Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Engagment Story

Hello All,
Alright people, even though this is a blog dealing with my journey to the trombone section, I want to write a post about finding the one person on this earth who is my biggest supporter, and who in a short five months, will be alongside me (permanently) with this journey to the section.

Kylee Barnett is a very pretty girl that I have known since freshman year at Grace College through friends of friends. As time went along we got to know each other and started dating on May 26, 2009. For about a year and half, we dated, and in February 2010 I knew this was the girl I wanted to marry (see earlier post about that prayer). My plan for a whole year was to ask her a year from that time. So a few months ago, I decided that it would be great to propose to her in Warsaw, Indiana at Center Lake. This is a place where I went often, and we went to talk on our first date. Plus, I thought it would be great to propose Valentine's Day weekend (February 12th). We would go to the Grace basketball game, and I would propose after the game down at the lake.

By the way, I told people it was going to be February 12th. All of King's Brass knew, even the people who were my host families on tour knew. The only people who didn't know at all were her friends or anybody remotely close to being her friend. Well the week prior to that, I began thinking why put it off any longer. I already had the ring for over a month, and I wasn't doing anything the weekend of the 5th. So plans changed! I decided to go to her place the first weekend of February and surprise in coming. I told her that Thursday night that I was gonna come to visit her. So I came and we decided to go eat for dinner/late lunch on Saturday at a place called Wings & Rings (honest, it was her choice to go there). So I thought, it would be perfect. I hid the little black bag in the toolbox of my car. Some may remember I sent a tweet saying something about "no sense in putting it off any longer." Well this was right before I proposed. It was a little windy and snowy outside, and as we walked outside I said, "funny that we should eat at a place called wings and rings." I walked her back to my car, and meanwhile she is saying "Hurry up, open the door!" I walked to the trunk and told her to come here and she is still wondering why I am not opening the doors. I start saying things like, "Kylee I love you very much and want to grow old with you!" While she is still saying "what are you doing?" she sees the black bag and starts going off saying "Are you messing with me?" or "Is this for real?" (I was still powering through with my eloquent romance). Then I just plowed through, got down on one knee (IN the snow across from the Burger King drive-through window) and asked her, "Kylee, will you marry me?" while I popped the box open. She said, "....baby, Yes!" and I put the ring on her finger (good fit too), and we're engaged.

I changed the date of proposal just because I thought it may be more of a surprise to her if I did it before we went to Grace, and she would then be able to show all of her friends the ring rather than they all coming up to us asking when we were ever gonna get engaged. It worked out excellente! and yes she likes the ring very very much :) I'll add pictures of the ring later.

The date of the wedding? August 6th, 2011 in Centerburg, Ohio. Booooooy I sure can't wait !!

(Hebrews 13:21...Kylee and I's verse)

Success is "peace of mind"

Hello All,
Recently, I purchased Coach Jim Tressel's new book, Life Promises for Success. As I read this little devotional book, one of the first devos is defining Success. He uses legendary Coach John Wooden's definition which I feel is thee best definition. Success is "peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming."

As some of you may know, a few weeks ago I auditioned for the United States Air Force Ceremonial Brass. The DC military band has always been a dream of mine since I would be serving country and making music. Monday (2/21) after Brass Studio Class I drove to Pittsburgh International and flew to Baltimore to be picked up by my friend and colleague with the King's Brass. As I was on the plane (thank you Southwest!), I could tell that it was going to be a good next few days simply for the lack of stress involved with my flight. When I was picked up, my friend drove me to his house where I napped for a good bit and then had dinner. After dinner, I was able to have a good warm-up and play through the excerpts and touch up on a few things.

The next morning, I woke up to an excellent breakfast. Even though my audition block was from 2:30-3:30, my friend had to drop me off at the base around 9:30 am since he had classes/meetings all day. Though to some this might be a negative thing, I found this to be a really positive time because I was able listen through the excerpts a number of times, read through my personal notes from listening to my practice recordings, and read some Scripture and specific verses. It was a time that I got to really relax and focus on the task at hand, and begin to really block out "outside" thoughts, and prepare myself for what was to come (Read Ephesians 3:17-20)

As the time drew nearer, I went to the Band Hangar, checked-in, and went to the big room. As I walked in, I saw other trombone players I had recognized from auditions or from just knowing who "so and so" was. But I did not let that distract me from what I was there for. I then got moved to a private warm-up room, and this was just an excellent time for me to play and open up. Leaving that room for the "performance" room, I felt great and confident and knowing the good Lord would be right beside me. I know where my weaknesses and strengths were going to be, and was prepared for what was to come.

As I entered the audition room, they listed four excerpts and sight-reading in the first round. They first asked for "Tuba Mirum" from Mozart's Requiem, which to be honest, was probably the best I have played it. To me, it sounded the way I wanted it. The second excerpt was from Saint-Saens' "Organ" Symphony. This excerpt, had very slight control issues in the soft dynamics; however, for me it has been a struggle to have the last two notes speak in tempo without fluff (A-flat to D-flat). In the audition, it happened...the D-flat spoke, and well...it made me happy. The next excerpt they asked for was the B Major section of Die Walkure, and again this excerpt sounded exactly the way I wanted it too! (I had spent many practice sessions on getting this excerpt just right...it was good to hear the results).

Then they asked for sight-reading which for me, is not an extreme issue. I did not recognize the excerpt/etude but I still powered through. After the audition was over, I walked out of the room very excited for how I did. I went in there doing what I wanted to do, and for the first time, had a feeling of knowing the decision would be left up to them not me.

As the other candidates finished, the coordinator came in to tell us with regret that no one from our block had advanced on to the next round. Though there was disappointment, there was more joy in knowing that I did my best (exactly what I wanted to do). This was the first time for me, in an audition, that I was able to play everything on the list they asked for. I saw this as a step forward, a "personal victory," for what came about that day.

This is where the definition of success comes in to play; having that "peace of mind" in knowing you gave your best. To some, this might be seen as a failure because I didn't win. For me, it was a victory because I was successful in doing my best and certainly had a peace of mind in knowing I gave it my best. And now, it gives me complete motivation to keep working harder and harder to take on that next step! I am very excited about what the future will hold for me....no matter how long it may take.

(Hebrews 13:21)