men in white coats

I have gotten a nickname around here thanks to a wardrobe snafu for Thursday night’s performance at the Oregon Bach Festival. I’ll start at the beginning. It is summer festival season, and most, if not all, summer festivals call for white dinner jackets and black tie for the mens’ wardrobe. I had just gotten done with the Astoria festival, which called for this dress code, and as I was packing late at night for an early morning departure for the first rehearsal in Eugene, I dutifully put the same concert dress in my garment bag. A couple days later, totally and blissfully unaware, I got dressed and headed to the Hult Center for the concert. As soon as I walked in the stage door, I knew there was trouble. Black jackets everywhere – and not just black, but tailcoats with white ties. This was not good. As I walked nervously to the area where I was to put my instrument case, principal violist Tom Turner walked by and with his usual grasp of the obvious he simply said “Uh, oh.” And we’ve all been there at one point. But I was able to find a black tux jacket to wear and forwent any sort of tie to blend in a bit more.

Cut to today.

As we were walking to dinner at the dining hall, a violinist stopped me and asked me if I had posted something online about some viola-related t-shirt. I replied that I had not, but could have (if I indeed had). She said, well, Tom [Turner] said to ask “white jacket guy” about the t-shirt info. And a moniker was born. Well, it’s better than a lot of others!