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Good writers write...always

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 Musicians). That keeps me in close touch with lots of great friends and colleagues - it also keeps me very busy. I'm also trying very hard to be disciplined and stay in touch with my other musical passion - writing charts for brass ensemble. For some reason, lately I have had the transcription bug and have been working on a few BIG charts. But for me, that is a different kind of arranging than what has been my main focus for decades

One on a part follow up

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 particularly admire his orchestration. Puccini's orchestrations are often an embarrassment of riches - he wrote for a large orchestra, was not afraid of orchestral keyboard (piano, celeste, organ), and often employed exotic percussion instruments. If you compare a page of his orchestral scoring to the piano/vocal score, you might be surprised at just how simple the fundamental ideas are. This rich orchestration makes transcribing his musi

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