Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Burning River Brass

The Burning River Brass Ensemble has some concerts coming up in the southeast. If their live concerts sound anything like their recordings, this is not an event to be missed!
I frequently play some of the recordings in lessons to help demonstrate sound concept to my students. Including the first movement, "Of Knights and Castles" by Raymond Premru. It includes one of the cleanest trombone scales I've ever heard. I sometimes refer to it as"the perfect scale." You'll know it when you hear it.
They'll be in Beaufort, SC on Feb. 25th and then head over to Georgia.
Here's a link to their schedule on their website

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Getting back on my feet again....

I'm posting this from my new laptop computer. Excitement? Not really.
I already owned a laptop: a new one.
Somebody stole it last Friday and I've been a little off my game ever since.
I hope to be posting again soon.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Two trombone performances worth checking out..

For those of you in the area, here are two trombone events coming up:

Feb 1 Wycliffe Gordon performs with the Augusta Ballet.

Mar. 10 Scott Hartman plays the Rota concerto with the Spartanburg Philharmonic (his wife is the music director)

Carl Fontana clip (in case you haven't seen it)

No posts lately sorry. I had a recital in Georgia last night and have been preparing a big non-musical event this Friday.
Still, here's a wonderful clip my student have shared with me. In case you haven't seen it yet, it's great not only hearing Carl play but also *seeing* how effortlessly he produces these stellar lines.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A good one to center things...

Here's a pattern I've been playing lately. It really seems to help me focus and center, mentally.
I play this pattern through the circle of fifths, usually with a metronome on.

One practice note: when I'm playing the eighth note version, I strive to keep my slide movement quick and accurate. Another way to look at this: even when playing the eighth notes, I want my slide movements in between the notes to be as quick as if I were playing the fast version.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The most important beat .... the one you don't play.
(But you'd better be playing it in your head!)

Here's one of those rhythms people play wrong more than right (partly because it goes by so quickly and maybe they figure they can just fake it and get away with it!).
It's from Til Eulenspiegel right before the big run...

That downbeat is pretty important!

Here's a verbal trick that might work: think, "um-digga-da da-da-da"

Um, of course, is that silent downbeat.
Slow that metronome down, down waaaaay down (dotted quarter equal 60 or so) and say that rhythm exactly in time. Then bump up a few notches and so on.

I've blogged about "ba-um" before, in case you're curious.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Bolero and BoneWeek

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Most of my late night energies have been spent finishing up BoneWeek Fanfare #4. I went through with my original idea and created a piece that is largely based on Malcolm Arnold's Fantasy for Unaccompanied Trombone.
I'm pretty happy with it. Once I'm done proofing the parts, I'll send it in to the ITA and post it on my website. I suppose I should get around to posting BoneWeek 3 on my website one of these days. The first three fanfares are still available on the ITA website (although hard to find from the home page at the moment). Now that I have Finale 2006 and am beginning to understand their "human performance" feature, the sound files for this new fanfare should be more realistic (ritards, fermatas, crescendos, etc).

I also have a Bolero performance with the Augusta Symphony weekend so that has taken up some time. So far so good in rehearsal. It does make your heart thump a good bit!

Classes at USC start next week and I'll try to back on track with blogging.