March 1, 2016
February was a bit of a hectic month after dealing with all of the weather issues we've had in Northern Virginia this winter. On Feb. 19-21, I took the McLean HS Percussion Ensemble on a trip to Ohio State University for their annual High School Percussion Ensemble Festival. We had a great day at the festival and the students gave a great performance of our pieces. We were one of four schools invited to give a repeat performance on the closing concert of the festival. We performed Thank You by Ivan Trenvio and Batik by James Campbell at the festival. Video of our afternoon performance of Thank You can be seen on my YouTube channel by clicking here. We were very fortunate to have two great guest artists/clinicians for the festival: Maria Finkelmeier (Boston-based percussionist, entrepreneur, and fellow Ohio State alum) and Bill Cahn (Nexus, former principal of the Rochester Philharmonic). Three of my students also participated in honors ensembles with other high school students attending the festival. Thanks to my former teachers (Susan Powell and Joe Krygier) and the entire OSU Percussion Studio for a great event! It was so great to bring my students to my alma mater for this awesome festival.
Lastly, I had three students audition for All-Virginia Band and Orchestra last weekend. I'm very proud to report that Madison HS Sophomore Stephen Sheridan earned a spot in the Symphonic Band. Madison HS Junior Jakob Drozd earned the first alternate spot (hopefully someone will decline!) and McLean HS Senior Billy Rindone gave a great showing at his audition.
February 6, 2016
I've been neglecting this site for a bit, so I wanted to recap a couple of highlights from the past year:
Nathan Daughtrey Residency - January 23-24, 2015
In preparation for the McLean High School Percussion Ensemble Performance at the 2015 Music For All Sandy Feldstein Percussion Ensemble Festival, composer and percussionist Nathan Daughtrey was in residence at McLean High School for a couple of days. He presented an insightful clinic about his approach to composition and improvisation and he also worked with the students on his pieces "Edge of the World" and "Sizzle." The students really enjoyed having Nathan coach them on his music and were very receptive to his comments! Pictures of his visit are on the Photos page.
2015 Music For All National Festival - March 12-14, 2015
The McLean High School Percussion Ensemble and Symphonic Band (under direction of Chris Weise and Deidra Denson) were invited to participate at the 2015 Music for All National Festival. Both ensembles gave tremendous performances and made their directors and parents very proud. On our way to Indianapolis, we stopped in Columbus, OH to present a warm-up performance of the programs at The Ohio State University School of Music.
3rd Annual Night of Percussion Concert - May 7, 2015
I presented my annual percussion ensemble concert with my 4 school programs. We had another great set of performances by all of the students involved. I'm very proud of my students for their hard work on another great concert. McLean Marching Percussion Tech & George Mason University Masters student Joe MacMorran joined me in a performance of the marimba duet, "Wooden Music" by Rich O'Meara. Rich accepted my invitation to the concert and was gracious enough to join us on stage before our performance and offer some words about his piece.
"Fidget" by Nathan Daughtrey Commission Consortium
James Madison High School and McLean High School were part of a 7 school consortium to have a new percussion ensemble piece written by Nathan Daughtrey. I have been a big supporter of Nathan's music and have played several of his pieces with my schools, so I was excited to have this opportunity. James Madison HS gave a premiere performance at our annual Night of Percussion Concert. In fact, a video that we produced has been posted on Nathan's website and on the C. Alan Publications website as demo videos for the piece! (http://www.nathandaughtrey.com/percussion-ensemble/fidget)
Longfellow Symphonic Band at VMEA - November 20, 2015
The Longfellow Middle School Symphonic Band (under direction of Brad Zimmerman, assisted by Carina Gutjahr) presented a concert at the annual Virginia Music Educators Association conference in Norfolk, VA. Brad asked for the percussion section to perform a percussion ensemble piece, and we chose "Technology" by Jim Casella. The students really rose to the occasion and performed brilliantly to a very enthusiastic response by the educators in attendance. The entire concert was first rate and all of the students gave a wonderful performance.
January 25, 2016
Very proud of my private and school students for their efforts at the Virginia District 12 Band Auditions last month. Everyone represented themselves well. Congratulations to the following students who were selected for participation in the All-District Bands later this winter. (**Currently studying privately with me)
James Madison HS:
Jakob Drozd** - Wind Ensemble (All-State Recommendation)
Stephen Sheridan** - Wind Ensemble (All-State Recommendation)
Kyle Cooper - Symphonic Band
Sam Roomian** - Wind Ensemble
Josh Leong** - Symphonic Band
Billy Rindone** - Symphonic Band (All-State Recommendation)
Tommy McCarthy** - Alternate
Alex Gamboa** - Junior Band
Ben Eggleston - Junior Band
Tommy Berbano** - Alternate