Thursday, September 30, 2010

First Month of Grad School ( a little long)

Hello All,
Well my first month of grad school is in the books, and I'd like to highlight a few things that have happened.
A great start to the week is my 8:00 am Brass Pedagogy with George Vosburgh, Principal Trumpet of the Pittsburgh Symphony (PSO). Then, after that, I have Brass Studio Class with Mr. Vosburgh again, playing some great symphonic literature. Then on Tuesdays, I have a theory class;Trombone Studio Class; and a Mahler Class. First, the trombone studio class is led by Peter Sullivan, Principal Trombone of the PSO. It is a great time as we dive into certain aspects of playing as well repertoire that the PSO is playing this season. It is a lot of fun. Then, if needed, I have rehearsal; and my day ends with a 3-hour class on the symphonies of Mahler (yes three hours!) It is an excellent class, and what makes it better is the professor is a Mahler enthusiast. What better way to learn about Mahler than from a guy who loves Mahler!
--Trombone Lessons
This is one of the biggest highlights of the week. My personal lesson with Mr. Sullivan. The lessons are great, and he plays a lot in the lesson, which is very helpful in playing excerpts and solos. I honestly look forward to Fridays and my time with him (It is the reason why I am at Carnegie Mellon).
--Pittsburgh Symphony Concerts
I really think the PSO is one of the most underrated orchestras in the world. They are good! Incredible! Maestro Manfred Honeck is such a wonderful conductor and really pulls every little musical thing out of the music and the players. The brass section is one of the best I've heard as well.
--Orchestra Manager/CMU Philharmonic
I get the great privilege of being the Manager of the Carnegie Mellon Orchestras. At first, it was a little stressful learning the new ropes of how to do things, but since then it is going much more smoothly. Our first concert was Mahler's 6th symphony (it was amazong!) and we even got to perform in the same venue that Mahler conducted the NY Philharmonic back in 1910. Other things looking forward to with the Orchestra is playing Pictures at an Exhibition as well as a concert at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., (home of the National Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra of my mentor and former teacher at Grace College).
I have been able to find a wonderful church here in Pittsburgh. I first heard of the church from a family I stayed with this summer while traveling with King's Brass. The church is Allegheny Center Alliance Church (ACAC). It is such a great church..Very culturally diverse, but it is so awesome to see all walks of life worshiping as one together. The preaching is excellent, and I am looking to join a Bible Study (they are called Growth Groups...ironic, Gracies), as well as join their orchestra.
The cool thing of being is Pittsburgh is it is not far away from Kylee. I have been able to see her twice. She came to visit me for Labor Day weekend in which we went to two Pirates games and also went to my first Country music concert. I also go to visit her a few weekends ago. The three-hour drive is very bearable for a weekend to see her or her to come see me. (Still praying she can find a job in Pittsburgh though)
--Pittsburgh itself
Wow what a great city! I love it a lot. The city is big, yet small and quaint. People are friendly here! The nice thing too is CMU students get to ride the bus for free, making it very easy to commute to certain places. The people of Pittsburgh love Pittsburgh as well which is a plus. And how many places in the country can you pay the same price to see Major League Baseball and a world-class orchestra ($12 or less for each ticket!).
--Auditions (big news)
And some big news, I "won" my first audition. The Canton Symphony Orchestra in Ohio had substitute/extra auditions for trombone, and I went to take the audition. It went very well (probably the best I have played Tuba Mirum), and I received a letter in the mail the next week saying they would like to place me on their extra list, which was the purpose of my audition. So now we shall see when I may be called :)

All in all, my time here is fantastic! I'm loving it here. It is stretching me spiritually and causing me to be really active in pursuing Christ and my relationship with Him. And it's also causing me to practice a lot (and enjoy practicing). I have much free time, therefore I must practice and use that time wisely. I like the area, have a good place to live, (and am eating well thanks to Kylee), and I do believe that this is where God has me to be right is so evident :)

Thanks for reading. Sorry for the length.
(Hebrews 13:21)