April 14, 2006
U. Florida – Turbine
DAMN that concert kicked ass. I’ll write the full Florida debrief — with some photos — when I get back home, but I had to write a mini-entry this morning. Last night, Dave Waybright led the U. Florida Wind Symphony in their premiere of “Turbine,” and it was fan-friggin’-tastic.
The depth of talent on this roster is impressive, but nowhere as much as the horn section. I’ve haven’t heard a French horn section this good since ASU a few years ago. (I want those two horn studios to have a Battle of the Horn Bands.) The French horns at UF are so good that I wanted to head home and rewrite all of my horn parts just to make them more worthy of this group. They played Turbine last on the program — after 2 solid hours of big, high, loud horn playing — and they didn’t seem to be the slightest bit fatigued. Turbine requires them to play way up on high A’s and B’s at the end of the piece, and they sounded completely fresh and strong, nailing every entrance. I don’t remember the last time I heard a concert with extensive horn playing, and not heard a single flub in the section. And it’s not just that they didn’t flub anything; they nailed everything. It was like somebody dropped the Chicago Symphony’s horn section onto the stage in Gainesville.
The wind symphony is going to record “Turbine” on the Mark Custom label in a few weeks. That is going to be sweet.
And now, I head home. First, a two-hour car ride to Orlando, and then a flight from Orlando to Dallas, then a plane change for the flight from Dallas to Burbank. My last landing in Burbank was the scariest I can remember in a long time (sharp turning while rapidly descending over mountains and encountering heavy turbulence — I’m not a fan), so I may liquor-up in the airport in Dallas. That may help me sleep on the flight, too. It’ll be a 9-hour trip, door-to-door. Fun, fun!