Weekly Round-up 2/15/16

Happy birthday, George Washington!

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Performances: As always I keep a calendar updated on this site.

Nothing happening for the rest of February- phew- but first weekend of March I’ll be performing with Exultate Choir and Orchestra on their series “Emmanuel”- a performance of the best of the best oratorios we know and love. Check out their website or my calendar for dates and locations.

Rehearsals: nothing on the books for a bit.

Practicing: Sight-reading and some basics, not over-extending myself too much for a week or two.

Listening: I pulled out my favorite Billy Joel album yesterday, Stormfront, in case you were wondering how cool I am.

Teaching: Hamline update: Spring semester has started and I have two students there this semester, which is double last! I’m also excited to get to work with the wind ensemble as a player-coach and meet some more of the school’s fantastic students.

Studying: Still waiting on a copy of Flow to come from the library. So not much.

Relaxing: I had a really low key weekend of comic books, video games, and chats with friends. I have a guest this weekend and I’m excited to do a little MSP sight-seeing!

 

Weekly Round-up 2/8/16

Performances: As always I keep a calendar updated on this site.

Monday, 2/8 12pm- Hamline University Lunch Recital. More info to come! These are short, informal half-hour recitals and I am happy to be the featured artist for February. I’ll be playing the David Concertino, selections from Bach Cello Suite No 2, and the first movement of Red Dragonfly by Amy Mills. TODAY! Tune in here to watch: http://portal.stretchinternet.com/hamlineadmin/

Rehearsals: Mill City Five meets this week!

Practicing: Auditions are done, after this afternoon my feature recital at Hamline will be done, and I’m looking at a long stretch in February with nothing very concrete to prepare. I think it may be time to dive back into some etudes, like the Slama or the Arban, perhaps.

Listening: Hit up some tunes reminiscent of things I loved in college yesterday, Ani Difranco’s Evolve being at the top of the list.

And, I watched Minnesota Youth Symphonies give a tremendous concert yesterday afternoon in Orchestra Hall. My student Bjorn performed 1st trombone on Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphoses with the top orchestra. It was phenomenal. That piece brings back some amazing memories from high school and makes me a little weepy.

Teaching: Not sure what will come up this week! Focused practice has been my main tool for taking students’ attention off technique and intonation- and solving those problems in the process.

Studying: Time to start researching grants for my studio scholarship expansion plans. And it’s MMEA weekend, which means I’ll get to learn how to be a contest judge!

Relaxing: I’m not sure what that is.

 

Weekly Round-up 2/1/16

Performances: As always I keep a calendar updated on this site.

Monday, 2/8 12pm- Hamline University Lunch Recital. More info to come! These are short, informal half-hour recitals and I am happy to be the featured artist for February. I’ll be playing the David Concertino, selections from Bach Cello Suite No 2, and the first movement of Red Dragonfly by Amy Mills.

Rehearsals: Metro met last night for a solid rehearsal. I’m really excited to be playing a piece called Tientos y Danzas, by Gareth Wood. Here’s the first movement as performed by Superbness:

Practicing: It’s audition week! I’m focusing on small details, ‘nailing the changes’ as it were, and trying to iron out a few inconsistencies. On Wednesday I’ll do my last real day of prep- and Thursday and Friday I’ll run my pieces a few times throughout the day but in general taper my practice to make sure I feel fresh for Saturday.

Listening: Not much. Trying to keep my head clear.

Teaching: Air articulations and bopping- steadying the tone and hearing the heart of the note.

Studying: Scores for the David and Red Dragonfly.

Relaxing: Comic books!

 

Weekly Round-up 1/25/16

Performances: Lots upcoming in January. As always I keep a calendar updated on this site.

Monday, 2/8 12pm- Hamline University Lunch Recital. More info to come! These are short, informal half-hour recitals and I am happy to be the featured artist for February. I’ll be playing the David Concertino, selections from Bach Cello Suite No 2, and the first movement of Red Dragonfly by Amy Mills.

Rehearsals: Mill City Five is getting back together on Wed night to kick off a new year, our fourth year together! We hope to fill it with gigs and music. Stay tuned .

Metro meets Sunday night. Looks like I’ll be playing a solo feature on “Stardust”. Put March 17th in your brain; we may have a concert date to announce soon.

Practicing: Less than two weeks to perfect my UMN audition materials- but I’m feeling strong! I had a really inspiring lesson with Professor Ashworth last Friday and am feeling the motivation to go into the audition swinging.

Listening: Charlie Parr’s album Stumpjumper has been making me dance lately.

Teaching: My seminar at Brass Chix was all about getting to the heart of your sound- feeling the air move, imagining the shape of your tone. We made some really nice music yesterday.

Studying: Doing what pleases me.

Relaxing: Crosswords and tea.

 

Goal Accomplished!

We did it! We funded my Husting Studio Scholarship Fund in less than 2 weeks! I am so honored, humbled, thrilled, overwhelmed, and frankly, amazed by all the generosity and support my community has shown in helping me provide music lessons to underprivileged youth. Because we funded it within my goal time of 11 days, I’ll offer two students the opportunity to take lessons!

The campaign will remain live until the end of the month. Any additional donations will go toward additional materials for the students, or possibly toward organizing a studio recital.

My next step is to find candidates for the scholarship and then go through the hard process of choosing the best one! I’ll be emailing band directors at schools with a large population of children receiving the free or reduced lunch program and asking them to nominate students they feel would benefit from the experience. From there, the student will fill out my Scholarship Application and tell me a little bit about why they want lessons.

If you are a band director and you think you have a student who’d be a good fit for my studio, please contact me at lahusting AT gmail DOT com, or fill out the contact form.

Thanks again to all who participated. You have no idea how grateful I am that this was so well-received. I look forward to meeting my new student and getting started!

Support my Studio Scholarship Campaign!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls:

May I present to you my first ever fundraiser to sponsor a student scholarship to my studio!

I’m so excited to have raised a third of my goal in the first 24 hours, and can’t wait to see what happens next. In the future I hope to expand this program with grants and other campaigns, but this year I’m starting small. If I can get $1,500, I can provide a low-income student with a year of subsidized lessons!

Visit the page for more details. Thanks in advance for your help!

What’s coming next

Hello dear readers, students, and parent/guardians!

I’ve been fairly inactive here as I went through  a busy spell of gigs and engagements and friends in town, but I do plan on keeping this space more active in the future.

In the immediate future I am looking forward to transferring all my website content from laurehusting.com to this WordPress format, and spicing up the look and flow of the studio page. A friend was kind enough to take some new headshots for me, so look forward to those!

Keep practicing!

On Working

This weekend was busy busy busy. 

But oh so good. 

On Saturday, I had the immense privilege to perform in the backing orchestra for international superstar baritone Josh Groban. He is a class act- not only a talented singer but a professional one. He introduced himself to his local musicians and kept everything on a tight schedule without fuss. His touring band- seven mind-bogglingly talented individuals- was also exceedingly nice and made us feel like part of the ensemble. I also had the pleasure to share the stage again with my good friend Melissa Morey, and if you’re looking for a horn teacher, look no further! Taking the stage for an audience of 8,000 people is an experience beyond exciting. 

On Sunday, Winona State University professor Donald Lovejoy’s labor of love, Festival Brass, did a reprise concert to last week’s, this time at WSU itself. We played some fantastic music for large brass ensemble, including a spine-tingling rendition of Alfred Reed’s Symphony for Brass and Percussion. Performers included members of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra, faculty at local colleges from the U to UW River Falls, and then there was little old me. 

I mention it thusly because on top of luxuriating in the musical experiences I participated in this weekend, I got nothing short of an education in the world of professional playing- both on a large, international scale, and on a local one. It’s not often I get to play with such top talent, and it’s definitely a goal of mine to make it a more regular thing. 

People are often curious about how the process of booking and getting jobs in the music industry works. Auditions are indeed a part of the puzzle, especially for players hoping to land an orchestra gig. But for freelancers like myself, getting gigs is all about visibility and word-of-mouth. Groban’s gig came to me because Melissa gave my name to the booking agent; Dr Lovejoy found my website when searching for local players for a concert last year. Most gigs come into my hand because of other gigs- a perpetuating cycle- I played here and so-and-so liked me and thought of me when the next concert for X group came up. I play in Metro Brass because of my time with Sheldon Theatre Brass Band- and I can’t even remember how I got that gig anymore. 

This is often a tenuous lifestyle, I won’t lie about that. And there are downsides to the ‘word-of-mouth’ method of booking gigs. Music and especially the brass world can be a bit of an old boys club, and not just in a sexist way. Friends book friends book friends and no one else gets a chance. Luckily, you have two very important tools at hand to combat this. 

1. Be a reliable player.

Notice I did say phenomenal, or outstanding, or anything- but reliable. It’s so boring, I know. And you should always strive to be the best performer you can be. But if you’re reliable- not only can you hit the notes and rhythms and play in tune, but you can also be counted on to show up on time, dress appropriately, and act professionally- people will book you again. 

2. Be a good person.

Bring the drama? Act aggressively to criticism? Can’t be nice to your fellow performers? Don’t expect to work much. Like anyone else, musicians like work to people who are pleasant and easy to get along with. Most of us are pretty nice people- I’m speaking for my studio, of course- so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem for anyone. Just remember that acting maturely, calmly, and friendly at a gig is a sure fire way to impress the powers that be. 

Got it? Now go practice. You still have to know how to play all your scales.