February- Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, this blog and my other social media spaces will be sharing thoughts, performances, and resources  from and about Black artists. There’s an incredible amount of music in the world created by Black performers and composers, and one month can’t do it justice, but we are going to try! Hopefully the things we explore here together will lead to lifelong conversations and celebrations of the things we discover.

There’s a thread running on my Facebook page asking you to share your favorite artists of African heritage. Join in the discussion and come away with a new favorite!

Meantime, what did you think of Justin Timberlake’s tribute to Prince at the Super Bowl? Tasteful? Boring? Great? An assault on the Purple One’s legacy? In an opinion piece that argues the latter, Dante A Ciampaglia notes that Prince, hyper-viligiant of the use of his music and his image, would have be horrified to be remembered so. It brings up questions of what we allow ourselves when a beloved artist passes away, what they give up in order for us to memorialize them. Paisley Park is now a glorified theme attraction, Prince’s music is released on all the streaming services, and his image and reputation are being used to bring prestige and financial gain to artists and locations throughout the country. There are, of course, upsides to this for the average fan, but do you think we are managing Prince’s legacy correctly? Or are we selling him out? Does a white, privileged musician like JT, whose own career has been driven by the  appropriation of black music and musicians, deserve the honor?

Weekly Round-up 4/25/16

Performances: Metro Brass 5/1/2016 Live at the Capri Theatre. Tickets are on sale now!

I’ve got upcoming masterclasses and performances with Mill City Five and The Satellites in May coming up quick!

Rehearsals: Satellites horns met on Saturday- it was killer! Thanks to the guys for helping me make edits on charts so they are tip-top for our May gigs. Metro has our dress for Sunday’s concert this upcoming Friday night.

Practicing: Minnesota Orchestra audition repertoire. This was today! I felt I presented myself well, but I was not asked to play all of the excerpts. Mozart Tuba Mirum, Mahler 5, and Ride of the Valkyries went really well! But I botched the opening of Bolero, an excerpt I generally feel very confident on. Oh well. That’s auditions for you!

Listening: Prince all day every day. This was a sad and magical weekend in Minneapolis.

Teaching: “Darts” and “Straws”. Darts for air and tone. Straws for higher register and airflow. “Blocks”- consistent air across longer notes- moving the air toward your goal.

Studying: New things to start looking at: grant preparation, doctoral recital repertoire, UMN entrance exams.

Relaxing: Enjoyed Saturday’s weather. Yesterday it rained and rained, so I sat and read and pet kitties.