March 3, 2007
Catch-up, part 1: Hart High School
I realize that I’m terribly behind on my trip blog entries. The problem is that it takes a chunk of time to write about any single trip, but in the past month, I’ve worked with nine different schools. I’m going to have to consolidate, and I have to start somewhere. So, I’ll start with the most recent first : William S. Hart Hart High School in Newhall, California — only a 45 minute drive from home! I was out there on Thursday — and I took my smokin’ hot fiancée AEJ with me…
Anthony Bailey is doing “Turbine” at the Bands of America festival in Indianapolis, and since he’s in the neighborhood, I offered to come work with his group before their trip. “Turbine” is, of course, insanely difficult, and I never imagined that a high school would even attempt it, but Anthony and his group are up for a challenge (they did “Redline Tango” at Carnegie Hall about a year ago), and they put their all into the piece.
Anthony and his students were a joy to work with. After the rehearsal, I posed for several pictures with players from the group. This is Doug, a percussionist in the group who hopes to someday challenge Cathy Benford for the title of Mackey Stalker of the Year. Sorry, Doug; you’ve got a long way to go. (Please don’t take that as a challenge!)
And this is Robbie. For Christmas, Robbie’s dad got Robbie scores for several of my pieces — a first, and very flattering. Robbie plays oboe, English horn, AND marimba, though in Turbine, he only plays oboe. Well, oboe times two. Yeah, he covers both oboe parts at the same time. Since the parts are usually in unison anyway, this works fine — except that it means that the section that normally dovetails between the two oboe parts — to allow the players to breathe — is all played non-stop by Robbie. He sounded great. Seriously — it’s unusual to hear a high school oboe player of this level. I can’t imagine how he sounds on the other instruments!
I also posed with this guy (but don’t know his name)…
… these girls…
… and this guy. This one is in black & white because the white balance made my teeth look funny.
After rehearsal, AEJ and I went to Burbank for dinner at IHoP. Mmm… chocolate chip pancakes, eggs, hash browns (extra crispy), bacon, and sausage. Don’t tell my father. He’d be horrified.
Next up (in reverse order)… Chicago!