October 2, 2007
MSU: Concert and World Beer Tour
As I’ve written in two previous entries, the trip to Michigan State was great — and that was even before the concert. The dress rehearsal last Sunday morning came early (who knew the east coast had a 10am?!), but the group sounded incredible.
I love this picture of the double bass player.
And this one of the low brass. I love the low brass section. When is somebody going to commission a trombone choir piece from me? I’d love to write one of those… Hint. Hint.
The concert included a performance of the William Bolcom “Concert Suite for Alto Saxophone and Band,” performed by MSU’s extraordinary sax teacher, Joseph Lulloff. He sounded amazing both at 10 in the morning…
… and at the concert that afternoon.
As I mentioned before, William Staub did an absolutely beautiful job with my new piece, “Turning.” That piece is terribly difficult (I think it’s my most difficult piece to pull off effectively), starting with the extreme trombone rip on the first downbeat, and going through the dynamic extremes ranging from “pppp” to “ffff” (often within the same bar) until the whole thing ends on an extremely quiet, sustained chord bitonal chord with a waterphone ringing on top. Shaping this piece is a huge challenge, and Bill was wonderful. I can’t wait to receive the recording so I can post it.
Kevin Sedatole conducted the hell out of “Redline Tango,” giving one of the best performances I’ve ever heard of the piece. As I wrote before, the Eb clarinet player in particular was incredible.
After the concert, the Sedatoles hosted a very nice reception at their home.
The olives were especially good.
Here’s my little plate of tasty reception treats — couscous, bacon-wrapped chicken (everything is better wrapped in bacon), little crab puffs, and a pork tenderloin sandwich. Kevin had gotten up before sunrise to grill the pork long before that morning dress rehearsal. It was pretty spectacular.
There was also a wide selection of desserts, including one of my favorites — carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Major points for Kevin on this one.
After the reception, I went out for drinks with several of the MSU students. We went to Old Chicago, a pizza place that has something called the “World Beer Tour” — a program that encourages people to drink 110 different beers (not in one sitting). Somehow, Doug reached this milestone on that night.
What do you get for drinking 110 beers, each averaging probably $6? Well, for your $600+ expenditure, you get… a sweatshirt. (I think he also gets his name on the restaurant’s Plaque of Young Drunkards. Not sure they call it that, but I think it’s close. Oh to be young and in college…)
We were all very excited for Doug and toasted him enthusiastically. Here, Bill Staub tops off his own beer. Cheers to you, too, Bill!
The Eb and bass clarinetists were a little less enthused about having photographic evidence that they were part of this festive evening.
It was a great trip, from the first day of rehearsals, through the visit to the CHRISTmas store in Frankenmuth, to the concert (and post-concert festivities) on the last day. My sincere thanks to Kevin and his whole crew for an awesome trip — and a phenomenal concert.
Oh, and the bacon-wrapped chicken was great, too.