February 14, 2005
TMEA: Awesome & Loud!
I’m back from TMEA in San Antonio. The players were awesome. I can’t imagine how they played Redline Tango as well as they did — after only three days of rehearsal. And it’s not like they had the music ahead of time. They literally learned the entire piece — and the other pieces on the program! — in three days. I was blown away.
And speaking of being blown away — you should have heard the low winds and low brass in this group! That low pseudo-funk ostinato in the winds was tight, and I didn’t expect it to be, with that many people playing! (This band had over 160 players. There were 5 or 6 people playing the first bassoon part alone! There were, I think, 5 baritone sax players!) And the low brass – WOW! I loved this group. I wish I could always have 14 trombones play in my pieces.
So hats off to every one of those players. I hope they all enjoyed playing Redline Tango at least partially as much as I loved working with them.
And it goes without saying that Gary Hill, who conducted the concert, gave them a hell of a great experience. Gary’s the man.
And what does a 160-player concert band look like?
Big. And LOUD. Awesome.