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From Michigan to Miami

October 13, 2009 Uncategorized

Catching up…

Had a great trip to Michigan for the Univ. Michigan Symphony Band’s performance of Ecstatic Waters. Hill Auditorium makes the electronics crystal clear – it was easy (to my ears) to pick out the acoustic vs. the electronics elements, which made the blending more difficult than usual. The band did a great job, made all the more astonishing by conductor Michael Haithcock doing the entire piece without a click track! Not intentionally, of course – for some reason the wireless unit didn’t work in performance (could’ve been as simple as the earpiece not being plugged in all the way – we have no idea what really went wrong), but he got to Mvt. II where the first electronics cue comes, in, and he had no click. Despite this, he held the piece together by simply relying on listening to the speakers. Lesson for everyone else doing the piece – make sure you check that your click track works immediately before the piece begins.

Also gave an in-depth talk about the piece during a seminar at Michigan – 2 hours solid of me talking about this one piece of music. It felt incredibly self-indulgent, but no one fell asleep, so that’s a good sign. A little nerve-wracking that Bob Reynolds was there and asking questions (and in fact we may have worked out a persistent orchestrational problem I’ve had in Mvt. IV!).

After the performance, Verena and I spent the weekend in East Lansing, and got to go to the MSU/Michigan game on Saturday, followed by Kevin Sedatole’s post-game party at his house (featuring Salt Lick BBQ shipped up from Austin for this occasion). Great weekend seeing old friends and revisiting V’s old stomping grounds for the first time since we left over two years ago.

After a brief return home, I’m now in Miami, where Gary Green and the Univ. of Miami Wind Symphony will perform Ecstatic Waters on Wednesday night. We had a rehearsal yesterday, and everything worked great (including the click track!). This is my first time in Miami, and of course we had some excellent Cuban cuisine today at Versailles, and some unbelievably good seafood last night on the water at The Chart House (the Apple Jack Seabass…hooboy was that some good eats). So, things are good here. If you’re in Miami, come to the concert Wednesday night on the Univ. Miami campus – the concert also features the premiere of Gary’s transcription of Frank Ticheli’s Symphony No. 1, with tenor John Bragle singing the final movement – should prove to be a great concert!

Must sleep – have to talk to the conducting students here in the morning…