After taking the summer off from blogging, I am happy to again be writing weekly this fall. My plan is to write every week in September through November, then again in late January/early February through May, and perhaps take the summer off again in 2019. While writing every week is a good discipline for me, it can sometimes crowd out other things, so taking some breaks is helpful. Besides, with over six years of archival material I can use the blog’s Facebook page as a forum for sharing older posts that new readers might have missed, and keep folks engaged with The Reforming Trombonist that way.
Once again this year I have a very full teaching load, with 31 applied students when high school and other private students are taken into account, 17 players in the University of Mississippi Trombone Ensemble, and 15 players in the University of Mississippi Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble. The semester is already off to a fast and furious start, with a solo recital later this week. It promises to be a bit calmer after this coming Thursday, though still with enough activity to keep me busy.
September 6: “I Was Like WOW: Music for Trombone Alone and with Multimedia”
Realizing that this fall’s teaching load was going to be unusually large, I opted to schedule my solo recital for very early in the semester, so that most of the practicing could occur in the summer. The easiest way to perform this early was to do so alone, so I selected a program of unaccompanied works and works for trombone with multimedia. It is a varied and interesting program. The title piece, I Was Like WOW by Dutch composer JacobTV (b. 1951), is a multimedia presentation of images from the 2003 Iraq War, interviews with veterans, recorded vocal and percussive sounds, and a solo trombonist using various traditional and extended techniques. I compiled a short preview video after the dress rehearsal this past Friday, which appears below.
October 11: College Music Society/National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors National Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
After a successful performance of our adaptation of Musical Flower Garden with Leyptziger Allerley by Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) this past spring, UM clarinet professor Dr. Michael Rowlett and I decided to apply to perform at the joint CMS/NACWPI conference this fall. Our application was accepted, so we are looking forward to performing the Hindemith again as well as a duo originally for clarinet and bassoon by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), and in one of North America’s coolest cities.
In case you missed it when I posted video back in February, here is our performance of the Hindemith piece from that recital.
October 27: University of Mississippi Low Brass Ensembles
Our fall low brass ensembles concert is earlier this year, occupying a “bye” weekend in the Ole Miss football schedule. Highlights of this semester’s concert include Jim Nova’s arrangement of the Superman Fanfare by John Williams (b. 1932), and two of my own arrangements. The first of these is a new one of the first movement of Symphony No. 13 by W.A. Mozart (1756-1791) for tuba-euphonium ensemble, and the other is for the combined ensembles, a setting of Rolling Thunder by Henry Fillmore (1881-1956), which was published several years ago by Cimarron Music Press.
October 27, December 1, and December 8: Performing with the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra
This will be my sixth season with the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra as first trombonist, and the schedule for this fall is similar to those in past years, with a classical concert, a performance of The Nutcracker with the Tupelo Ballet, and a Christmas program for chorus and orchestra. While my role in the orchestra is usually as a tenor trombonist, at various times I have found myself playing alto trombone, bass trombone, or euphonium in the group. (And, yes, somehow I’m going to make having an orchestra concert and a low brass ensembles concert on the same day work!)
Besides these events, there will be a number of student solo and ensemble performances, several senior recitals, and the usual mix of “church gigs” and other smaller engagements for me. Of particular interest is that this year I have moved to the tuba/bass trombone chair in the Mississippi Brass Quintet, and am happy that our colleague Dr. Michael Worthy has joined the group in the trombone spot. We are looking forward to having him and trumpet student Jesse Gibens along with us.