I’m never sure how far these posts travel or who sees them, so I want to avoid any misunderstanding by clarifying a couple of things in advance. In the following, I poke fun mostly at symphony musicians and eventually the French, a little bit. This is all in the spirit of parody as in my last two posts, which took the piss out of my own, namely jazz bands. I have the utmost respect for symphonic musicians, in fact my grandfather Tom Burry played tympani with the T.S.O. for about 40 years. Besides, having been around orchestral players many times, I know their sense of humour about themselves and their profession may be even more pointed and satirical than mine. As for the French….well, who can resist taking them down a notch or two once in a while?
A friend of mine (who shall remain nameless to ensure his continued safety, not to mention survival) suggested that at the rate I was going with the funny-name bands, I would soon have an entire Symphony Orchestra on my hands. “What a horribly delicious idea,” I thought, while also noting that some things are best left buried. Deeply. In the end though, I couldn’t resist the challenge, thinking, “How hard could it be to come up with 95 cringe-worthy, groan-inducing musical pun-names?” Well, three days later, with the completely unexpected help of my long-suffering wife Anna (who I thought would put the kibosh on the whole thing), I actually had too many names, had to cut back. Without further ado then, here is the Bellevue Symphony Orchestra, or B.S.O. for short :
Conductor – Chaim Payne-Diaz
Assistant Conductor – Otto Gethernow
Concertmaster – Igor Testicle
Assistant Concertmaster – Menachem Dedd
First Violins – Yehudi Mann Oliver Tuoso Itzhak Alamity Iona Strad
David Awestruck Marcos D’Pitts Vy Bratto Diva Preening Beau Jocki
Isaac Sturmendrang Otis Crickneck DuBose Wayward  Barbie Hind
Warren Horsair Shlomo Gliss
Second Violins – Principal – Cadence Hogg Asst. Principal – Marc Atto
Armando Remi Ida Bowmeister Abraham Strung Morris Kreetch
Guarneri Waster Ivana Downbeat Moishe Rozzin Gonzalo Verdaplace
Joshua Shucksmum Chauncey Fraser Neilson Blackboard Otis Crepe
A. Tadd Sharpe Imelda Arcos Hy Dindeweeds
Violas – Principal – Aldo Klef Asst. Principal – Minorca Denza
Melody Voider Seymour Rests Dinah Boredom Hollis Knotwell
Judy Obscure Armin Tempo-Stahler Hurd Little Rigor Setzin Lois Teem
Cellos – Principal – Havroomi Thighs Asst. Principal – Hugo Friller 
Fidel Straddler Richard Rone Ignatieff Holz Abel Doublestopper
Ebenezer Klencht Mitoslav Lostolapitch Monique Ramps Thor Wrist
Basses – Principal – Garth Underwood Asst. Principal – Chloe String
Debussy N. Hawkesworthy  Saul Below Lon Genecker 
Guido Basso-Profundis Maria Callous Jethro Baxacet
Flutes – Principal – Offaly Tutankhamen
Trilby Quick Misha Riller Piccolo – Pierce D’Ozone
Clarinets – Principal – Li Quor Ischtick
Albert Orboehm  Marshall Umeau  Bass Clarinet – Bigelow Gurgle
Oboes – Principal – Too Ning Ay
Lotta Bray Sasha Densewood English Horn – Cora N. Glaze 
Bassoons – Principal – Heckel Sorjaw 
Abe Ishmel Racket Contra-Bassoon – Richter Scale
French Horns – Principal – Belle Fister
Maximillian Blatz Howell Diablo Spitz Oudabach Kahlo DeWilde
Trumpets – Principal – Bix Bydebook
Crosby Flatt Lou Sembrochure Hees de Kaaker
Trombones – Principal – Isaac Butt 
Maury Lastik Bass Trombone – Denton Bell
Tuba – Cannon Salvo
Harp – Angelica Plink (Angelica has a busy solo career, so her two subs are Shania Twang and Sara Fimm.)
Keyboard – Clare de Rhoom, Glenn Ghoul
Percussion – Principal Tympani – Bill Dingahouse 
Mal Lettz Rollo ver Beethoven Consuela Vanoys Miles O’Dynn
Music Librarians – Manny Uskript Enos DeSkor
Personnel Manager – Majorca Straw
Catering – Carmina Buryani Sigouda So Edam
Wardrobe – Ty Zentails Flo Wingown
Box Office Administration – Price E. Seets Willa Comp
Patron Co-ordinator – Hoyt Etoity
Accounting – Toilette Douche
Legal Services – Gonder Hellenbach
Footnotes Some of these are a bit far-fetched and inside, even for me. So by way of explanation :
First of all and generally, the violas. Personally, I think the viola is the most beautiful sounding of all the string instruments, but it’s also the most overlooked. Some of the names here reflect the emotional fallout from this neglect and the frustration of seldom getting interesting parts to play.
 DuBose Wayward is distantly related to DuBose Heyward, who was famous for writing the libretto for Porgy and Bess.
 Hugo Friller is a play on the famous cello-maker Matteo Gofriller.
 Debussy N. Hawkesworthy is from the English instrument company Boosey & Hawkes, which made a lot of basses among other things.
 Lon Genecker is derived from the actual name of one of the bassists in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, David Longenecker. My deepest apologies to him, but what are the odds a real bassist would have that name? He’s a great player and the proud owner of the famous bass played by Ray Brown on hundreds of records c. 1950-65.
 There are two systems of clarinet playing – the fleeter, lighter Boehm favoured by most classical players – and the slower, fuller-toned Albert, favoured by most New Orleans jazz clarinettists. Hence, Albert Orboehm.
 Marshall Umeau is a pun on the clarinet’s lower register, dubbed the “chalumeau” by the French, who think they invented the clarinet, along with most other things in the world. Marshall Umeau = more chalumeau.
 Speaking of them, Cora N. Glaze is a horrible pun on the frequently used French name for the English Horn – Cor Anglais. Eddie Condon once said he didn’t see why American musicians needed French critics like Hughes Panassie and Andre Hodeir to tell them how to play jazz – he would never dream of telling them how to stomp on a grape. Well, to paraphrase Eddie, if it’s an English Horn, then why the hell do we need a French name for it? And for that matter, why isn’t the French Horn just called le Cor Francais?
 Heckel is the name of the world’s most famous (if that’s possible) bassoon-maker. The Sorjaw bit is self-explanatory.
 Isaac Butt = I, Sackbutt. Back in the good old days when everyone was “going Baroque”, the trombone was known as the sackbutt. Come to think of it, I’m not sure how (or why) this changed, considering how the thing sounds.
 Credit for the wonderfully percussive name Bill Dingahouse must go to Big Sam Davis, passed on in a comment to this site made by Mitch Clarke – thanks Mitch. Big Sam Davis was a much-revered bassist in the T.S.O. for many years.
Postscript Naturally, the standards of such an illustrious orchestra are high and many hopefuls were weeded out in rigorous auditions, including :
Hans Solo (Concertmaster), violinists Hardy Scraper, Boyd Erhoff, Orville Dragg, Cher Zastand, Mahogany Chinrest, Guy Tardando, J.S. Orbach, Caesar Backside and Bo Marking. Fritz Tragic, Adam Shame, Ira Pence, Viola Fuss and Morrie Peets were among the viola also-rans.
Cellists who didn’t make the cut were Akem Timbrezoff, Anita Tooner, Howie Bose, Roz Indust and Bee Tweenlegs. Ditto such bassists as : Wade Eiper, Playas D’Rootz, Claude Hopper and Gonter Ground.
Among the woodwinds turned away were flautists Haynes Tooter, Sheila Noyou and Jeff Rotull. Clarinettists Dexter Usley, Reed Flyschitt and Ebony Mangler. Oboists, such as Felix Pittle, Gil Wind and Reed Carver. Rejected bassoonists included Titus Pucker, Vanessa di Fagotte and Gray Tingberps.
Rebuffed French Horns included Cris Pertone, Hiram Bunxious and Windsor Bust. Trumpeters who didn’t make the grade were Regis Midstaff, Harmon Sluice and Dermid Range, while trombone rejects included Arno Valves, Sly D’Offen and bass trombonist Mi Too Lo.
There were an incredible number of aspiring tuba players who didn’t make it, including Mack Truck, Maximus Blasto, Desi Bells, Deblow Fathoms, Dante Zinferno, Dover Blowz and Weydon Yonder.
The percussion field was also wide open, with Hagood Beater, Leif Snarezon, Ezra Pounds, Helmut Allic, Shirley Temple-Blox, Rush Maddeley, Gunga Din-Makur, Ephraim Cymbalist Jr. and Buddy Zteff not cutting it.
Two over-the-hill conductors were let go to make room for new blood – A. Bjorn Hamm and Rouge Baton Depodium. Good riddance.
Best, Bernard Goetz-Winded
© 2013, Steve Wallace. All rights reserved.