Tuesday, October 12, 2010

20 Minute Update

Grad school isn't a cakewalk, ironically neither is "Cakewalk" from Bennett's Suite of Old American Dances...

We're are halfway through the quarter(I know it's weird to not be on semester's. I think that all the time) and I'm busy, you can tell by my lack of blogging, but I love it. I'm being challenged and depending on when you ask I'm either overwhelmed by, or immersing myself in learning. I'm sure for Jes it's like living Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde. I'd like to come up with creative music names for that, but it's 10:30 and I have trumpet lessons tomorrow so I'm not witty.

Anyway, my schedule is very different based on the day, which is a change from teaching 5-12 band. Somedays are packed with conducting lessons, wind band literature class, trumpet lessons, studio class, and a number of rehearsals(chamber players, wind symphony, symphonic band, pep band). That doesn't include lunch or coffee with my new found mentors. Somedays I don't have anything "official" to do until 1PM. I never seem to have a shortage of things to do, including those random tasks assigned to grad assistants.

I have mentioned my connection to the Centerville Jazz Band and I'm enjoying that as much as I am school. The hours are pretty tough, but I would really miss working with kids like that. It's like taking the best students at my old HS gig and multiplying them in number by 15. The most surreal moment so far: I'm talking to Mr. Wayne Markworth about doing an independent study with him next Fall at a rehearsal last week. I said, "Mr. Markworth, do you think we can use the CJB as part of independent study." He replied, "Not unless you call me Wayne." He has always been a distant legend in my eyes, now I'm standing beside him, calling him Wayne. He also added me on Facebook. Seriously, it blows my mind.

The Pep Band(my ensemble) is taking off. The students are working really hard to make it a more professional group and the numbers are growing. I'm hoping that fans and athletics will take notice. We started with around 20 members and it looks like we're going to break 60 next quarter. I'm learning how to pound the pavement for recruitment, even though it's not something I was comfortable with I know it has to be done. We have volleyball this Friday, but really I can't wait for basketball to start.

My trumpet playing is getting better thanks to a great new trumpet teacher, Dan Zehringer. He actually played a gig this summer with one of my former teachers, Dr. Bruce Briney. Small world. I'm working on the Hindemith Sonate for Trumpet. It's pretty far above me, but the range isn't bad so at least I'm not fighting that demon. After my audition I was told my tone was too bright, I sounded like a jazzer(kudos Dr. John Cooper right?). I'm working, but it's slow. Not sure I'll take trumpet every quarter it's struggle to find time to practice both trumpet and conducting enough. I always feel like I'm short changing something.

The best moments of learning so far have came in informal ways. I had coffee(well both of us drank tea) with Dr. Jagow to talk about how she does score study. I like to use color and so does she so it was great to have her help me articulate why I use color. We spoke about how much we like where we are and how different things are in Canada(her home). We even had a visit with another professor's parents and toddler daughter. It's great to see the teachers as human, with families...you know normal, but awesome like I hope to be someday.

I spent 10AM-2PM with Dr. Booth today. We conducted, we talked history, then we went to lunch. At Arby's we discussed pieces we thought were cornerstones of wind band lit as well as the "coming of age" composers I have played a lot of and had my students play. Over a market fresh sandwich and curly fries we talked about "La Fiesta"(he was shocked someone my age listed that piece) I really enjoyed that talk today and I hope for many more like it.

Alright Jes is home and it's time for me to get back to work! Hopefully the next one of these posts will happen a little quicker. Until next time...

1 comment:

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