Saturday, August 28, 2010

Summary of King's Brass Summer Tour

Hello All,
Well now that 2010 King's Brass Summer Tour and has come to an end (and I'm settled into Pittsburgh) I would like to report a little bit of what happened over tour (don't worry it will not be a loooooong post). There were so many wonderful things about traveling with these musicians. One of the coolest things about traveling in a music ensemble is getting to visit places that you would otherwise not be able to visit. Places such as West Point where Greg Alley, a former trumpet player in the West Point Band gives us a special tour. Also there or own pianist/organist got the EXTREMELY RARE opportunity to play the Cadet Chapel organ, the world's largest organ in a church. Other places we visited included a complete day at Ocean City, NJ, (yes, it was needed);the opportunity to play at the church of Phil Smith, principal trumpet of the New York Philharmonic (unfortunately, he wasn't there). We also got to play on the Upper Peninsula in which we take about a half a day and visited Mackinac Island, one of my favorite places to visit.

The list goes on and on of unique places we played at. But the best place by far was the great opportunity to play at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, PA. This church has great historical significance for two reasons. First, in that very sanctuary was where Bach's B-minor Mass was first performed in the United States back in 1900. Second, it is at this church that the Bethlehem Moravian Trombone Choir was formed and it still exists as America's oldest instrumental ensemble after 250 years. Inside the church, the huge organ is in the back of the sanctuary. We gave our concert on Saturday night and then had the privilege of playing in the back for a special music service they had on Sunday. This organ is rather huge in that our brass group sat in between the organs and its pipes. Talk about a cool experience. It was some of the loudest playing we did that day. There was one moment I specifically remember I would remember for a long time. During our playing of "Holy, Holy, Holy," the organist, Rebecca Kleintop Owens, began to play an interlude into the final verse. Literally the floor was vibrating and it was full force with the sound. When we entered with our brass instruments it was literally at that time that I felt I was receiving a glimpse of what Heaven was going to sound like. The beautiful sounds were definitely loud but so glorious. Only one other time has that kind of thing happened. It was a special day for me :)

All in all, It was an excellent tour. Great music and great travelings, and Wonderful people. I was honored to be a part of such great Christians, musicians, and was a great summer "family."

Now on to graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University School of Music. (more to come later!)

J-man (Isaiah 40:31)