June 6, 2005
The Dobson Symphonic Band (of Mesa, Arizona), conducted by Jon A. Gomez, performed “Redline Tango” at Carnegie Hall last night, and I went early for their sound check and to meet the group. Not only can they all play exceptionally well (the soprano sax player was a real stand-out), but they’re an extremely nice group. I was really happy that I got a chance to hang out with them backstage for a bit before the sound check.
Here’s a shot of Jon Gomez, warming up the group:
And here’s a shot of the group rehearsing on stage at Carnegie:
I apologize for the quality of the photos, but those were taken with my phone, not my real camera.
The concert was a lot of fun, and I was happy that AEJ was sitting next to me for the performance. I traveled a whole lot this past season, almost exclusively to performances of “Redline Tango,” and AEJ has only been with me in LA for the USC performance. It’s a lot more fun hearing the piece when I can be with her, too — and it was pretty awesome sitting next to her at Carnegie Hall while Dobson shook the hall with those last few bars of the piece. (It’s a nice bonus that she is, without fail, the hottest date in any given venue.)
The program featured the premiere of a piece by a Dobson student, Michael Markowski. (It turns out that Michael studies with Karl Schindler, a fine composer whom I met when I visited ASU.) Michael’s piece, “joyRIDE,” is sort of a hybrid of Adams’ “Short Ride in a Fast Machine” mixed with the Beethoven “Ode to Joy.” You’re probably thinking that seems like an odd idea, but wow, this piece was fantastic. Brilliantly scored, and exciting from start to finish. Michael is going to ASU this fall to major in composition. I promise that you’ll be hearing more from this guy in the next few years. When the piece ended, AEJ and I just looked at each other with a look of “that guy just graduated from high school?!?!” I asked Michael to send me a recording of the piece. I really want to hear it again — and maybe even steal some of it.