Good News- Triangle Brass Band

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I have been involved with the TBB ever since I moved to North Carolina in 1999. I played in the band for three years, and I have been directing the youth band for eight years. The Music Director for TBB is moving to Maryland and stepped down, opening that position. The band did a search and I won the search, so starting in August, I will take over as Music Director of the Triangle Brass Band.

When I applied in November, I gave myself about a 1% chance of winning the job, based on the level of talent they had auditioning. They had several really good choices available to them. I went through an interview, then an audition. The interview went pretty well. If was pretty much as I expected it to be, a lot of visionary type questions. I was happy to be invited to audition, and I ended up slotting as the last one to audition. We were given two selections to conduct and rehearse with the band, and an entire Wednesday evening rehearsal to do it. The first selection was Edward Gregson’s Plantagenets, beginning up to rehearsal number 5. We also were to select a tune from this list: Amazing Grace, Nimrod, Colonial Song. I selected Amazing Grace. After the first two candidates auditioned, I was given a score to the rest of Plantagenets and asked to rehearse from there.

The actual audition was last Wednesday and went really well. My plan was to just simply do what I do with a brass band. I listened to Plantagenets on my iPod a lot, and looked over the score to come up with a plan of attack. I started off the rehearsal with my tuning and choral routine, working on listening, balance, tuning and ensemble playing. I did not get too deep into this, but just enough, I thought, for the band to see that I will be working on that element, and how I do it. Then I started at the end of Plantagenets and worked backwards. I did a bit of balance and ensemble things in the music, as well as bringing out important lines. We picked apart the conclusion of the tune for about 45 minutes, and it was fast paced and detailed. There were times when I felt I was asking them to do thing they were not used to doing, mostly dynamically. I thought they adjusted fairly well.

Next, I hit a few pots in Amazing Grace. This is a tune the band plays a hundred times a year. I put a little different spin on the end of it, and then we ran it. No problems there. Next came a question and answer session with the band. I felt I answered their questions well. There was a wide variety of things, some general, and some specific to the band. I explained my vision for the band, and some goals to reach. I made sure to let them know that I can put TBB in a high place on my list of priorities and that I was not really interested in fast, drastic changes that might quickly upset the general order of the band.

Now, why did I win the job? I feel certain that two main things contributed highly to this. One was that I can make TBB a priority and they wanted to see me work for them. The other, was that they saw the growth and quality of the youth bands, and many just decided they wanted that for them. My audition was eight years long, in a manner of speaking. Even six months ago, I don’t think anyone envisioned that I would be the next MD, including me. I certainly did not get here by using the youth bands as a place for advancement. This fell in my lap, surprisingly. I really didn’t think I had a chance to win it until I finished my audition. The band seemed to respond well to what I was doing and it was a positive experience all around. I was very encouraged.

This may or may not be why, but it is what I think made the most contribution to their decision. I look forward to making the Triangle Brass Band, and it’s umbrellaed youth bands , the premiere organization of its kind in the US.

Almost

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I am about ready to resume posting on my blog on a regular basis.  Sorry if you have missed what I was saying about my world.  It has been very busy, and a lot is going on.  It is time for a transition in my life, and only time will tell waht it is going to be.  At any rate, I will soon be back online.

Bad Weather

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Much, Much disappointment comes with today’s lack of bad weather.  True to form, everyone’s paranoia was elevated at the idea of snow and ice.  I was really looking forward to canceling everything for the day and doing nothing.  Not to be.  Only cold rain came, so its just a crappy day out.  Nevertheless, everything is on a two hour delay.

NCCU Sousa Saga

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As Instructor of Tuba and Baritone (yeah, I know) at North Carolina Central University, I have heard about the sousaphone theft at the school.  There has been a little talk from my students about it over the past semester, but i do not really have a lot of details about it, and I surely did not take them myself.  There was an article on the N & O today, which is prompting the discussion about the situation.  The whole thing is rather amazing to me.  Where the heck are you going to find someone to take 14 state owned sousaphones off your hands?  Why not take them in the cases?  I bet there is a crew of some disgruntled NCCU band members from the past, or s fraternity prank pulled by a competing band at the Honda Classic.    I just don’t know how you would hide 14 sousas.  Not a smart crime.  I hope the band gets the issue resolved.

Beginning New Blog Era

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Well, I think I have finally figured out how to do some tings with this bloggy thingy here.  I am still working out kinks, and tryig to find a theme  (look) that I like.  So, from now on, it appears that I have a blog running on my own server/website.  If anyone knows how to get the blog to work in the same theme as the rest of my site, I am all ears.

My Motorcycle

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Here is a picture of my new motorcycle. It is a Suzuki VZ800 Marauder. It looks and sounds like a loud Harley.

My Motorcycle

About Me

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My name is Tony, and I am a freelance musician in the Raleigh, NC area. There are several activities that I do to keep busy. One is teaching, which I do a lot of. I have a private studio in my house where I teach middle school and high school age students, and I teach at North Carolina Central University, working with their applied tuba and euphonium majors.TonyTuba with shades

As a tuba player, I am the first call sub with the North Carolina Symphony, and when they need a tuba part covered, I play in the orchestras for groups like the Carolina Ballet, Opera Company of NC, NC Master Chorale and Durham Choral Society. I am Principal Tuba in the Tar River Orchestra and Symphonic Band.

My other duty is Director of the Triangle Youth Brass Band. building this band has been a major project for me over the past eight years, but is very rewarding, as the TYBB has established itself as one of the finest youth brass programs in the United States.

I have been appointed as the new Music Director for the Triangle Brass Band taking over i the 2008-09 season.

I live in Cary, NC, which borders Raleigh to the west. I live alone, ride a motorcycle when it is warm out, and drive a Ford Explorer that has a got tuba? sticker on the rear window. My Parents live in Redondo Beach, California, helping out with my step sister’s kids while she works on her acting career. She is very good. I have a brother who lives in Atlanta, and an identical twin who lives in Annapolis, MD.