Monday, August 29, 2016

Fall 2016 Performance Schedule

This will be updated as the season progresses. 

Saturday September 10, 5:30 PM
Rhode Island Philharmonic Summer Pops
Slater Park, Pawtucket

Friday September 16, 6:30 PM
Rhode Island Philharmonic Amica Rush Hour Series
The VETS, Providence
Music of Smetana and Beethoven

Saturday September 17, 8 PM
Rhode Island Philharmonic Classical Series
The VETS, Providence
Music of Smetana, Beethoven and Lutoslawski

Thursday October 6, 7 PM
Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol & Whatsnext? CD Release Concert
featuring Dave Liebman and Tiger Okoshi
Joe's Pub, New York, NY

Sunday October 9, 5 PM
Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol & Whatsnext? CD Release Concert 
featuring Dave Liebman and Tiger Okoshi
Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport, MA

Friday October 14, 6:30 PM
Rhode Island Philharmonic Amica Rush Hour Series
The VETS, Providence
Music of Mozart

Saturday October 15, 8 PM
Rhode Island Philharmonic Classical Series
The VETS, Providence
Music of Mozart and Tchaikovsky

Saturday October 29, 8 PM
Vermont Symphony Orchestra Masterworks Series
Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Burlington
Music of Weber, Prokofiev, and Elgar

Friday November 4, 8 PM
Chorus Pro Musica
Jordan Hall, Boston
Beethoven Missa Solemnis

Friday November 11, 8 PM
Pokemon Evolution
Providence, RI

Saturday November 12, 8 PM
Rhode Island Philharmonic Classical Series
The VETS, Providence
Music of Theofanidis, Barber and Dvorak

Saturday December 3, 8 PM
Vermont Symphony Orchestra Masterworks Series
Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Burlington
Music of Beethoven, Hindemith and Tchaikovsky

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Year in Music

Last night I finished my performing schedule for 2014, barring any last-minute calls. It's been a busy and exciting year, with a lot of great pieces from the standard repertoire as well as a lot of unusual and unfamiliar music. I've had a great time.

A few weeks into the year I decided to keep a running list of the music I had the fortune to perform, and I think it's at least a little bit interesting. When I indicate that I played something more than once, that was on separate occasions, usually with different groups. Multiple performances, as with a run of ballet or a series of four concerts of the same program, only counts as once.

Anyway, here's my list:

Adams  Short Ride on a Fast Machine
Anon., arr. King  Sonata from Die Bänkelsängerlieder     
Leroy Anderson  Sleigh Ride (orchestra)    
Leroy Anderson, arr. J.C. Edwards  Sleigh Ride (trombone choir)
Leroy Anderson, arr. Ken Malucelli  Sleigh Ride (brass quintet & chorus)
Antheil Hot Time Dance
Armed Services Medley
Matthew Aucoin  Crossing (workshop for full opera production in 2015)
Bach O Sacred Head (2 settings)
Banchieri/ arr. Robert King Two Fantasias
Eddie Bass Forests of the Night for bass trombone and piano
Eddie Bass Sonata for Tenor Trombone, Bass Trombone and Piano  3X
Katharine Lee Bates/Dragon America The Beautiful   2X                         
Bauzyk/Hoagland  Animalia Suite
Beethoven  Drei Equale (conducting) 2X
Bellini ?
Berlioz Beatrice and Benedict Overture
BERNSTEIN Chichester Psalms
Bizet Les Toreadors and Danse Boheme from Carmen
Bizet  Farandole from L'Arlesienne
Arthur Bliss Fanfare for the Lord Mayor of London                
BRAHMS  Ein deutsches Requiem (2X)
Brahms  Schicksalslied
Brahms  Song of the Fates Op. 89
Bruckner  Requiem in d minor
Buonamente  Sonata from Sonate et Canzoni
Buxtehude, arr. Robert King  Fanfare
Cabaniss  Come To Play
Cabaniss  Drumlines
Cabaniss  Thanks to the Orchestra
Howard Cable  Noel Canadien
Delvyn Case  Rocket Sleigh
George M. Cohan Medley
Carson Cooman  Flax-Golden Tales for storyteller and chamber orchestra  texts by Erin Morganstern
Coots/Gillespie, arr. Mallamud
Copes  To You, O God
Copland, arr. Delfeayo Marsalis  Fanfare for the Common Man
Cory  We Praise You, O God
Shawn Davern  Make the Moment
Debussy, Arr. Michael Levin  Trois Chansons (conducting)
Des Prez, arr. Sudmeier  Royal Fanfare for the Coronation of Louis XII (conducting) 2X
Dropkick Murphys, arr. Hollenbeck  Shipping Up to Boston (at Fenway Park!)
Dvorak Carnival Overture
Dvorak Largo from New World Symphony
Dvorak New World Symphony
Earth Wind and Fire Medley/Olt (Brass Ensemble)
Elfman  Spiderman
Elgar Cello Concerto (with Yo-Yo Ma!)
Elgar/ arr. John Corley Pomp and Circumstance Marches I &IV              
George J. Elvey  Come, O Thankful People, Come
Terry R. Everson  T-Cubed Fanfare
Jose Feliciano, arr. David Mallamud  Feliz Navidad
Tom Fetke  Adoration
John Finnegan  Christmas Singalong
arr. Ralph Ford  Video Games Live 2X
Gregory Fritze Boston Strong
Gabrieli/ arr. Robert King  Canzona Septimi Toni No. 2 
Gabrieli/ arr. Robert King  Canzona per Sonare No. 2
Gabrieli, arr. Markward
        Sonata pian’ e forte
        Jubilate Deo
        Canzon ?? à 8
        Beata es, Virgo Maria
I'll Be Home For Christmas
H.J. Gauntlett, setting by Richard Webster  Once in royal David's city (Irby)
Arr. Paul Gerike  Christmas Around the World for Orff Ensemble and Orchestra
Arr. Paul Gerike  Santa's Holly, Jolly Little Christmas
Gershwin  Porgy and Bess (concert opera)                         
Glinka  Ruslan and Ludmilla Overture
Grieg  In the Hall of the Mountain King 2X
Jester Hairston Mary's Little Boy Chile
Handel/King Three Pieces from Water Music    
Handel, arr. Carmen Dragon Joy to the World                          
Handel, arr. Webster  Judas Maccabeus
Harbison  selections from Christmas Vespers
Hartley  Canzona for 8 Trombones (conducting) 2X
Haydn/Brahms/Frackenpohl  St. Anthony Chorale
Hindemith Mathis der Maler (Symphony)
Holst  Mars from The Planets
Holst, arr. Webster  Thaxted
Jackson/Olt Billy Jean (Brass Ensemble)
Jacob  Andante Sostenuto from Octet for Trombones
Khachaturian  Sabre Dance
Kirkpatrick/Smith/Huff, arr. Jon Bohls  All is Well
arr. Kleinschmidt Sanctus
Lebedev Concert Allegro
Lotti, arr. Taylor  Crucifixus
MacDowell  Suite
Mahler Symphony #5
David Mallamud  Conchobar's Reign
Marcello/ arr. John Corley Psalm 18
Johnny Marks, arr. Frackenpohl  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer                      
Martinu Largo from Symphony #3
Massaino  Canzon trigesimaterza (conducting) 2X
Mendelssohn  Midsummer Night's Dream
Mendelssohn  St. Paul Oratorio
Menken arr. Wasson  Prince Ali from Aladdin
Justin Mitnik  Holiday Music Spectacular
Mozart Magic Flute Overture
Mozart Requiem
Mozart Vespers of the Solemn Confessor 2X
Mozart  Dona Nobis Pacem
W. A. Mozart/arr. Robert King Allegro from Eine kleine Nachtmusik                    
Offenbach Can-Can
Orff  O Fortuna from Carmina Burana
Parry I Was Glad
Peterson Allegro (2X)
Plog Postcards IV
Premru Prelude and Dance
Premru In Memoriam (conducting) (2X)
Premru Chorale (conducting)
Prokofiev  Symphony #5
Pryor Thoughts of Love
Puccini Madama Butterfly
Knudage Riisager Etudes after music by Carl Czerny
Riley  In C
Ravel Piano Concerto in G
Ravel Concerto for Piano Left Hand
Rimsky-Korsakov Dance of the Tumblers
Rimsky-Korsakov Capriccio Espagnol
Rodgers & Hammerstein  Carousel
Rossini Overture to Il Turco in Italia
Rossini Semiramide Overture
Rutter  Gloria
Saint-Saens Danse Macabre
Scheidt Centone No. V
Sherementiev, arr. Bohls  Now the Powers of Heaven
Shostakovich Festival Overture 3X
Shostakovich Symphony #5
Shostakovich arr. Bohls Prelude Op. 34 No. 19
Sibelius  Symphony No. 2
Silvestri Captain America March
Smetana Dance of the Comedians
Sousa Liberty Bell
Sousa Semper Fidelis 2X
Sousa Stars and Stripes Forever 4X
Star Spangled Banner 4X
Arr. Jim Stephenson  A Charleston Christmas
J. Strauss Blue Danube Waltz
Strauss Vienna Philharmonic Fanfare
Strauss/ Fritze Festmusik Der Stadt Wien
Strauss/Olsen Solemn Entry
Stravinsky Firebird Suite
Stravinsky Symphony in Three Movements
Stravinsky Violin Concerto
Stravinsky The Rite of Spring
Martha Sullivan  Motectus Hiemalis
von Suppe  Light Cavalry Overture
Susato Renaissance Dances
Tallis  Salvator MundiTchaikovsky  1812 Overture (with cut) 2X
Tchaikovsky  1812 Overture no cut! With chorus!!
Tchaikovsky/Dragon  None But the Lonely Heart 2X
Tchaikovsky  Symphony #4 (finale only, 2X)
Tchaikovsky  Symphony #6
Tchaikovsky Waltz and Dance of the Swans from Swan Lake
Tchaikovsky Suite from Swan Lake
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
traditional  Second Line
traditional, Just a Closer Walk (Brass Ensemble)
traditional, arr. Reichenbach  Scarborough Fair (conducting)
traditional, arr. Dickey  Shenandoah (conducting)
traditional, arr. Robert Elkjer  Oh Hanukkah
traditional, Arr. Robert Elkjer  Three Traditional English Carols
            What Child Is This?
            The Holly and the Ivy
            God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
traditional American hymn  Consolation
traditional Welsh carol, arr. Geoffrey Webber  Tua Bethlem Dref
traditional, arr. John Iveson  selections from Christmas Crackers
traditional, arr. Willcocks  Ding Dong Merrily on High
traditional, arr. Sanders  Just A Closer Walk With Thee
traditional, arr. Mallamud  We Wish You a Merry Christmas
traditional, settings by Richard Webster and David Willcocks  Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Michael Udow  The Shattered Mirror Suite
Vaughan Williams  Tuba Concerto (orchestra)
Vaughan Williams  Dona Nobis Pacem
Vaughan Williams  Romanza from Tuba Concerto
Vaughan Williams, arr. Webster  Down Ampney
Verdi, Arr. Michael Tybursky  Don Carlo: Opening to Act II
Verdi  La Traviata
Verdi/Olt  Triumphal March from Aida (Brass Ensemble)
Verdi/Olt  Pilgrim's Chorus from Il Trovatore (Brass Ensemble)
John Francis Wade, settings by Richard Webster and David Willcocks  Adeste Fidelis
Wagner  Ride of the Valkyries 2X
Wagner/Olt Ride of the Valkyries (Brass Ensemble)
Wagner/Olt Wedding March from Lohengrin (Brass Ensemble)
Wagner, arr. Cherry  Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral (conducting)
von Weber  Overture to Der Freischutz
setting by Richard Webster  Hark! A thrilling voice is sounding (Merton)
Richard Webster  Siciliano from Baroque Suite
Richard Webster  Ouverture from Baroque Suite
arr. Webster  Easter Hymn (2x)
arr. Webster  Victory
arr. Webster  Aurelia
arr. Webster  Merton
arr. Webster  Lobe den Herren
James Whitbourn  Annelies
Williams Fanfare for Fenway
Williams Hymn to New England
Williams Main Title from Superman
Williams, arr. Grieve  Raiders of the Lost Ark (conducting)
Richard Willis, arr. Joe Clark  (a la Tijuana Brass) It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Some Thoughts on Career and Perfectionism

A college-age trombonist opened up about his fears, following a difficult time and a transfer of schools, in a very open way on the trombone forum the other day, and got me writing about some things I've been thinking about for a while.

There are no guarantees for any of us, no matter what school we did or didn't attend. I know excellent professional musicians who went to both XXX School and XXX Conservatory, and I know at least one bass trombonist who went to Curtis who doesn't work in music at all anymore. There are players in major orchestras who didn't go to any of the big name music schools. 

The only factor that matters is you. What standards do you hold yourself to? Do you take steps every day to improve, even just a tiny bit? 

Also, there are many paths to success and fulfillment for a life in and with music, and there are many versions of what success and fulfillment look like. Many of my colleagues and I enjoy our careers and have stable, happy lives without "the big job." Instead, we have multiple jobs, and sometimes those jobs come and go. I make more money some years than others, but I always pay my mortgage. 

If the anxiety you are feeling is keeping you from taking positive action, then I would urge you to talk to a professional counselor. While you are in school there are resources available to you that are harder to pay for when you are out of school, so I would encourage you to take advantage of them. 
My best advice to you is to make sure to do good things for yourself every day. That means eating well, sleeping well, and taking action towards your goals - every day.  

And further...

XXX brings up a good thought about "impostor syndrome." 

Want to know the truth? EVERYBODY has that sometimes. I've read notes from a masterclass with Ian Bousfield in which he talked about feeling that way often, even after he was principal trombone of the Vienna Philharmonic! 

Everybody has bad days too. I've been in the same room as Joe Alessi while he was having very poor response in the low register - onstage, with a pianist, in a masterclass in front of a room full of music students. He didn't say anything, but it was obvious that he was furious with himself. I happened to switch on a NY Phil TV broadcast once at the very moment when Phil Smith laid down a huge clam on the last fanfare entrance of Tchaikovsky 4th. 

Do I think any less of them for it? Not in the least. I take it as encouragement. It means that I'm not a failure if I miss a note or make a mental mistake in a concert. How many things did I do well before and after the mistake? 

We are brass players; there are more physical variables for us than for any other instruments, so perfect performances don't really exist for us. It's our job to make a split note, a less-than-centered sound in a big leap, a small error of timing not matter, because of the great music we make around them. The other side of our fallibility is that we are capable of the biggest drama...IF we are willing to commit to the moment without hesitation or second-guessing. 

The more bold statements you make, the more your body and mind will get used to what you are asking of them. 

I went to a fantastic masterclass a couple of weeks ago by Sam Pilafian. A few nuggets of wisdom related to these subjects:

Bernstein: no rules in music. Say yes to everything that comes up and you can go far.

Go towards growth.

When you keep high standards, good things happen along the way.

You radiate what you're feeling. Get to having fun.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Recording Reviews, #2 of ??: "American Visions" - Garth Simmons, Trombone, Michael Boyd, Piano

I met Garth Simmons years ago when we were both students at the Aspen Music Festival studying with Per Brevig. We didn't get to know each other all that well at that time, but I distinctly remember Mr. Brevig giving Garth the kind of tough love he reserved for the most talented students he knew had the drive to succeed. Just as I'm sure Mr. Brevig predicted, Garth has done extremely well, and he is currently Principal Trombone of the Toledo Symphony and Associate Professor at Bowling Green State University

I've become reacquainted with Garth on facebook and ran into him again at this year's International Trombone Festival. His debut solo CD, American Visions, is an essential addition to a good trombone library; as far as I can tell, these are the first commercial recordings of  four of the six pieces. Garth makes a great case for every one of them being performed much more often. 
Robert Sanders' Sonata in E-flat is a piece I knew about, but I'm not sure I'd ever actually heard it. Like his brass quintet, I find it easy enough listening, if a little bit unmemorable. Still, it's a tuneful, well-constructed piece that deserves a place in the repertoire. I'm much more captivated by the two other large pieces on the disc: Richard Monaco's Sonata was written in a very attractive Hindemith-inspired language of open intervals and rhythmic energy, and George Frederick McKay's Sonata is likewise a great example of the kind of muscular music that was being written by many American composers in the middle of the 20th century. Sometimes I find myself pounding my fist on a table late at night over the absence of this music from American symphonic programs, but I digress...

There are two unaccompanied works on the disc: David W. Brubeck's (the bass trombonist and composer, not the late jazz pianist) StereoGram No. 12 "Spain," and "Dynamo," written for Garth by an Eastman classmate named Michael Johnson. "Spain" comes from a wonderfully challenging set of etudes exploring the idea of establishing multiple lines on a single-voice instrument. Intended originally for bass trombone, some of Brubeck's StereoGrams are finding their way onto concert programs because of their engaging grooves in a variety of styles. "Dynamo" is a virtuosic tour de force highlighting many of Garth's formidable strengths as a performer: big colorful sound, strong and secure range in both extremes, extended techniques, etc. For my taste the piece could be even more effective if it were a little shorter and more compositionally unified, but it's a great alternative to some of the other unaccompanied showcases we've got.

The last work on the recording might be the biggest find. Paul Tanner's Aria for Trombone is a light-hearted encore-style piece that allows a player with a strong high register to sing out freely. It's also more rhythmic than its title suggests and exists with both piano and band accompaniments. 

All in all, this is a disc you should have if only as reference for the music on it. Garth's great sound and stylish playing make it all that much more valuable. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Recording Reviews, #1 of ??: Triton Brass

I've received some excellent new recordings recently, and I'm going to do a series of short reviews. I hope you'll buy them. The artists invest a lot of energy, time AND MONEY to do these, and every little bit of their financial investment they can get back helps them to do more.


My friends of the Triton Brass Quintet have just released their debut recording. I work with every member of this group often in my freelance travels. I have tremendous respect and admiration for every one of them as individuals, and on top of that they have achieved the chamber music ideal of making a group that transcends the sum of its parts.

The recording opens with an original work by one of Triton's trumpeters, Andrew Sorg. Andrew is an amazing musician, and his piece, "Mental Disorders," highlights everything he and the group can do: all-in performance, shifting styles on a dime, with sounds that range from achingly beautiful to shocking and even ugly - all at the service of the music.

I won't say too much about the rest of the music, as I think it's best left to the listeners' ears, but I will say that this is black belt brass playing from everyone, in a range of styles of original music and transcriptions that I can guarantee are not already in your library. More importantly, it's a recording that captures the kind of freedom and excitement I hear from this group in live concert, with a beautifully clear and warm recorded sound.

I'm so proud of my friends Andrew, Steve, Shelagh, Wes and Angel.

Buy the recording at itunes, Hip-Bone Music, CDBaby, Amazon

Monday, February 10, 2014

Some Thoughts about Starting and Growing a Freelance Career in Music

I.                   Musical Concerns

Auditioning well is the fastest way to get started. Most of my opportunities have resulted from doing well at auditions, either directly or indirectly.
That said, there is no substitute for excellent ensemble skills. Over the long term, excellent ensemble skills will help you build a freelance career even if you have difficulty auditioning as well as you are capable of playing. No matter how well you audition, you will not get more calls if you do not:

o   Listen and blend well.
o   Play with intonation that is both independently strong and flexible.
o   Play with rhythm that is both independently strong and flexible.
o   Catch on quickly to play with a style that is appropriate to the repertoire and ensemble.
o   Play with a flexible palette of tone color.
§  Hint: focus is always more important than size of sound.

Know your role in the ensemble. If you are hired to play a principal chair, be a clear, respectful leader and pay close attention to the other principals. If you are hired to play in a section, always defer to the principal, even if you think you are a stronger player. If there’s a clear moment for you to shine, go for it 150%; the rest of the time it is your job to make everybody else sound good and feel comfortable.

My overall advice is to play chamber music, play chamber music, and then play more chamber music. Form a standing group and go for it, rehearsing a lot, performing as often as you can, going to chamber music competitions, etc. You learn so much about ensemble playing from this, but also about interpersonal relations – how to talk to each other, how to give criticism without hurting feelings, etc. These skills are essential to every musician.

II.                Extra-Musical Concerns

Make it a habit now to keep an accurate calendar. Keep everything about your schedule in it, as far into the future as you know. Have it with you 100% of the time. Double-booking yourself IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Make it a habit now to respond to phone messages, texts, and especially emails in a timely manner. 24 hours is the absolute longest anybody should have to wait for you to respond to an email, and that timeframe is shrinking all the time.

Make it a habit now to smile and greet people, even – especially – janitors, waitstaff, and other people who can’t advance your career. Strive to be a genuinely friendly person. If you tend to be shy and this doesn’t come naturally to you, then you will have to work a little harder at it, but don’t go so far that it feels insincere. Insincerity is always obvious.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Retain more from practicing