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May 24, 2006

Alchemy update

Had two rehearsals – yesterday and this morning, and it’s really coming together. The second movement still needs a little more passion and intensity, but the first and third are sounding fantastic. We have the dress rehearsal tomorrow morning in Alice Tully Hall, and I think that will give them time to pull the final… continued

May 19, 2006

North Little Rock High School / Ron Bryant Memorial Scholarship Fund

Last Thursday night (May 11th), the North Little Rock HS Band, under the direction of Bill Spainhour, held their final concert of the year. This is also the occasion in the past when they would award the Ron Bryant Scholarship to two deserving graduating seniors from the band. Since my father’s passing last Fall, this… continued

May 15, 2006

Fayetteville Band Week – more pics

As promised, I’ve got a few more pics from the week to share:Brett Lawson, myself, and Lewis Clark. Lew is the director at Ramay Jr. HS, and this is backstage at their concert last Thursday night, when they performed “Bloom.”I was sitting backstage just before the Ramay band went on, and I suddenly found myself… continued

May 12, 2006

Fayetteville Band Week 2006, Day 4

The fourth and final day of Band Week 2006 was a great success. I thought the band was completely ‘on,’ and they connected with me throughout Bloom. It was a(nother) satisfying and musical performance, and the audience certainly seemed to dig it! Tyler, who laid down the crucial vibraphone solos at the beginning and… continued

May 10, 2006

Fayetteville Band Week 2006, Day 3

Today is my one day “off” in relative terms – no concert tonight. Went to Ramay Jr. HS this morning to work with Lewis Clark’s group on Bloom. They sound good – in some respects this might be the hardest of the three pieces happening this week (it has fewer exposed moments than “Dusk,”… continued

May 10, 2006

Fayetteville Band Week 2006, Day 2b (The Concert)

Didn’t manage to post after the concert last night, but it went quite well. I took “Dusk” a little slower than we had been in rehearsal, and the band followed me wonderfully. The climax was really satisfying and powerful! I need to study the score to “Bloom” for rehearsal this morning, so I’ll just offer… continued

May 9, 2006

Fayetteville Band Week 2006, Day 2

This morning I went to the high school rehearsal again (8:30, on the tail end of a powerful lightning and thunderstorm – some crazy lightning arcing through the mountains on my drive to rehearsal – I loved it).We only had time for a single run-through, which is all I wanted to do anyway – they… continued

May 9, 2006

Fayetteville Band Week 2006, Day 1b (The Concert)

Short post-concert recap – it was a great evening – the three bands all put on a good show and it seemed like both the bands and the audience were having a good time. The 7th-grade band did a fun tune called “Rock to the Max Mr. Sax” with the sax section out front grooving… continued

May 8, 2006

Fayetteville Band Week 2006, Day 1

Friday, my brother and I took a quick trip over to Memphis to visit my old friend Mac, and for some BBQ and music at the Beale Street Music Festival (happened to see Bryan Adams and Train, the latter featuring an unexpected keyboard solo using Clavinet run through a “wah” pedal followed by an… continued

May 5, 2006

North Little Rock High School

Yesterday morning, I had the pleasure of working with Bill Spainhour and the North Little Rock High School band on Dusk. This is as close I can get to “my” old high school (this one and mine were merged into one huge school the year after I graduated, so my actual school no longer… continued

May 4, 2006

Michigan State University, part 2

I’ve just returned from East Lansing, MI, where I had a fantastic week. The performance of “Dusk” was really, really, good – it was the slowest I’ve heard, and the first time I think any conductor has trusted him- or herself to take it at the right tempo, including myself. Verena brought out an incredibly… continued