Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kickstarter: Not Mine

Everyone that reads this blog is familiar with Kickstarter, the fundraising site that funded Discovering a Classical Musician.  Two days ago, a friend of mine launched her own project.  Tromboteam, along with nine composers, are raising money for new trombone quartets.

I have known Sarah Paradis, the fifth member of Tromboteam, for almost three years.  We attended the Aspen Music Festival together, and this past spring, she hosted me at the University of Bemidji.  I have always been impressed with her playing.  However, this project shows off her unbelievable entrepreneurial skills.  Along with being a professor of trombone, Sarah, tours regularly with Tromboteam and an active brass quintet.  These compositions will certainly get exposure.

Inez McComas wrote a little piece for me in 2010.  A Quick Trip with Lots of Baggage has been a huge hit among my friends and colleagues. After the world premiere in May of 2010, I am aware of several performances, Dr. Brad Edwards toured Georgia performing the piece on tenor trombone and Genevieve Clarkson performed the piece at the International Women's Brass Conference on tuba.  Sarah heard the piece on my recital in Bemidji.  Brad Edwards premiered Inez's new composition Descending into Light last week.

Established composer James Kazik has written several popular brass pieces throughout his career.  Check out his website for more information.  Any new composition from Kazik is sure to be successful.

Trombone players and trombone supporters, get on it and help create new music.  This project is sure to be a hit.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bremen, Germany

Trombone class here at ArtEZ is quickly becoming an awesome experience.  Today, Peter, Tommy and I made the two hour trek to Bremen, Germany.  The purpose of the trip: check out two of the best trombone makers in the world.

First and Third stop the Latzsch trombone factory.  Latzsch is the trombone designer who sponsored the festival I attend last December.  Not only does he make great trombones, but mouthpieces as well.  After spending a couple hours at Latzsch, the three of us walked less than a mile to the Thein show room.

The Monster Contrabass

Theins have become an insanely popular trombone all over Europe.  Their horns are pretty incredible.  Unfortunately, these babies are the most expensive models readily available.  Thein makes a "German" trombone and a "Universal" or "American" model.  The differences have to do with the size bore of the slide and the exact shape of the bell flair.  The prices are also different, but a Universal model sold to a citizen of the non-EU country goes for only 6,512 Euro.

All three of us we kids in a candy shop all day.  The trip was a great way to kick off the school year.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

ArtEZ Conservatorium: Day One.

On Thursday, the master's students at ArtEZ met to start our school year.  The emphasis of the program is on personal research and creative programing.  Much like schools in America, we are responsible for our own research.  But unlike schools in America, the students are responsible for developing our own avant garde performances.  Over the next year, groups of us will be writing, organizing, and performing works of art that we produce.  I am excited to be in a very creative place.

Day One: Zwolle, NL

The ArtEZ school is comprised of three different schools in three different citys, Arnhem, Enschede, and Zwolle (ArtEZ).  The masters students are in each city because of our individual teachers, however, we will be traveling are working with each other throughout the year.  There are a number of students from all over Europe, including Spain, Romania, Germany, and the Netherlands.  I am the only American participating in the masters program.

Netherlands Symphony Orchestra: 
Sound Check

Zwolle is a typical Dutch city.  However, is this not a canal; this is the mote that surrounds the old city.  Throughout the town, you can see parts of the old fortress, the keep, and several other structures.  ArtEZ: Zwolle is actually in the old cloister just behind this tower.

After school we took a walk around town.  This is a typical cheese shop, there are serval just like it.  I am looking forward to a very fruitful year.