Weekly Round-up 3/14/16

Happy Pi Day!

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Performances: Easter Services at Bethlehem Lutheran in S Mpls on March 27th are the next thing up for now! I’ve got upcoming masterclasses, performances with Mill City Five and The Satellites, and a big concert planned with Metro Brass upcoming in April and May.

Rehearsals: Mill City Five is jamming on Wednesday night. Metro meets Sunday.

Practicing: All the tunes (and new potentials) on my Tune Library!

Listening: Podcasts (Radiolab, You Made It Weird, 99% Invisible)

Teaching: Tunes!

Studying: Focus and anxiety release.

Relaxing: I took naps yesterday. It felt nice.

 

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.

 

Weekly Roundup 12/14/15

Reading: n/a

Arranging: n/a at the moment!

Practicing: My lesson with Mr Sundstrom was this afternoon. It was phenomenal. He had great wisdom and advice to share, but honestly, the best part was hearing him play (and playing Tannhauser with him). Now: barreling toward my doctoral audition full force: some woodshedding to do but it’s time to enjoy the music.

Rehearsing: Metro Brass on Sunday night.

Performing: Last week’s performances were so much fun! I’ll have video to share of my trio recital very soon. And Gabe put on such a good recital. It was beyond exciting to listen to her perform again.

Listening: The new Punch Brothers album Phosphorescent Blues, so gorgeous and ethereal.

Teaching: What do you want the horn to do? Are you telling it or following its lead?

Relaxing:  My trip to STL was really nice- lots of good conversation and warm dinners. I’d like to carry that back into my social life at home.

Weekly Roundup 12/7/15

Reading: n/a (Well, for fun I’m reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, so…)

Arranging: n/a at the moment!

Practicing: I have a lesson with Kari Sundstrom, trombonist with the Minnesota Orchestra, in two weeks, to go over my doctoral audition materials and anything else we have time for! I’m also hard at work on the Trombone a Trois recital pieces and the two pieces I’ll be performing with my friend Gabe on her recital in St Louis this weekend.

Which reminds me: TOMORROW:

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Rehearsing: TaT dress tonight. Metro Brass last night tried out some new members- it was awesome! It’s always sad to see folks go- but it’s also great to meet new players? The music world is bittersweet.

Thursday I’m out to St Louis to rehearse and perform with Gabe.

Performing: Trombone a Trois. See above. Gabe’s recital, see link above,

Listening: HAMILTON (yes, still)

Teaching: Following the phrase- what instructions are you giving yourself/the horn? They should be simple: “sound like this”. Relinquish control and it’ll be easier.

Relaxing: I went for a walk around Lake Harriet yesterday and saw a FOX! In the city! Amazing.

Weekly Roundup 10/20/15

Reading: Work Hard, Be Nice found, continued reading. Add “Improve your teaching: beginners” by Paul Harris, a short little guidebook to creative teaching techniques for new students.

Arranging: New Satellites charts! Today’s:

Practicing: I’m recording myself this week. It’s as painful as ever, but I can’t say that it’s not revealing and useful. Yesterday I spent an hour on one phrase of the Hungarian March excerpt, trying to fix my lagging eighth notes. It sounds fine when you play it, but when you listen back! Ugh! Lots of slow practice, creative articulation strategies, and determination needed.

By the way, do you know about TromboneExcerpts.org? What a phenomenal resource. use it. Love it. Support them on Patreon. Do it.

Rehearsing: Metro last night to play through music for our upcoming service at Grace Lutheran (see below).

Performing: Metro Brass at the morning service- Grace Lutheran in St Paul, 9:30a.

MC5 @ The Nicollet on Nov 25th, and more soon!

Listening: THIS

Teaching: So. Much. Singing. Sing all the things!

Relaxing: I did nothing on Saturday! Well, I did some things- I vacuumed, worked up a Satellites tune, went shopping for a Halloween costume- but mostly I read my recent stack of science fiction books from the library and drank tea. #winning

Weekly Roundup 10/6/15

Reading: Work Hard, Be Nice stalled- where did I put it?

Arranging: New charts for Satellites coming (as soon as we pick new songs)

Practicing: Annie Laurie, and looking into things I might prepare for a doctoral audition (EEP).

Rehearsing: Metro rehearsed Sunday night with our third candidate for the second trombone/jazz chair, John Olson. He did a fabulous job as well and now we all get to make the hard decision of who to choose.

Midnight in Moscow, my traditional New Orleans jazz band, has finally decided on our (always impending) name change debacle. Welcome to the scene the new, improved, Mill City Five!

Performing: Some things in the works. MC5 @ The Nicollet on Nov 25th, The Satellites maybe have a Halloween gig. More soon!

Listening: Brandi Carlile. MPR News. White noise in my head.

Teaching: Air “ha” attacks- getting the root of the sound without relying on the tongue to start the tone. Surprisingly easy to adjust to, once you hear how clear you can sound without using your articulation as a crutch!

Relaxing: What’s that?

Haha- I’ve been trying to get some fun things in but it’s been a busy few weeks! Here’s one highlight: I’ve been to my first four acupuncture appointments EVER the past two weeks, primarily to address chronic tension in my neck and shoulders. That pain is old- and it’s moving away slowly, but what acu has really done for me is relieve the localized tightness in my wrists and hands (from immobility while practicing), and give me a safe space to control my anxiety. Anxiety is a new issue for me- I started developing panic attacks last summer as a result of stress and financial worry- and they seem to be more prevalent in the summer months. As the school year gets rolling I feel less and less worried, but the imprint remains. Acu, much like yoga and meditation, has provided me with a quiet place for my brain. It’s like letting your consciousness roll around in a big white luxurious blanket, like a little marble, for an hour. Afterward it’s all good.

If you feel like anxiety might be a part of your life in a less-than-controllable way, I would highly recommend considering acupuncture as a treatment. I currently am going to NE Community Acupuncture, which offers a sliding scale system for its diverse clientele.

Weekly Roundup 9/29/15

Reading: Work Hard, Be Nice started- good and quick read and very inspiring for educators and parents alike.

Arranging: New charts for Satellites coming (as soon as we pick new songs)

Practicing: Annie Laurie, and looking into things I might prepare for a doctoral audition (EEP).

Rehearsing: Metro rehearsed Sunday night with killer trombonist/repair technician John Maddox auditioning for second trombone. He sounded great! So did Nick last week! It’s going to be a tough decision. We’ll meet again this weekend to try out a different candidate.

Midnight in Moscow meets tomorrow to go over some new songs as well.

Performing: No current performances.

Listening: Lots of news and podcasts, actually, and sometimes a little classical. Not feeling too adventurous.

Teaching: Big into theory and concepts this week and driving home those essential ear training skills.

Relaxing: X-Files. Dana Scully is my queen.

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Weekly Roundup 9/22/15

Reading: Work Hard, Be Nice almost got cracked open yesterday but I took a nap instead.

Arranging: Nothing on the docket.

Practicing: Annie Laurie in high gear. Hoping to read through it with Metro Brass at our Oct 4th rehearsal. My big tenor went off to the shop for service today, so I’ll try it on small horn this afternoon and see if I like that feeling.

Rehearsing: Metro rehearsed Sunday night with friend of Trombone a Trois (my old trombone trio) Nick Syman auditioning for the second tenor/jazz spot. We’ll meet again this weekend to try out a different candidate.

Performing: The Satellites at 612Brew! Saturday! 8pm! FREE!

Listening: Lots of news and podcasts, actually, and sometimes a little classical. Not feeling too adventurous.

Teaching: I love giving the ‘long tone’ lesson and that’s what I’ve been doing with a few new students this week.

Relaxing: Lots of social activities this week. That’s a nice thing sometimes.

Weekly Roundup 9/15/15

Reading: Work Hard, Be Nice is now waiting for me on my bookshelf!

Arranging: All arrangements are now edited for the Satellites to be bigger and easier to read! Next step, buy more printer ink.

Practicing: Annie Laurie in high gear. Hoping to read through it with Metro Brass at our Oct 4th rehearsal.

Rehearsing: Midnight in Moscow tomorrow to read new tunes and organize our books. Metro on Sunday night- our first meeting after little break- and we’re hoping to audition a new trombonist!

Performing: No performances this week.

Listening: Lots of news and podcasts, actually, and sometimes a little classical. Not feeling too adventurous.

Teaching: It might be a good time to do a ‘volume workshop’ with some students- work on projection and accuracy at double and air flow and consistency at double p.

Relaxing: Reliving all the drama of the X-Files. Going camping at Wild River SP this weekend. Enjoying the last days of summer, and they have been beautiful.