April 16, 2006
I didn’t take many photos of my trip to Florida last week, but I have a few…
Here’s Phil Obado, the conductor of the University High School band, making a few last-minute adjustments during the dress rehearsal.
Phil saying a few words at the start of the concert.
Dave Waybright, director of bands at University of Florida, saying a few words about the importance of commissioning, and the future of wind ensembles.
The concert was a lot of fun. Phil and his group performed “Strange Humors;” Michael Markowski’s work, “Shadow Rituals;” and “Redline Tango.” It was probably the most relaxed concert I’ve ever attended, and I think the audience really appreciated that.
Dinner after the concert: a tasty burger.
The next day, I rode with Dave Waybright from Orlando (the location of University High School) to Gainesville (the location of the University of Florida). After a nice seminar with Dave’s graduate conducting students (great questions and conversation), I had a nap back at the hotel, then headed to dinner with Dave. We had some tasty Asian food. Here’s my salad…
… and here’s my shrimp in spicy miso sauce.
The next day, the wind ensemble rehearsed “Turbine.”
Post-rehearsal, a refreshing beverage at a local hot-spot. That enormous glass does not contain water…
And then the nachos arrived! Tasty.
On Thursday night — the concert! UF has two concert halls. For this concert, they used the more intimate space that, as far as I can tell, used to be a church. Here’s a shot of the balcony — the same balcony where, last year at this time, the UF wind ensemble performed Corigliano’s Circus Maximus. (You’ll note that for my performance, the 11 antiphonal trumpets were notably absent. Maybe I should add those to “Turbine…”)
As I mentioned the other day, the performance of “Turbine” was FANTASTIC. The whole group is great, but wow, the trombones and French horns were just about the best I’ve heard. I can’t wait to get a copy of the recording. Waybright is a towering figure — he must be over 6’6″ — and he conducts without a podium, his arms seemingly able to reach the back of the ensemble. The performance sounded fantastic, but it was also a lot of fun to watch. Waybright looked like he meant business, and he shaped the performance with clarity, precision, power, and an amazing amount of delicacy.
The flight back to LA took for EVER. I left the hotel in Gainesville at 11am for the 2-hour drive to the Orlando airport. (Thank you to Chris Sharp for the ride!) I reached the airport to learn that my flight was delayed over an hour, meaning I’d miss my connecting flight in Dallas. After much reshuffling, I eventually arrived in LA at 8:00 PM Pacific time — 11pm Eastern, meaning a 12-hour trip, door-to-door. The flights, fortunately, were smooth — but the on-flight cocktails may have helped. This may be my new method of self-medication when I fly. Perhaps the follow-up to “Turbine” could be called “Beverage Cart.”
My next trip — on April 30 — is to Commerce, Texas, to work with Jeff Gershman’s group at Texas A&M Commerce. In the meantime, I’m going to try to make some progress on my next piece — the slow high school level piece. I purchased some new samples last week — Project SAM True Strike Percussion and their SAM Trumpets — and ordered the Vienna Symphonic Library Saxophone sample library this morning, so I really don’t have much excuse about not being equipped to write the piece. The danger is that I’ll write things for the samples, not for the group — like I’ll end up taking too much advantage of the software. The percussion library, for example, has a full “instrument” called “brakes and metal trash,” with individual patches like “scrap heap” and “tubes and metal.” Drool…