Brass Band

Some Big News

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It has been a busy couple of weeks here, but all seemed to go pretty well.  The quintet has been meeting a lot to do some weddings, educational concerts and our first big concert at edenton Street UMC.  We had a great audience at Edenton St. and all of the education concerts went really well, and the kids where great with their questions.  The quintet is pretty motivated to drive traffic to our website, so Don eagle posted a great article about practicing trumpet, which was sent all over the place for people to see.  We have plans to follow up each week with a post from others in the quintet.  We are not meeting this week, but have several rehearsals set up for next week to get ready for the next thing.  Its a ways off, but we seem to be staying ahead of the game right now.  Pam and I will be meeting this week to work out details on our brass chamber music camp which will roll out this summer.

The brass band has been in full swing.  We started our season with rehearsals and a free concert in Cary last weekend.  There was a huge crowd and they were very receptive.  The band sounded really good and the weather was perfect for a concert.  We have been auditioning players to fill some holes in the band and will be announcing the new members this week when we finish the auditions.  We are now working on music for our performance at Edenton St. UMC on Sept. 29 for their Sunday services.  This is a new thing for us, as we try to get in front of  more people who may not have heard of us.  We launched our new website, and it looks pretty good, so check it pout here...

The biggest news is the new Triangle Brass Sound Sport Team that I just started here.  It is sponsored by the Triangle Brass Band and is in the early stages of development.  We will be fielding a team this summer and details will be trickling out over the next couple of months.  Our website will be up soon, but in the meantime, you can see info here…

This weekend will be fun.  I am playing with the Wilmington Symphony and my best friend from college will be visiting.  I will most likely be getting the new iPhone 5S on Friday and will go off the grid for the weekend to play the tuba and hang out with my buddy.

It Begins

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Rehearsals continue for the quintet today for our upcoming concert on September 6 at Edenton Street UMC in Raleigh.  We are playing a cool concert with brass and organ.  We have rehearsals each morning this week for that, plus I am sure we will have some next week as well.  Info for the concert can be found here…

Triangle Brass Band starts rehearsal for this season tonight.  We are working on a program of  British music like Holst 1st suite, Dambusters, MacArthur Park and much more.  That concert will be September 14 at Bond Park in Cary.  Info for that can be found here…

Its been a busy week of lessons and band rehearsals and the way the schedule is looking, it will be a very busy few months until Christmas.  Summer is over.  Time to get to work.

Planning Update

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This week I am spending a little time on the road driving to Campbell University to teach brass sectionals.  It gives me a little time to think and ponder how the season is going to look for the brass band.  Mostly, I can work things out in my head about music to play and when to play it.  Currently, I am not overly thrilled about the line up for the season, but I am confident I will work through it.  I would estimate I am only about 10% sure about what we will do.

There are other things going on as well.  A few of us are kicking around ideas for the solo competition we are starting up this season.  We should be ready to announce that soon, and it should be a great opportunity for some young brass players.

I took a quick trip to Greensboro to hang out with some friends and the conversations were very helpful.  Some ideas where floated around that were not on my radar screen.  Its so very obvious that there is a whole side of this thing that I am NO GOOD at.  A friend and local weatherman Greg Fishel always talks about being in sales, not production with his weather reports…Well, I am the other way.  I am in production, not sales when it comes to this brass band.  I do need to get better at the Sales.  I am working on it, as well has so many things that can help me in this area.

So, at this point, there is mostly a lot of pondering about music going on.  I have a list of tunes to do, but where to do them and how to make it interesting to the band and audiences…gotta figure that out.


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Here is a video from the Youth Band Alumni concert back in May.

Dead Zone

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A big part of my life is working for the Triangle Brass Band.  Until recently, I have been running two brass bands, the Adult band and the Youth band… both bands for the last 5 years and the youth band alone for 8 years before that.  While this particular time of year is very slow work wise, it does afford me the chance to plan the upcoming brass band season.  Although I have already taken care of a lot of the planning for the youth bands for next year (with the help of the new Director, Jesse), there is much to do before November and t is a huge relief to not be the one doing it.  I will have more time to focus on other things like playing the tuba and planning for the adult band.

In a few days I will start up with weeks of marching band camps.  It is always a neat time of year because the work I do in the next month will lay the groundwork for the entire marching band season.  Getting a good start is important to these programs to ensure a smooth season.  While I am working with the brass sections, and teaching some lessons at home, I am also working to put nearly a dozen brass band concerts together.  This will require a substantial amount of literature, and a bit of research to come up with interesting programs for the band and our audiences.

The program the gives me the most trouble…Holiday music!!!  The December Holiday concert is driving me nutzo.  For one, I am not a huge fan of christmas music.  Two, there is only so much music available to do, and we have done it already, so it is hard to keep the interest of the band playing the same stuff from year to year.  Very Limiting!!!  I will get it all figured out, but this is the most challenging show to piece together.

Some of the fun parts are collaborating with soloists, and working with them to find solos they can play with the band.  Over the years, I have to admit, it has been a lot of fun working with the guest artists we have invited to perform with us.  really, its the best thing about this gig.  I am really looking forward to this season as we will feature a local musician who has been on the music scene here in NC for decades, and is one of the most respected trumpet players in NC.  Tim Stewart.  We will also be inviting our good friend Demondrae Thurman in to play with all of the bands.  Demondrae will also be guest conducting the band, showing off more than just his amazing euphonium skills.  I am super excited about working with these guest artists this season.

Anyways, I will be making an effort to update the blog more frequently.  All you folks out there that have missed it…well, it’s back.  I will talk more about the deadness of summer, and the planning process for the brass band in other posts.

Big Brass Band Weekend

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Busy weekend coming up.  There are two concerts you can see in the area featuring brass bands.

First is the Triangle Brass Band at UNC-CH Saturday night at 8:00 PM (info) (Poster)

Next is the Youth Bands Sunday night in Wendell, NC.  (info) (Poster)

Do yourself a favor and take the time to go see these fine performing organizations perform music from Broadway to the Planets.


Two Weeks?

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Sometimes, I seem to get myself in to a position that only causes me to worry. Setting the schedule for the youth band for this season, this looked like a good plan, with enough rehearsals. Then I kicked the repertoire. Then changed it. Now the schedule did not look to have enough rehearsals to pull of the repertoire I chose. Tough, it’s already done. We played our last concert February 16, and then began to work on this concert. I think we allowed six or seven rehearsals to prepare, with another three to clean up some more for NABBA.

To be sure, we will be struggling to be ready for our show on March 24th. It won’t be perfect. However, tonight’s rehearsal really showed that the band will not take it lying down. We had our most intense rehearsal of the season and we cleaned up a lot of our music. Despite being under the weather, I pushed the band hard and moved quickly and it was a tough but great rehearsal. I can not begin to say how proud I am of the band this year. The bar is set really high, and the kids are doing their best to reach it. I bet they do….

Keep at it TYBB. You may end up even impressing me…