14th of November playing Pachelbel Canon with children playing songflutes. They also performed very well with modified parts in the Orchestral Suite to “Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire.”

Personally, playing 1st Violin for this concert signaled a new era for me as a violinist. It was my first time playing 1st Violin in an orchestra since high school. I was nervous, but salvation arrived in a nick of time! My two bows were repaired and I was able to retrieve them Monday before the concert. And my favorite Dominant brand strings arrived concert day. Having my comforts back helped so much. And the greatest surprise of all was the “of course I will come” that I received from some of the most unexpected (but should have expected) people. Having a core of some of the most loving people in my life was humbling. They were the sort of people who seem to know me better than I know myself. I believe I heard one say she purchased tickets to the rest of the concert series. Wow! I enjoyed the theater (we dressed up for Harry Potter) and the respect greatly. I think it also answered a need that I had forgotten, the need to be witnessed.

I also closed a chapter that has brought me more joy than I ever imagined it would. I am no longer the Volunteer Facilitator for the Networking Leads Group. When I stepped up, I figured I would be walking uphill all the way. But Right Management supported me in so many ways and the group thanked me and embraced me, followed me and loved me in a humbling way. Amazing things happened. So many members have successfully landed. We had some really useful dialogues and productive meetings, great attendance and lots of consistent progress. Achievements that I am proud of. And friendships that will sustain me for a long time to come.

Previous to the course change, I had volunteered to assist at TWTRCON. It was an AMAZING networking opportunity. I now have people in New York City with whom I feel an intense sense of connection. Wow! Loved being alive. Alive in the sense of being connected to something that is rapidly pulsing, changing, evolving as we speak into something that we have not the faintest clue of what it will become. Like a hot iron that can and must be fashioned into something before it cools. And being connected to people who are constantly recreating themselves redefining every minute what they do every time they post 140 characters. Every time. We are all, of course, all following each other on Twitter. I am among my own kind of fearless chameleons. And that too brings me comfort. (

This evening’s aha, connecting with old friends reminds me of my orchestra, theater and band origins. No one should be surprised at the outcome, least of all me as I go through this journey of self discovery.

I can play anything so long as I have my favorite bow and my favorite brand of violin strings.

Upcoming Events

Dickens Fair: 11-7 Daily Weekends thru 12/19, Cow Palace  12 noon Toy Parade as the Fiddling Tannenbaum (strolling @ 4:30), 2:30PM (except 12/5) Melodrama music for the Crummels Family Theatrical Company at the Odyssey Stage

Members Holiday Party, Commonwealth Club of CA San Francisco, 12/3

San Francisco City Chorus Messiah Sing Along Fundraiser, Sun 12/5,

San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Freedom Band Dance Along Nutcracker At Sea (Volunteer) 12/11 7PM Cruise

Community Women’s Orchestra Chamber Music Fund Raiser, Sunday Jan. 23, 2:30 – 5:30 pm, Bellevue Club, Oakland

Community Women’s Orchestra International Women’s Day Concert #1, Sunday, March 6, 3:00 P.M. – Merritt College

Community Women’s Orchestra International Women’s Day Concert #2, Tuesday, March 8, 7:30 P.M., Bellevue Club, Oakland

Saturday, March 19 Community Women’s Orchestra, Palace of Fine Arts, SF

Tuesday, April 19 Oakland School for the Arts Benefit

Community Women’s Orchestra Concert Sunday, May 15, 3:00 P.M. Morgan Auditorium, San Francisco

I’ll keep the blog updated. There are a number of things cooking that I will post once confirmed.


About Shelly Crouse-Monarez

Violin Performer and Mentor
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2 Responses to The Update that Should Come As No Surprise

  1. Renata Razza says:

    Congratulations, Shelly! Woo-hoo!

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