It has been my habit to take a break from blogging during the summer and this year will be no different; after this post and another sometime next week I’m going to sign off until mid-August. Having been awarded tenure and a promotion to associate professor at The University of Mississippi effective July 1, my original plan for this summer was to spend more time with my family and on various home improvement projects and very little time on “music stuff,” and to some extent that is going to be the case. However, a couple of major opportunities have presented themselves which I would have been foolish to allow to pass by.
The first of these is coming up in just over a week, as this year’s International Tuba-Euphonium Conference will be held at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville May 30-June 4. I have not yet decided just how much of the conference I will attend, though I will most likely arrive on Tuesday and depart on Friday. Of greatest interest for me will be my lecture “Preparing to Teach ‘Low Brass’ at the College/University Level: A Primer,” which I will give on Thursday morning, June 2 (the posted schedule says Tuesday, but it has been moved). This presentation will be a somewhat expanded version of a lecture of the same title that I gave at the South Central Regional Tuba-Euphonium Conference back in 2013, and I am happy to be able to address the same topic for a larger audience for my first appearance on an ITEC program. Those familiar with my book The Low Brass Player’s Guide to Doubling will recognize many of the ideas in the presentation, though in this context I’ll be focusing on how to use those ideas to both get and keep one of the limited number of jobs like mine in American academic institutions.
An unexpected opportunity is coming the first week in August, as I’ll be teaching bass trombone, conducting ensembles, performing a short solo recital, and performing Steven Verhelst’s World Concerto with concert band at this year’s TROMBONANZA in Santa Fe, Argentina. TROMBONANZA is the premiere annual trombone event in that part of the world, and I was both surprised and honored to be invited to participate. Regular readers of the International Trombone Association Journal will be familiar with this event, as it has been covered at length in that publication in recent years. I’m looking forward to a busy but fun week with great trombone playing and, I’m told, delicious food and drink as well!
Other than those major items, I’m looking forward to resuming rehearsals with the Great River Trombone Quartet after a long hiatus, taking on a temporarily expanded role in the music ministry at Christ Presbyterian Church, advising students during orientation sessions at Ole Miss, teaching private lessons, and playing a few gigs here and there. In the midst of all that I hope to catch up on my reading, do some fishing, do some work on the house and yard, and begin preparing for a fall solo recital.
Wait a minute…I thought the summer was supposed to be a break!