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.


Alexandra says

Hello Mr. Mackey! My name is Alexandra and I was apart of the TMEA All-State 4A band. I play bass clarinet and OMG I fell in love with that song! You are a unique composer and I wish I could of gotten your autograph 'cause I know your going to be the best composer!

*alexandra c*
San Antonio, TX
Bass Clarinet

Justin Lerma says

Hey Mr. Mackey,
My name is Justin Lerma. I was the principal tuba for the all-state band, and let me tell you YOU ROCK!!!!!! I have never played anything like REDLINE before and I loved it. You are going to be one of the great composers of our generation. Thanks for creating a freakish piece of music.

Justin Lerma, San Antonio

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