Wednesday, February 29, 2012

South Carolina All State Orchestra

I want to say a quick thank-you to all of the teachers and students that were part of the South Carolina All State Orchestra last weekend in Myrtle Beach, SC. I was honored to conduct the 9-10 All State Orchestra and simply had a magnificent time at the event. You all made me feel so welcome and appreciated throughout the event.

As part of the event, the students performed Movement IV if Dvorak's New World Symphony, Gabriella Frank's three movement Calles de Laredo (including a Salsa, Cuban Parlor Piece, and Mango Tango), and Calvin Custer's Leroy Anderson Favorites. Your musicianship was stellar and your citizenship was even more impressive. You were great!

Congratulations also to Chris Selby who conducted the 6-8 group, Dr. Robert Culver who conducted the 11-12 orchestra, and Scott Weiss who conducted the 11-12 Wind Ensemble. All of the performances were fantastic.

Finally, a huge thanks to Kathy Perry, Chair of the entire event. You made it easy from start to finish. Having been in your position many times, I know that when it looks easy, you have really done your job well. It looked and felt easy. Thanks.

It was really fantastic to wake up each morning to a cup of coffee while looking over the Atlantic from my 7th floor suite. I could get used to that! I hope to get the opportunity to do it again some day in South Carolina. Thanks for the opportunity!


Mini-term 2012

Hi all!

We have finally hit one of my favorite times of any school year at NCSSM. That is, of course, Miniterm. Mini-term is a 9-day short session when all other classes stop and students are able to take a single, intensive class for that period of time. Many students use Mini-term as an opportunity to travel, do intense research, or explore topics that they otherwise don't have time to pursue. I the music department, that is also the case.

Coincidentally, the NCMEA Eastern Regional Orchestra is held on the weekend of Mini-term. So, I offer an Eastern Regional Orchestra course to the orchestral musicians at NCSSM. As part of this Mini-term course, students that are selected for ERO can prepare for and participate in the event as part of the course. Since there are 5 days of the course following the event itself, we have some time to do some fun orchestral activities as a group that we would never have the opportunity to pursue otherwise. So, each night this week, my 12 student and I have been attending concert performances around the central part of North Carolina. All of the performances are on college campuses (we will spend time at Duke, UNC-Greensboro, and Wake Forest University) and are, for the most part, free to attend.

On Monday evening, we attended three wonderful recitals at UNC - Greensboro. These included performances by violist, Gizen Yucel, saxophonist Peter Salvucci, and vocalists, Andria Williamson and William Britto. All three of these performances were exceptional, bringing variety and virtuosity to the table. My students were particularly impressed with the virtuosity of Salvucci as he concluded his performance with an encore of four Turkish folk songs with a guest percussionist.

Last night, on Tuesday evening, we headed to Duke University for a concert of the music of composer Bill Robinson. ( Bill is a physics professor at NC State University and a fantastic composer. It was great to hear the likes of Eric Pritchard (Ciompi Quartet) and Bonnie Thron (Principal cellist, NC Symphony) and others perform his Grand Serenade, Ananda Sonata, and Clarinet Sextet. What a great experiences for our students. They heard fantastic contemporary literature, saw magnificent virtuoso performers, and witnessed a clinic on exceptional chamber music technique and performance. All of this was done in the fantastic setting of the Nelson Music Room on Duke's East Campus. Students had the opportunity to talk with performers and composer following the program. How cool!

Today, we will be heading to a masterclass by bassist extraordinaire, Edgar Meyer. I can't wait to let you know about it tomorrow.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Great Tutorials for FL Studio

Lately, I have been spending a good deal of time using FL Studio software. I picked up an upgraded version for my son for Christmas and am also teaching it i my recording class at NCSSM. This is a great blog post with a bunch of tutorial links for the program. I recommend checking it out if you are making music with FL Studio.