Monday, October 29, 2012

Recalling My Times with John Swallow, Part 3

In this video I am continuing my 'dialogue' about John in lessons. Air support, air articulation, slide technique, tone and other topics are spoken about. Doing these tributes is bringing up all the important vital things I loved about John. It will be easy for players today, to see how John thought about the technical side and the musical side of playing and how it is very different than what is 'normally' taught today. When I came to NEC in 1973, I had studied with Steven Zellmer who was very Arnold Jacobs, Frank Crisafulli and Edward Kleinhammer trained. Even though Mr. Zellmer had his VERY OWN unique way about things in his relationship to playing and music, it was in another universe compared to John Swallow. From how to use the slide, versatility of articulation, legato and natural slurs and overall facility. John was very nimble and facile with many colors in his music making. His working with many students in my view, surely added to his depth of thought process and reference.   The reason being he loved what he was doing and was genuinely interested.

                Part 3

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Recalling My Times with John Swallow, Part 2

Wow. Today was an interesting day. It has been exactly 37 ago today that I won the audition to be in the Boston Symphony. Little did I know at the time, that I would be conducting the New England Conservatory Prep and College division trombone choirs on Symphony Hall stage 37 years later. The students rose to the occasion and played terrifically. There was also something else special in this concert. I dedicated the last piece that we played, an arrangement of "The Great Gate of Kiev" from "Pictures at an Exposition" to John Swallow. It was a very potent, powerful and sentimented performance. The audience and the students felt the warmth of the dedication and the students really played from their hearts.The audience certainly received it and gave us a standing ovation. I'm sure John heard it..

Some very nice and funny stores in this next series Part 2 of Recalling My Times with John Swallow.

Recalling My Times with John Swallow, Part 1

I was very fortunate to have had wonderful supportive teachers in my life. John Swallow was special and has a unique place in my heart. John passed away October 20th after a prolonged illness. I called him 6 hours before he passed and his daughter Heather held the phone to his ear so I could speak to him. I am happy I was in touch with him for the past couple of month of his life here on Earth.

In this series of videos, I am not sure how many there will be, I speak about John in our lessons and out of lessons. There are many humorous stories, serious episodes and his concepts about technique and music that he passed onto me. I did not study with John for very long, maybe about 6 months, but we were friends and I would play for him every now and then and he would attend my quintet concerts. I also heard him perform often. So here is part 1 in my series "Recalling My Times with John Swallow."

Friday, October 26, 2012

John Swallow: beloved teacher and performer

John Swallow, one of my beloved teachers and friends, passed away on October 20th. I actually spoke to him the day before that...

In the next day or so, I am going to be loading a series of videos of my feelings, thoughts, lessons and stories about John. So for all of you that would be interested, stay posted. John will always be in my heart and I hope these videos will help express my feelings, sentiments and thoughts about him to a broad range of musicians.

All my love to you, John.. go thee free!