A big congratulations to my five students who made the District V Honor Band last weekend, and also to my student who earned a spot in the Festival Wind Ensemble at the UA Honor Band convention this weekend! It has been a long, hard road to prepare this year’s audition music, and I think we can all agree that it will be a relief to move on to something else. For those in the area, come check out this weekend’s concerts–I myself will be playing with The University of Alabama Wind Ensemble, which will be performing at 8:15pm this Saturday (February 2) in the main concert hall at the Moody Music Building. Our program includes works by Bremer, Gregson, Nelson, and Ticheli, and includes some very prominent herald trumpets.
I recently had the pleasure of attending the Trumpet Festival of the Southeast, held this year at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. TFSE is a conference that I have twice helped to host, in my capacity as a graduate assistant at The University of Alabama, so I always look forward to seeing how someone else decides to handle it. Congratulations to Adam Hayes and his trumpet studio for a job well done!
The festival usually brings in two headlining guest artists, one “classical” and one “jazz.” This year’s duo consisted of Chris Gekker and Ingrid Jensen, both of whom sounded fabulous. It was a real treat for me to hear them live, because both are players that I have admired for several years. Beyond their performances, however, I would like to mention one or two other weekend highlights that left an impression on me:
• Some great information from Vanderbilt’s Allan Cox, whose warm-up session paired some techniques that I already use in some ways that I don’t normally put them together.
• A great performance by the trumpet ensemble from Western Carolina University, which numbered nineteen students (if I counted correctly) and sounded at least as good as any of the smaller ensembles. This is the studio that founded TFSE, and it was great to hear them so well-represented. (I also enjoyed having the opportunity to speak with their two professors, Brad Ulrich and Larry Black, who have been absolutely essential to the completion of my DMA document.)
• A chance to speak with Mark Dulin about his upcoming Cichowicz publication–look for this book to be out in February; it should be well worth purchasing!
• Speaking with Fred Powell of Powell Trumpets and playing on his horns. I have never heard of this brand before, and they play great!! Hoping to get to some more opportunities to try them out at future conferences.
• The gorgeous facilities of Berry College, which boasts a 27,000-acre campus populated by dozens and dozens of deer.
Special thanks are also due to the representatives from Warburton Music Products, who have outfitted several members of our studio with equipment (in exchange, we have probably reimbursed the cost of their conference travel!).
Thankfully, this weekend’s Honor Band conference marks the end of audition season for nearly all of my students (who for the most part are not seniors and therefore have no part in the wave of college auditions that consumes most of February). Congratulations again to my studio on a successful season, and best wishes to anyone reading who may have auditions yet to come!
All the best,