Saturday, March 21, 2009

Jemez Moutains + Conducting Job Searches = One Happy Place

You wouldn't believe the places you can go to job search...and it doesn't hurt to have a brother with a house in the Jemez Mountains completely off grid with wireless Internet!

So, here I sit at an undisclosed location in the Jemez Mountains contemplating job searches, conducting pedagogy and relocating my home. Oddly enough, when you have no job one would think you have more time. Job hunting becomes a full-time job - except it doesn't pay very well. Also, the more time you have the more the time is filled with little odd tasks that seem to continually pop up.

At any rate, I digress. My job searching is slow going. So, I think I'll write a book on Conducting Pedagogy. There were many things that I learned in the trenches that would have been very helpful to know before hand. Albeit, perhaps I wouldn't have fully appreciated the information so early on, but it would have better equipped me to manage the orchestral conducting world.

For now, I will ponder possible book direction and audience --- and enjoy the beautiful day in the mountains.

Talk to you later.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Great Concert Last Weekend!

This past weekend was the March concert for the Lee County Community Orchestra. There were several works on this program that were quite exciting that included Schubert Unfinished Symphony - I, Mendelssohn Reformation Symphony - IV, a new work by Megan Konizer (nee Ebert) entitled Ruhelos, and Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite No. 2. I've included an excerpt of the Grieg in this posting.

What a good group -- it is comprised of high school students, local teachers and pros, as well as seniors. It is very rewarding to stand in front of this multi-skill-leveled orchestra and get the results that we did. Thank you LCCO for a great concert. What a treat!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Old Manuscripts Found!

Today I was sorting through some old papers and came across some music that my father had written some 20-25 years ago. I should mention that he passed away 15 years ago this year. He played classical guitar (made his own based on a Martin Guitar design and architecture) and occasionally wrote works for solo guitar or guitar and voice. Well, I found two works that he wrote in his handwriting. He wasn't a trained composer or literate musican, but he knew what sounded good and what didn't.

It is a good piece. I think I'll orchestrate it. Would you like to hear it?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pedagogical Preponderance

As my thoughts wander toward ensemble conducting, I frequently think back to my training and how I was really ill-prepared to enter the world of leading an orchestra, band or choir. It seems that conducting pedagogy is not what it needs to be to fully equip a young conductor to handle the situations put in front of them, whether it be musical challenges, personnel issues, or the organization required before and after each rehearsal.

This may be a common vein in my hoe down of a blog, but I have been thinking about this for a while. How do you prepare a young conductor to go before an ensemble and lead effectively, efficiently, and most importantly -- musically? Can you prepare someone fully or are we only able to present them with the most common situations that they may come across? Perhaps the answer is both yes and no. Yes, you can offer a student a most comprehensive education and practical lab from which they can hone their skills. But no, they will likely not understand their education until later...sometimes much later.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's all good.

So, with my first post I got a couple of concerned inquires from friends regarding my new or rather absent job situation. Have no fear, this is just a spring board to the next level. Change, in my opinion, only adds variety and spice in life. Plus, it is giving me an opportunity to engage in extraciricular activities...such as blogging!

Blog on.

Speaking of wine, I just enjoyed a delightful glass of 2008 $3 two-buck-chuck Valdiguie. Not bad for a table wine.

Wine on.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Motorcycle Ponderings on Highway 158

You know when you hear a certain melodic pattern a few times, then a few more times, and the next thing you know you're composing a song based on that melodic pattern? Well, I have this cool chime that is frequently exercising it's chime-ness-isity. All I hear now is a minuet. I *must* write this melody down before I explode. Now, I'm not any musical whiz, but I have already developed the main and secondary themes in my head. I'm now working through a modulation. At any rate, this chime is no longer an alert, it is a motive.

Oh yeah, I was thinking about all of this while riding my Honda Nighthawk CB650 today on highway 158 with Megan and Tony following on their nice bikes (she rides a Yamaha Virago, he rides a BMW). It was a gorgeous day today!

Keep the rubber side down.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Modest Beginnings

Well, didn't life just take a turn?
I was walking down the street minding my own business, then WHAM! I was laid off from my job. So, as I have been pondering my philosophical, pedagogical, musical, and financial options, I thought it appropriate and perhaps apropos to start blogging on matters of importance. Knowing me, I'll randomize my content to include the non-essentials as well. Nonetheless, here we go.