I’m back from the the excellent Region VI conference of the North American Saxophone Alliance. I went to soak up some good saxophone playing and to deliver what is becoming more or less my standard spiel on woodwind doubling.
This time I gave away half of the handouts I brought with me. That’s a dramatic improvement over some of my earlier presentations. Unfortunately, it’s not because attendance has gone up, but because I no longer find it realistically necessary to bring extras “just in case.”
As usual, my presentation was scheduled first thing in the morning, in a distant corner of the conference venue, and conflicting with a masterclass by one of the conference’s most admired performers. But, also as usual, the stalwart few who came were there early and already bubbling over with questions. Some were people I had previously been in touch with through this blog. And, as usual, they were all extremely attentive, and many of them went out of their way throughout the day to offer gratitude and compliments.
I really don’t blame the conference hosts or attendees (of this conference or any of the various others) for giving a woodwind doubling presentation relatively low billing. Woodwind doubling is a niche topic. Most of the conference-goers are probably better served by attending a good masterclass on their instrument. Plus, it works out well to give these presentations to small but enthusiastic groups, with lots of opportunity for questions and discussion. I preach to the (woodwind) choir.