August 29, 2019

I'm about to publish a (yet another) version of Debussy's Girl with the Flaxen Hair.

I've arranged this piece for tuba quartet, brass quintet (2 versions), brass septet, brass nonet, the Denver Brass instrumentation of 422.12, Boulder Brass 423.11, large brass ensemble...

August 10, 2019

A great brass ensemble can make any arrangement sound good to great.

A great arrangement can make any brass ensemble sound good to great.

These are the false positive results to which I have previously referred.

In other words, there is a whole lot of chaff that is p...

August 10, 2019

I'll admit that I'm a movie music nerd and a fan of the usual suspects (Williams, Horner, Howard, Zimmer, etc.). Some others on the less beaten path are Harry Gregson Williams, Alexandre Desplatt, and Thomas Newman.

Getting to the point - one of the many things that the...

April 3, 2019

In early 1914, Holst heard a performance of Schoenberg’s Five Pieces for Orchestra. This seminal experience along with a suggestion from a friend led Holst to begin composing his famous suite for large orchestra, The Planets. However, many don't know that he first comp...

March 14, 2019

I retired from a 30+ year professional playing career 10 months ago to the day. Retire is a funny word because I hardly feel retired. Since before that date, I have been the president of the Denver Musicians Association (Local 20-623 of the American Federation of Music...

March 14, 2019

I'm working on a large brass ensemble transcription (gasp) of highlights from a Puccini opera. I always immensely enjoyed playing Puccini's operas even though the low brass parts are sparse (understatement). The music is beautiful for so many reasons, but I particularl...

September 23, 2018

I might have tried to transcribe something as awesome as the first movement of Mahler's 5th Symphony decades ago - I might have even thought it would have been successful.

The truth is, it takes years of experience learning from successes and, more importantly, failures...

July 29, 2018

A single yellow bloom will really pop in a bush of red ones, even though they are all roses.

July 28, 2018

Conductors who can't lift their head out of the score are a pet peeve. It usually means they don't trust their own understanding of the material in front of them, which leads to distrust from the orchestra and miscommunication. That self trust is difficult, but separat...

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