I was invited to play on the "military recital" with several of my military euphonium and tuba colleagues from both premier bands and field bands. I programmed "Ransomed" by George Marshall, an old salvation army favorite, and the popular lyrical piece by Jiro Censhu "A Walk in the Woods." It's always hard to program for those short 15 minute slots at conferences but I felt like those pieces went pretty well together. I was actually surprised at the decent crowd we got for the 8:45 am time slot! And thanks a bunch to those of you who tuned into the live webcast. I love that they do that for the conference.
Lastly, I was able to play in the inter service euphonium choir populated by all premier band euphonium players. The ensemble was conducted by the legendary Brian Bowman. It was my first time ever meeting Dr. Bowman and I must say, it was definitely the highlight of my trip. Nothing can beat playing great music with equally great players under someone as prestigious and accomplished as Dr. Bowman. Overall, the trip was definitely worth the wait and I can't wait to get back. I had a blast catching up with old friends and making lots of new ones, especially my euphonium colleagues in D.C.
After speaking with several of my colleagues throughout the week in addition to many others with teachers/students over the years, I think it's time for me to create a resource for students to learn about recording themselves. My masters thesis was essentially a guide to recording low brass instruments, a topic that does not have an abundance of research. It's time to break the silence.
As many auditions and competitions have moved into the 21st century and now require recorded rounds, it's more important than ever to know how to record yourself well. Not to mention the added benefits of being able to record yourself on a daily basis to hear an accurate representation of yourself for educational purposes. What's great is the quality gap between professional grade and consumer grade recording equipment has become increasingly smaller over the last decade or so making it even easier to record yourself well without breaking the bank. In my opinion, there is no excuse for students or professionals to send in a "tape" for an audition/competition that sounds bad or upgradeable. However, we see all the time at West Point for our auditions. We have to know how you really sound. So, in the coming weeks, look out for a new recording guide with examples, illustrations and guide to buying equipment. Time to get to work!