Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Christian who happens to be a Trombonist

Hello All,

A while back, my dad had emailed me a link to an article written by Douglas Yeo, bass trombonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Doug is one of the finest Christians I know and is a great bass trombonist as well. I finally read the article today on his website and was just amazed. He is one of the few men I know of who literally acts out the phrase, "A Christian who happens to be a trombone player." Reading this article was absolutely inspiring and motivational, and I wanted to share it with you all.

"Look for the Ancient Paths"

Please Enjoy! :)

J-man (Psalm 115:1)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Alabama and the Day After (part 2)

Hello All,
They did not advance me, which I already knew; HOWEVER, they did advance me the guy in front of me who I heard play. So immediately, I wrote down what he did in his audition that I remembered that I didn't do; it was good what he did I remember and what HE did is why he advanced.

All in all, it was a quick day. I wish I could have done better, but I'm not going to let that get to me. Sometimes you have those days. And when you do, you learn from what you do and just keep running. Either way advance or not, I'm still going to practice :)

I was able to also run into a friend of mine who I had played with in the Florida All-State bands back in HS. We have been in contact via Facebook, and after his audition, we went to a place and caught up with each other. He advanced to the next round (actually all the way to the finals!), so he still had much to do; however, I was glad we were able to talk. I was really happy for him with how far he progressed during the day. He is studying at New England Conservatory, and he is such a great player--heard him play over spring break--but he is even a better person. Just a really good guy.

So today, the day after, it's back to the "trombone lab". Back to work harder, and really work out things that can be done better--back to the drawing board. It was a great learning experience. Walking away from it, the best thing was I wasn't nervous or jittery about the whole thing. I owe a lot to my Father up above for giving me peace the night before and day of, but I also owe a lot to a very special friend of mine from college, who supported me the past entire week. Always praying for me and giving me encouragement to do my best and to "do it for God." Their encouragement just meant the world to me, and it made things much easier and calmer, and I thank them for it.

Whelp time to go practice. I just love the trombone, and it's always my prayer that I would honor God and give Him that 1st place that He deserves with my trombone--whether it's 5 or 50 auditions before I land that first position may it always be:

Soli Deo Gloria :)

J-man (Ps. 115:1)

Alabama and the Day After (part 1)

Hello All,
Well I haven't done so hot in keeping everybody updated, but yesterday was the Alabama Symphony audition, down in Birmingham. I got there Sunday night, spent the night in a hotel, and then woke up for the audition the next day. I have to admit, I felt really calm the entire time, was really confident about myself, and knew it was going to be a good day.

I arrived at the audition site on the campus of Univ. of Alabama Birmingham around 10ish. Thankfully, when I woke up I was able to warm-up in an old exercise room at my hotel. I had a good warm-up and was good to go. Once I got to the audition site, they gave me another warm-up room with the audition list. It was the standard list: Mozart Requiem, Berlioz Hungarian March, Ravel Bolero, and Wagner Ride of the Valkyries. Apparently they were going through the candidates pretty quick.

I touched the beginning of each excerpt then just studied them. A couple days before I was reading some articles on audition prep and the one thing that was common in the articles was just remember to have world-class breathing the entire time...and to take your time.

After I was in my warm-up room, they called me up and it was my turn to go. I was able to hear the guy in front of me, and he sounded really good. I liked it. Then my turn came up. I played a few notes then started. Tuba Mirum was good. Berlioz was fair--had a bad start to the beginning. Bolero had a real nice start, which I was happy about. Then they said "thank you" after the third one. Then I left the room.

It wasn't the greatest performance, but sometimes you have those days. Once I got back to the waiting room, I immediately wrote down some critiques since they were fresh. A little while later, they came in and announced who moved on.

(read part 2)

J-Man (Psalm 115:1)