November 15, 2016 - Fall Recap
I just returned from a very quick trip out to Indianapolis, IN for PASIC. It was great to reconnect with friends and colleagues from around the county and see/hear some great performances and clinics. That convention is always a great rejuvenation, which is always needed after the marching season ends.
Speaking of marching band, both James Madison and McLean High Schools had very successful seasons this fall. Both schools took Grand Champion titles at multiple shows and the growth of the students and the ensemble over the course of the three month season was impressive.
As I write this, we are only a few days away from another performance at the Virginia Music Educator's Association annual conference. I have been extremely fortunate to be involved with schools that have been selected to be showcased at this conference. This makes 5 different performances over the 7 years that I have been teaching in Fairfax County. This year, the McLean High School Symphonic Band will be performing. We are adding a couple of chamber performances this time around. The percussion ensemble will be performing Ivan Trevino's awesome piece, "Thank You." We played this piece last year at several events and it never failed to get an enthusiastic response from the audience. For the first time, I will be playing along with my students for this performance.
On the Great Noise Ensemble front, we had our opening concert back in October. This year, the incomparable American composer, Steve Reich, turns 80. GNE is no stranger to Reich's music and we contributed our own performance to the year-long, world-wide celebration of this amazing musician. We performed "Radio Rewrite," "Double Sextet," and "Tehillim." I was fortunate to be joined by 5 great percussionists for this concert: Tom Dell'Omo, Mike Dillman, Paul Keesling, Matt Penland, and Bobby Schroyer.