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...

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...

March 18, 2018

A while back, I wrote an entry called 4 Dimensional Texture where I identified 4 basic ways to group instruments in a large ensemble.

December 5, 2017

However, in my brass ensemble writing, I'll write passages for a grouping of trumpets when the music calls for it, and/or as a contrast in color or density in a score. Likewise, a trombone trio or quartet passage embedded within an arrangement can add variety or in...

December 3, 2017

Recently, I've undertaken some large engraving projects - I'm making clean versions of the Tchaikovsky ballets. This may seem a little silly at first, but having spent a good deal of my playing career in the pit, I grew frustrated with looking at music that was publish...

August 5, 2017

This blog is a way to collect my thoughts and 'ship em.' This is modeled after the blogging philosophy of Seth Godin (one of my daily affirmations) who sometimes publishes books which are a collection of his blog entries. That also means that I'm creating a structure o...

July 31, 2017

Another curious Richard Strauss quote "If you can just barely hear the (French) horns on stage, the balance is perfect." Strauss clearly loved the horn - he wrote two concertos and his orchestral music is filled with famously difficult and copious horn writing. If he j...

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