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Mackey Sax, TMEA catch-up

February 23, 2008

As promised, a few pics from Mackey’s visit and TMEA:

John Mackey, Harvey Pittel, and AEJ, immediately after the fantastic UT concert with Mackey’s Sax Concerto. Read more about it here. This man’s circular breathing is indeed spectacular – I never could master that back in my saxamaphone-playin’ days. And of course the ensemble was excellent as usual – they also played a well-done new “West Side Story” arrangement with particular ‘verve.’

V and I headed to TMEA for a couple of days – now that it’s just down the road, how could we not go? We spent some quality time with EW for the first time in far too long. He gave a clinic on his choral music with the Texas Tech Choir that was rather well-attended:

The choir was great, and ready for anything – Eric threw some new music at them just before the clinic, and they gobbled it up easily. I’m so inspired by hearing them that I’ve gone and dug up my one and only choral work from circa 1994. As I feared, it needs some serious work before it sees the light of day (even then, still not sure it’s worthy of being heard in public). Hearing them did remind me how much I love choral sound.

As usual, E was besieged by fans asking him to sign anything and everything. Including the fans themselves:

At one point the crowd was bordering on the dangerous – almost crushing E and his manager, KC, against the wall. I’m sure that’s a normal amount of attention for choral composers, though…

Unfortunately, we had to head home on Friday, and missed Mackey’s numerous concerts, but we did make it to a rehearsal of the 5A Symphonic Band with Tom Lee. Holy hell – I’m jealous of all those high C’s in the horns. They did indeed sound awesome. This piece was for the JWECC consortium in Japan, which Newman’s doing this year, and I’ll be composing a work for them next year. They ate up the high C’s with no problem, so I figure I’ll write some high D’s. Why not, right? It’s just a whole step… (For the sarcasm impaired, I’m not serious – rabid horn teachers need not write in indignation).

Since I woke up at 3am this morning and couldn’t sleep anymore, I figure I’ll go and transcribe Dusk for orchestra. Enjoy your day, wherever you are!