Weekly Roundup 3/3/15

Reading: Keys To Natural Performance For Brass Players, Robert D Weast. An older book but a goodie.

Practicing: Red Dragonfly is still on my stand, as is the second Kopprasch book.

Rehearsing: Mozart Requiem with Exultate Choir and Orchestra. I’m playing bass trombone. See below!

Performing: 3 concerts of Mozart Requiem with Exultate, March 6, 7, 8. Various locations around the Cities! Come and enjoy.

Listening: M. Ward, End of Amnesia; Jenny Lewis, The Voyager; Heart, Dreamboat Annie; R&B songs (by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Thelma Houston, James Hunter, Etta James, etc) as research/arrangements for The Satellites, my soon-to-be-gigging soul/r&b group.

Teaching: Rhythmic recognition and dictation this week. Get ready. You’re going to clap and count.

Relaxing: Walked by the river last night with my friend Susan and her dog Maple. Signed up for 30 Days of Biking again (year 4 for me!). Dreaming about spring.

2015 Upcoming extracurricular opportunities

Students, teachers, friends:

There’s a life outside of school band! I strongly encourage all my students, regardless of ability or level, to find additional opportunities to perform and practice their craft. This might be playing duets with friends, or putting together a chamber group. There are also several groups around the Cities that put together talented young musicians to create art.

For students interested in orchestra performance, I recommend looking into either Minnesota Youth Symphonies or the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony.

MYS Auditions for low brass are Saturday, June 13th.

GTCYS Auditions for low brass are May 30th, 31st, and June 6th.

For the trombone student who wants to dive deeper into the intricacies of the instrument, I highly recommend the Shell Lake Arts Center Trombone Workshop. My friends and colleagues John Tranter and Phil Ostrander run this week long retreat in Shell Lake, WI. There is a possibility I may stop by as a guest artist!

In addition to the Trombone Workshop Shell Lake offers a whole summer of wind bands, orchestras, and jazz ensembles! I highly recommend you take a look at their offerings.

For those who want to ROCK OUT this summer, West Bank School of Music runs three weeks of youth rock camps. I will have more information about this soon, including exact dates.  You do not need to know how to play a rock band instrument; we will teach you! And we’ll have plenty of opportunities for brass players to shine.

If you’re interested in chamber music, I can put you together with other interested students! I currently have three students in a trombone trio, and I can connect with other teachers to create brass quintets, quartets, choirs, you name it!

Weekly Roundup 2/24/15

Reading: Taking a little study break for the week.

Practicing: Red Dragonfly, by Amy Riebs Mills, written for Megumi Kanda (of the Milwaukee Symphony). This was a house-warming gift from a friend and fellow musician. I’m excited to learn it and possibly perform it at next year’s Brass Chix!

Rehearsing: Thursday night I begin rehearsals for the Mozart Requiem with Exultate, a local choir and orchestra I have worked with before. Our performances are next weekend, March 6-8, so come see us if you can!

Minnehaha Repertory will be reading Franck:  Symphony in D Minor, Sibelius:  Lemminkäinen’s Return Op. 22 #4, and von Weber: Oberon Overture on Saturday.

Performing: Exultate Mozart Requiem March 6-8th, various locations around the Cities.

Listening: I have a big crush on Janelle Monae so pretty much her whole Metropolis cycle (so far). Also have you seen Jupiter Ascending? I mean, do yourself a favor. Seriously. The soundtrack, by Michael Giacchino, is real purdy, and over the top, and wonderful. He also wrote the music for Lost, the Incredibles, Star Trek, etc.

Teaching: Gearing up for a month of contest performances, so I’ve been encouraging my students to start incorporating performance runs in their practice sessions, and we’ve been doing the same in lessons.

Relaxing: I’m really dying to get outside and do some winter fun before spring, but negative degree days aren’t making that an option. Here’s hoping we’ll have some ‘reasonable’ winter so I can go for a hike in my new snow pants soon.

Weekly Roundup 2/17/15

Reading: Diving into The Musician’s Way, by Klickstein.

Practicing: I don’t think I’ve cracked the cover of my copy of the Kopprasch Vol 2 in…ten years. Starting with #1.

Rehearsing: M’haha rehearsed Franck Symphony in D Minor on Saturday, it was gorgeous.

Performing: Tonight’s Mardi Gras! I’ll be here.

Listening: Brand new Father John Misty!

Teaching:  Go. Slowly. Dang it. There are times when fast practice can be useful, but 95% of the time you should take things slowly so you can put all the pieces together. “Slow practice = fast progress; Fast practice = slow progress” -Per Brevig, Julliard School of Music

Relaxing: Getting friends together. Amazing how infrequently we do this in the winter, and how lonely it can get. Met up with a friend from college two weeks ago, and it was great to catch up. Had beers with a colleague last week, and enjoyed the opportunity to be a trombone nerd for a few hours. Brunch with another friend and colleague on Thursday. Hosted a gathering at my house on Friday night and it was a great collection of folks that brought positive energy in and left good vibes.

Weekly Roundup 2/3/15

Reading: Beyond Talent: Creating a Succesful Career in Music (Beeching). A review of this great text for young professional musicians. Lots of stuff I’ve forgotten about in the past few years, too.

Practicing: Running through some Arban scale exercises and finding I’ve gotten lazy with my scale practice lately.

Rehearsing: Tonight I have a rehearsal with the St Peter Street Stompers, a trad jazz band I performed with regularly a few years back. It’s nice to be invited to sit in on their upcoming Mardi Gras gig. I’ll have details on my gig site when I have them!
Minnehaha Repertory Orchestra is back at rehearsals this month as well and on Saturday we read through Scheherazade, one of my favorite orchestral works.

Performing: Nothing on the calendar until next week.

Listening: John Luther Adams, Become Ocean; Fleet Foxes; Tallest Man on Earth; Smetana, Ma Vlast

Teaching: Encouraging my students to develop their routine beyond just warm-ups, and to start thinking of it as an integral part of their practice session. Several of my students have taken this to heart and are already sounding stronger and more confident.

Relaxing: Began re-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer with my friend Meghan last night, because huge nerds. Reading comics, hoping for more snow so I can get out and play.

The Weekly Round-up

January 2015 has been strong so far, as things go. I’m motivated and happy, and looking forward to the experiences, results, and opportunities that being motivated and happy will bring. I set myself some reasonable but slightly challenging goals (like re-introducing myself to the world of studying various musical topics), and so far I have been maintaining them.

Tuesdays are Blog Days for me (I will certainly write on other days if the inspiration strikes, but I will at the very least post something on Tuesdays), and I’m not feeling particularly inspired by anything new, at least not enough so to write anything great about it. So on days like today, Tuesday Blog Day will be something of a weekly round-up. Here we go!

This Week At Husting Low Brass Studio:

Reading: The Music Teaching Artist’s Bible, by Eric Booth. I picked this up thinking it was about being a better private teacher, but it’s more about how performing musicians can engage their communities in order to reach audiences. It’s not exactly what I do, but it’s given me some great ideas and I’m considering looking more into the idea of becoming a Teaching Artist in the Cities.

Practicing: Tyrell Etude #20, which has some feisty arpeggiated sextuplets that sound awesome when executed correctly. It makes me feel like a fancy concert violinist.

Rehearsing: Metro Brass ran through some new music on Sunday night and rehearsed some pieces that have been in our book for a while. We have a new location for rehearsals that keeps us positioned in a tighter half circle, and in my opinion it was very beneficial to our ensemble unity and flexibility.

Performing: On Saturday my yet-unnamed R&B project recorded a demo at Terrarium Studios in NE Mpls. We put three songs to track: Keep Me In Mind by the Bamboos, Sledgehammer as performed by Maiysha, and Right As Rain by Adele. This is a group of consummate pros and it was a pleasure to play with everyone.

Listening: John Mark Nelson, the new OKGo record, an 80s pop playlist, The Bamboos (seriously hip funk/R&B outfit from Australia), and starting to feel my January urge to mainline a lot of Prokofiev Piano Concertos.

Teaching: Back to basics this week. I’ve had many of my students focus on ‘letting go’ of their air and sound and pushing the limits of what they can play. You don’t know your limit until you test it. There’s no room for playing it safe when you play a brass instrument.
On that note, I had some amazing lessons with students this week that got me really pumped up about how great y’all are. You, my students, inspire me daily.

Relaxing: I took on the January Challenge at my yoga studio, Yoga Sol. 15 classes in January. Tonight will be #8!
I’ve also developed a major obsession with the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe, and I am 100% not ashamed because it is the best thing to ever happen to me. #WaterTribe

WHOA

Even though Ohio State is a rival of my alma mater, Wisconsin, I have to hand it to their band. This is one of the most creatively executed halftime shows I have ever seen.