September 30, 2018

Favorite blog posts, September 2018

Hand-picked high-quality woodwind-related blog posts from around the web, September 2018 edition.

September 13, 2018

Recital videos, August 2018

Here are some videos from my recent Delta State University faculty recital. I enjoyed tackling Brett Wery‘s challenging Sonata for multiple woodwinds (flute, clarinet, alto saxophone) and piano, plus some little oboe pieces and the André Previn bassoon sonata. As always, the goal was to challenge myself, so, as always, the performance had some hiccups. But ...

September 10, 2018

Recording: Claude T. Smith Suite with Delta State Wind Ensemble

A few months ago I got to perform Claude T. Smith’s Suite for Solo Flute, Clarinet, and Alto Saxophone with the Delta State University Wind Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Erik Richards. It’s a fun showpiece for a woodwind doubler with band, which I’ve had a few opportunities to perform over the last 10 years. The ...

September 5, 2018

Music practice and technical debt

In a perfect world I would always tackle an issue head-on. In reality sometimes a looming performance means plastering over the problem and promising myself I'll fix it later, at a greater price.

August 31, 2018

Favorite blog posts, August 2018

Hand-picked high-quality woodwind-related blog posts from around the web, August 2018 edition.

August 30, 2018

The bassoon’s special(?) staccato

I have a vague memory from childhood, well before my bassoon-playing days, of learning that the bassoon had some special quality to its staccato notes. (From an educational tv show? a children’s book on musical instruments? I can’t recall.) My impression was that this sound was different in some way than staccato produced on other ...

August 12, 2018

Frequently-asked questions about woodwind doubling, and their unpopular answers

Q. Should I be a woodwind doubler? A. In most cases, no. If you already feel driven to do it, and have the time and resources to devote to it, then maybe. Q. What’s the trick to getting in enough practice time on all these instruments? A. Figure out what to de-prioritize in your life ...

August 7, 2018

Buying more instruments, or making do with what you have

I get asked every so often whether it’s a good idea for a woodwind doubler to try to have a fairly “complete” set of instruments, or whether it’s better to make do with a few and make substitutions as needed. For example, do you need a B-flat clarinet and an A clarinet, or can you just transpose? ...

July 31, 2018

Favorite blog posts, July 2018

Hand-picked high-quality woodwind-related blog posts from around the web, July 2018 edition.

July 28, 2018

How to write boring program notes

Things to include in your program notes for maximum boredom: More than a sentence (two, tops) of general biography on the composer. Unremarkable facts about the piece’s structure (sonata form! key of F!). A blow-by-blow description (first there is a kind of sad theme! it starts out low and soft but then it gets higher ...
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