Friday, December 5, 2008

The end of a long journey

Hello all,
Well Wednesday was the end of a long and tiring journey. I mailed out four copies of my audition excerpts for the ITF trombone competition. These past two weeks have been filled with much work and intense focus. Many I was out past midnight working on excerpts and getting them just right. Being able to record on my own at my own time did wonders for me. I was able to get the excerpts to be just right. One song took me 16 tries to get it just right (two nights worth). Another took me about 26 attempts. All in all, I recorded over 80 attempts for just 5 excerpts and 1 solo. And I am very pleased with the finished product. Two things from this experience of recording is that I could do it as many times as I wanted to make it just right; however the flip side is I won't be able to play Bolero 16 times in front of a live audition committee. :)
But being able to play these excerpts over and over and listening back to what I heard helped me so much with listening to how I want it to sound. A lot of good habits were made during this experience. One thing that stuck out the most to me was my sense of rhythm. As I listened back to many of the selections I noticed that there wouldn't be a steady beat. This took much to fix, and it was really exciting when I did play them with a steady beat. The other side is that this will have happen to be a key part in ALL excerpts that I prepare now. But the good thing is now that I have instilled a habit of keeping a steady, internal beat that that is overflowing into my work with ensemble and practicing other pieces.
So what's in store for me now? Well there is a very similar competition in Minnesota that I have to send in an audition tape of some different pieces--some are the same. Also, I will be applying for some more openings that have popped up recently. One particular is the Dayton (OH) Philharmonic. But the big BIG thing is now my Junior recital. My music came in yesterday, and I am really looking forward to preparing for it these next few months. :)
A lot of good things going on in this journey that I am excited about and great looking forward to it.
So what to do now? Whelp I'm gonna go practice now :)

I end with this quote by Martin Luther. May this be my desire as a Christian who happens to be a trombonist: "Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through music."

J-man (Romans 12:1-2)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

a long time

Hello All,
Wow it has been a LONG time since I wrote on here. But I guess it's because I have just been plain busy. The past few weeks I have been recording excerpts and listening to playbacks. Last week I did some intense recordings. I have been recording the excerpts individually, and I have learned a lot about my playing.
Three things are really becoming aware to me that I have heard others (higher up) say they listen for in an audition. In time--In tune--with a great sound. At times I have wondered if I have to be really nit-picky about my playing. But a question my dad mentioned to me that came from his former teacher is "Would you buy a recording of that?" And honestly, there are a few times I have thought maybe I'll let this little thing slide. But then I have to think I'm wanting to give the listeners my best foot forward so in one sense "no shortcuts." One excerpt it took me 15 tries to get it the way I liked it. BUT that 16th time when I played it back, I was very excited and yelled, "Yes, Yes!"
Tonight was a frustrating session with a particular excerpt because I just could not play it in time. I spent a good half-hour to 45 minutes on the excerpt, but had to leave not picking one of the recordings. Yea it was frustrating (it showed in intramurals) to leave on a damper, but it's an excerpt where you can lose a lot of gas and need to rest the lips to play it well. So tomorrow I will pick up where I left off tomorrow.
Three excerpts left to record, and then this long journey will come to an end; the rest will be in God's hands, and it'll be time to move on to a new and exciting journey.

This is going to be a busy, but rewarding week

Disziplin und Hingabe wird gewinnen den Tag.

J-man (Romans 12:1-2)