February 9, 2010
Heading to TMEA
I’m off to TMEA — the Texas Music Educators Association — convention tomorrow afternoon. I expect it to be a fun week. On Friday night at 6:30, the Westwood High School Orchestra — selected as this year’s TMEA Honor Orchestra — will perform the original orchestra (!) version of “Redline Tango.” I had a great rehearsal with the orchestra on Sunday afternoon, and I think this is going to be a hell of a performance. It’s kind of astonishing that they’re a high school orchestra, and they’re having less trouble on some parts of the piece than I’ve heard with professional orchestras.
On Saturday evening, the TMEA 5-A Symphonic Band (ie, the top Texas All State Band) will perform “Aurora Awakes” under the baton of Arizona State’s Director of Bands, Gary Hill. I was completely floored by this band’s performance of “Kingfishers Catch Fire” two years ago. (You can watch that performance via YouTube.) Just trying to imagine the big climaxes of “Aurora Awakes” as played by a band of the best 150 players in the state — well, that’ll be sweeeeeet. And, I predict, loud.
(As a side note, I stopped by Lowe’s last night and bought drywall sanding blocks, and I’m going to loan these to the student playing the sand block part in Aurora Awakes. Great big drywall sanding blocks make a lot more sound, and are a lot easier to control.)
I’m also looking forward to hanging out with fellow composer friends Jonathan Newman (whose “As the Scent of Spring Rain” will receive a performance by the 5A Concert Band) and Roshanne Etezady (whose piece, “SHOUTOUT,” is on the same program as “Aurora Awakes”).
Unfortunately, the weather looks like it’s going to be nasty, and my hotel is hell-and-gone from the convention center. That won’t be a fun schlepp. It also puts a damper on hanging out at Swig, the outdoor martini bar where I spend most of my TMEA nights. Good thing the new San Antonio Hyatt has a nice bar…