A lot has gone on in the past couple of months on lots of levels. On the musical side here are a few events that I was involved in.
In March I went to to New York and did a master class at Juilliard. Joe Alessi was an excellent host and we have a good time when we get together. My goal was to challenge the students in a thinking way about basic concepts like, what is a good sound and how our likes and dislikes can be like a cholesterol to our perceptions if they dismiss something too soon. I hope it was useful to the ones who were open to hearing it.
In April I went to Morehead State University and did a mini residency for a couple of days plus was featured on their Trombone Day. I did a couple of master classes, played a lecture recital of some of my compositions and conducted the college choir and a mass choir of high school students, teachers and other guests. The students were a real pleasure to work with.
Dr. William Mann, the trombone professor at MSU was a great host and we had a fun time together. Unfortunately he took me to a bakery that made incredible cookies and pies. It was a challenge not to stuff myself with those goodies. But being allergic to gluten surely keeps me on my toes and helps to control my urge for delicious bakery!
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of hearing several student recitals including Jonathan Randazzo's. He played wonderfully. We have played duets together in lessons so I decided to write a duo for us to premiere at his recital. The duet consists of four movements and is titled "Dances and Chants". In one of the movements, we used our favorite mutes. Jonathan's favorite is the bucket mute and mine is the Harmon mute. It was a joy to play with him! He will be starting as the new second trombone of the North Carolina Symphony in September.
I also was asked to speak at the Longy School's commencement. That was really interesting since I have never spoken at a graduation before. Looking at all those students embarking on the next stage of their lives. What could I say to them that was not just more advice? My main message was to keep the bright sparks of your life that you have accumulated to this point in time very close to you and keep them lit! For when the dark times come, you will will have a light that no darkness can put out.
I wish all of you a happy, healthy and productive summer. My online summer music camp the Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection, will be starting in the next few weeks. Stay tuned! Lets go where few have gone before, into the deep waters where the music is always fresh and the essence of our lives shine brightly! Hope to see you there!