Saturday, April 25, 2009

Day 3 @RIC and starting home

Day 3 at RIC. This morning I ran a brass master class. I coached the freshman brass quintet. Nice bunch of kids, good players and needed a little coaching. I adjusted their seating arrangement (DUH!) and worked with them on Monteregian Hills, & their own arrangement of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” That was fun. THEN, I coached a graduate-type tuba quartet who did ALL of their own arrangements. These kids play great and if they play their cards right, just might be able to make it as a pro group. They are talking about coming out to SJ to hang for a week or so. They offered to trade coaching & housing for work around the house. Maybe I’ll finally get my barn painted!

After a great lunch on “The Hill” (where all the Italian restaurants are) we had a tuba session with about 30 HS & College tuba players. I did my spiel on maximizing your warm up time, talked a lot about intonation & tuning. I followed the talk with a round of ‘Revolving Chords.’ We rehearsed 2 tuba ensembles, Song without Words and William Tell, to be performed that evening on the concert. After all that Rob & I went to a neighbor hood bar (there are these sprinkled ALL OVER Providence) for a little relaxation & Miller High Life. We went back to school to prepare for the concert.

RIC has a nice concert hall. I’m GUESSING it holds about 800-900. The stage is a little small for their wind ensemble, but Rob knows how to use the stage for maximum benefit.

The concert started with the TE, before which Rob gave me a wonderful introduction. After the tubas, the band played 'Creation of the World' by Milhaud. My concerto was played next; I was very pleased with the performance. I biffed a coupla notes, but overall, I had a good time, the band played great and Rob did a wonderful job of not only prepping the band, and of conducting the concerto. By this time, I was pretty tired so I went back to my dressing room and chatted with some of the kids. Last on the concert, I conducted Broughton’s Silverado end credits. The band played great for me in spite of my sometimes ‘unorthodox’ conducting technique.

Many of us went out to Gregg’s for a drink & food, the same place to which I went the last time I played at RIC. It was a lot of fun and when I went to the bar, the kids told the servers it was my birthday so after my sandwich, the wait staff brought me this HUGE ├ęclair with birthday candles. NO, I didn’t eat the whole thing!!!! I’m a good sharer. We got home after midnight after Rob missed the turnoff and we almost ended up in Massa-fucking-chussets!

I packed up this morning and Rob offered to SHIP my big suitcase, heavy coat and bag of laundry. THANK YOU, ROB! As I have THREE transfers, this will be easier as I will only have my tuba (it’s an F, Phil), my computer and my grip.

As I write this, I am on the 161 train from Providence to NY, Penn Station, travelling 110 mph! This train kicks ass. I am thinking back on my visit with the young artists, grateful for this opportunity, and look forward with eager anticipation on seeing my Bay Area friends.

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