Monday, March 23, 2009

Fresno Round-Up

What a trip! I had SUCH a good time in Fresno. I was a bit worried that it might look like “The Tony Clements Show,” but after talking to Gary Gilroy, Tony Mazzaferro and Larry Sutherland, and hearing the other 2 judges’ comments, I am glad we were all there. I think the bus deal worked out like a charm. I AM sorry for the ‘OWO only’ players who rode the bus & that had to hang out all day. Hopefully the “camaraderie” shared on the way home made up for it. It shouldn’t be an issue if we return to Fresno, as we won’t be playing on the evening concert again for quite a while; they DO have to give other groups a chance. I’ll make sure we can get all the bands playing back-to-back. Financially, it was a drain, so we’ll have to decide if we want to do the bus thing again, or drive ourselves. I AM aiming for an invite to the Reno CBDNA Convention in March 2010. 

After the SVBB played, MANY students approached their directors about getting one together. That’s cool, huh? 

After the OCB played, I had several people approach me and ask, “That is your SECOND band?” I don’t think of it that way, but it is a common (mis)nomer when there are two ensembles at one institution. I just closed my eyes & nodded. 

As of today, Monday, I have no Judges’ comments for SVBB; I got CSU Long Beach’s instead. I am in the process of rectifying that. I have gotten neither a recording nor a DVD for the OWO performance of Saturday night. Still waiting to hear about getting that. 

I did spend the entire morning listening to the OCB comments. I will outline those below. But before I do, the following appeared on my FB Wall Sunday AM. It’s from Tony Mazzaferro. Many of you know Tony, those of you who don’t here is a brief bio: 

And here is what he posted: 

Tony: What a pleasure it was to see you and to hear your fine groups! The OWO should be very proud of their performance last evening your approach to the music and your passion is almost Italian in nature! Perhaps all of those afternoons at Luigi's are rubbing off! In any case congratulations to you and the SVBB, the OCB, and the OWO for some memorable performances. 

Here are comments for OCB. I’ll post SVBB comments when I get the disk. 

ALL of the judges said this or something similar: 

What a fun and enjoyable performance. It’s nice to hear a band that plays with energy joy & passion; I hear MANY bands, that don’t. Terrific, highly spirited band. It’s great to see community leaders coming out and enjoying making music. THAT’S what Music Education is all about. Thank you for bringing your bands. 

More specific comments (they WILL sound familiar):

All 4 judges commented that the accompanying musicians needed to be more aware of who has the tune or solo line and be softer and more supportive.

There were some pitch issues. I’ll talk about this in band.

There were some rhythmic/ensemble issues. I’ll take the heat on that.

2 of the judges mentioned that I took the Holst too fast. BIG surprise here, no?

All were complementary of soloists, Sandy, Paula, Phil, Jacob, Steve Katz, and Jonathan.

ALL said they would like to hear softer playing in the high woodwinds.

One judge said almost nothing. A few comments on note lengths and like that, but LOVED the band. 

One judge gave extensive and very helpful suggestions. But LOVED the band. He liked the chamber music feel of the woodwinds in the beginning of Elsa’s. He loved the clarinet sound and the brass blend & balance. They ALL commented on our last Elsa note!  

I couldn’t be happier with our performances, attitude, professionalism, and enthusiasm. Thank you to all of you. 

Time & time again I am reminded how lucky I am. Saturday was a big one!


1 comment:

  1. The most exciting side affect of that trip was the very good possibility that there will be a growth of Brass Bands in California schools and colleges. We can make a difference.