That was literally the last thing I typed in my last post. On January 30th. And now it’s March 24th.
So things that have happened since the opera - let me get you up to speed.
First off, the opera was awesome. Doris Lang Kosloff is an AMAZING person to work with. Her conducting was spot on and the opera went off without a hitch. We all had a fantastic time, and I actually miss it.
Wind Ensemble has been wonderful. It’s so much better than Symphony Band I can hardly contain my joy. Our concert this semester was challenging. Sinfonietta by Ingolf Dahl was by far the most challenging. It really tested my playing abilities, and I am certainly a better trombonist for having played it. Plus, playing with my TA and the grad bass trombonist helped because they gave feedback on my playing during rehearsals. The Hindemith was also challenging but more stylistically than technically. The Abe marimba rhapsody was UNBELIEVABLY fun and it’s such a cool piece, and Black Dog, the clarinet rhapsody, was also fun, though certainly the cheesiest piece I’ve played in a while.
COLLAGE CONCERT WAS AWESOME. I played 1st on a lot of stuff. We did a scene from the opera, a scene from Miss Saigon (it was very emotional, as we had lost Kevin Gray earlier that week…), a scene from Follies, some Gershwin ballet, and a massive arrangement of Hey Jude. Among other things, the concert also featured Maestro Cumming dressed as Abe Lincoln, a sax arrangement of the Toccata from Toccata and Fugue, my friend Adam’s AWESOME band Forward Motion, and my TA’s performance of the Rabe piece, “Basta,” which left everyone speechless.
I’ve been assigned to play in Hartt’s productions of The Drowsy Chaperone and Big River. DC is kicking my butt, and we haven’t had a Big River rehearsal yet, but I’m looking forward to it. I’m definitely becoming a better player as I work through all the tricky stuff in DC. It’s cheesy and fun but definitely technically difficult in some spots.
I’ve been taking a conducting class and it’s the greatest thing EVER and I’m going to TRY to take score reading class next semester if I can find a different section of financial accounting to take. BUT OH MAN I THINK I’LL GET TO TAKE HISTORY OF MUSIC THEATRE NEXT SEMESTER TOO AND I’M SO EXCITED.
I’ve switched mouthpieces! I have FINALLY graduated from my Bach 6 1/2 AL to a Denis Wick 4 1/2 AL, gold plated. The difference is like night and day, and I’m SO excited. Next equipment change may end up being my rotor cap. I play on a Conn 88HCL and I’ve had the heavier rotor cap that it comes with on since high school. Never occurred to me that it would cut down on my resonance. Derp. So I’m experimenting with using the lighter one again. So far, seems like it may be a good switch to make, but I definitely want to get some input from Matt and Rojak before I make it a permanent switch. Not that I can’t change them easily anyway…
On Tuesday, I’m visiting the new school that my old band director teaches at. I’m going to observe his band class and then give a mini master class to his middle schoolers. I’ll probably play some Rochut to keep it light and fun, and I’m thinking of pulling out the first movement of the Larsson Concertino to show them some of the cooler qualities of the trombone and how awesome solos can be.
I’ve been practicing like crazy because I’m home on break. Tomorrow I’ll be the only one home, so I will likely practice even more than usual.
Current etudes: Tyrell 19 and Rochut 19, 20. Still working the Arban’s, number 19 on page 21, number 20 on page 22, numbers 9 and 10 on page 31, number 25 on page 37, and number 26 on page 38. Plus that triple and double tonguing stuff in the back that Rojak must have forgotten he gave me…haha
But for real, I’ll be better about updates. I REALLY promise this time.
Jan 24th: I had opera and wind ensemble rehearsals again. This was too far back for me to remember too many details about. But they went well and we got lots more done with the opera. It has some really nice moments.
Jan 25th: I was done with class at 2:30. I really don’t remember what I did for the rest of the day to be honest. I probably practiced at some point…
Jan 26th: Hartt Audition Day! Trombone Ensemble is playing at the audition days this year. We played an arrangement of How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place from Brahms’ German Requiem, an antiphonal piece called Echo Song, and a jazzy, fun, very commercial arrangement of Take Me Out To The Ballgame. Overall it was a huge success. Everyone enjoyed it. Then Becky and I went on an adventure to pick up car parts that Evan bought on craigslist. We drove 45 minutes. Becky and I got Subway. Then we drove back. Then I have opera rehearsal from 3-6 and 7-10. And it sucked. And I don’t mean the rehearsal itself sucked, it was just SO long. It was our first time with the singers so we had to hash out a lot of stuff and remark things. It was a long process.
Jan 27th: I skipped a day of practicing and went to Boston with Evan and Ben to see a Reel Big Fish concert. I met some of their friends from home and generally had a totally awesome time. Reel Big Fish puts on quite the show.
Jan 28th: I was supposed to have a dress rehearsal for the opera but the university closed at 2:00 due to a snow storm so I went home and did pretty much nothing all day. Not even practice. Bad Hayley.
Jan 29th: I was SUPPOSED to see Tegan and Sara in NYC but they rescheduled because Sara was sick. Looking on the bright side, I got to go to my rehearsals. Wind ensemble rehearsal was alright, but it wasn’t my best rehearsal. It was a slightly off day. We had opera dress rehearsal, which I guess it was good I got to go to since Monday’s was cancelled. The show actually went surprisingly well. We didn’t have to stop and restart at all, and for the MOST part the pit sounded good. Much better than it had previously, anyway.
Jan 30th: Today I practiced 10:30-11:20 between classes and now I’m sitting in a practice room again. It’s 4:00 and I don’t have class till 5:00. I already practiced a little before I sat down to write this. I’m at the beginning of my Arban’s book because Rojak told me to go back and honestly it’s the best thing I could be spending time on right now. For real. Paying close, close attention to the quality of each and every note. Also, he’s got me trying to even out my double tonguing even MORE by playing all of those exercises on just the “ku” of the “tu-ku” articulation set. Also, I’m working on Rochut 16-18 and Tyrell 16 and 17. Tyrell 17 is hard, man…but tomorrow is opening night for the opera so I need to keep practicing and be in top shape! I’ll be better about these updates doing forward. Promise!
Yesterday, I had my first rehearsals for the opera and wind ensemble. We didn’t accomplish a whole lot with the opera, but I definitely really like the overture. Wind ensemble rehearsal was SOOOOO much better than any symphony band rehearsal I’ve ever been in, and the pieces are way more fun.
Today, I didn’t have any rehearsals, but after class I practiced for a solid hour at least, maybe closer to an hour and a half.
Tomorrow, I have opera and wind ensemble rehearsal again.
Ok, so no symphony band and, as it turns out, no musical for me.
Matt thought I was going to be first chair in symphony band, but apparently I skipped that ensemble entirely and am now an official member of wind ensemble. Which is AWESOME because Glen Adsit is one of my favorite people at this school and I love his conducting.
I was assigned to the musical, but the musical director contacted Glen Adsit and told him there’s not actually a trombone part in On The Twentieth Century. So clearly I’m not a part of that.
I AM in the opera, I AM in wind ensemble, and I WILL BE in orchestra for the 1812 Overture later this semester.
Lied. No symphony band for me. Which I’m actually super stoked about because now I don’t have to put up with the conductor who I’m convinced absolutely hates me and doubts my abilities as a musician.
Also playing in wind ensemble. This semester could not get any better.
Everything is kick ass and nothing hurts.
I JUST GOT AN EMAIL THAT I’M ASSIGNED THE ONLY TROMBONE SPOT FOR THE MUSICAL “ON THE 20TH CENTURY” THIS SEMESTER YESSSSSSS
That’s right! Guess who made first chair in symphony band, and also gets to play with the orchestra?! :D
I’ll get to play a lot of big, awesome parts in symphony band, according to my TA, and as of right now I’m scheduled to play the opera, Die Fledermaus, and the off-stage trombone parts for the 1812 Overture.
Life is awesome.
I beat 3 people in my studio, and my TA says that my sound has gone through a HUGE change and is so much better.
Excuse me while I just explode with glee.
Ok so I’m a few days behind because of the moving back in process. Now that everything has settled and auditions have passed, let me get you up to speed.
I practiced minimally and packed for school. I read half of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and was in bed by 11:15. It was not a very good night, so my practicing wasn’t very productive. Oh well.
I was all moved back in and settled by 1:30. I headed to Hartt to practice and ended up meeting with Mike to go over some stuff. He sounded pretty good. He told me about some slide position stuff that I didn’t really care to pay attention to because I didn’t want to change things so close to the audition. I told him to play his B-flats in trigger third for the Organ Symphony. We played minimally and chatted a lot about the pieces. After he left, I ran all of my material like it was a mock audition, signed up for an 11:10 audition spot, and went to dinner. I didn’t practice for the rest of the day.
Audition day! I woke up around 8:00 and got ready for the day. I sat down with a glass of apple juice and listened to a few of the excerpts and the solo so that I could have them in my head going into my warm up and audition. I met with Evan and Carter around 9:45ish. We warmed up and I played a few things for Evan (Including a mostly memorized Larsson he said sounded lovely and a William Tell that sounded the best it ever has!). After a while I decided to stop so I wouldn’t blow my chops. I think I went up to the audition area around 10:30 or so, perhaps a little after. We waited for our auditions in Sukman Foyer outside Millard Auditorium. The auditions got behind so I didn’t end up going till about 11:30-11:40ish. I got to hear everyone who went before and after me, which was good but also a little disheartening. It sounds like everyone worked really hard over break, and it’s going to be a close call as to whether or not I made it out of last chair. Here’s a breakdown of how I did in the order we were asked to play them (instead of my usual order):
LARSSON: They only let us play the first page (about half) because of how far behind we were getting. I think it actually went pretty darn well. Everything up to my high B-flat sounded great. The eighth-note run after that was a little muddy. The low stuff that follows actually rang pretty well. Everything after that was good until the bar before the ritard where I played my E-natural too early and messed everything up a little, but I managed to get back on track. Then everything went well until 2 bars before the next ritard when I messed up the eighth-note runs again, but not too severely. Overall there were a few minor blips that couldn’t be helped.
MAHLER: My first excerpt pretty much kicked ass I think. They cut the second excerpt, and then before I could start at the Sehr getragen (as posted on the audition door), the asked me to move onto the Organ Symphony. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear that the first time the asked, so I started playing that part of the Mahler and they asked me again to move on.
SAINT-SAËNS: In a slight panic, I started the Organ Symphony a little too fast and with poor support, so my notes were fizzling out and I was dying. Fortunately for me, they realized this and stopped me. One of my judges (who shall remain unnamed) told me that they were cutting part of the excerpts for time reasons and that they didn’t mean to rush me onto the Organ Symphony. He told me to take a deep breath and start again and not to worry because I was doing great. I started again and it went pretty well. It wasn’t until WAY after my audition when I realized the one thing I’ve been doing wrong on this piece the WHOLE time I’ve been playing it. The crescendo up to the B-flat 3 bars before the end of the first part of the excerpt? Yeah, it’s piano after that. Me being stupid, I blew right by it every single time and the end of my excerpt was a little too loud as a result. Hopefully not a huge problem…
ROSSINI: I had really good time for this. Not too fast, not to slow. It was a little muddy at the beginning but cleared up a good deal enough to be deemed “really good” by Evan. Except the end. Like 7 bars before D I lost my focus a little and played that first downward run wrong. I shook myself out of it in time for the last 3, and at D my sforzandos had pretty great strength is I do say so myself, but some people may say otherwise.
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: I mean…I don’t know what to say about this one. I played it. I kept it a little slower than I usually play it, which is good because I think it was supposed to be a little slower. Not much else to say about it though…
SIGHT READING: Tenor clef. 12/8 time. It was a mess. It really was. Some people sounded really good on it but I was just awful. They stopped me somewhere between halfway and three-quarters of the way through. Which I was actually thankful for. It was rough…
Still waiting for results, but I’ll be sure to keep you posted on that!