Student Spotlight: Ben C.

Congratulations to Ben C., a Rising 8th Grader. He studies Contemporary Music Theory and Jazz Improvisation, playing Alto/Tenor Saxophones and Flute. He will be starting Clarinet studies very soon. This past year, his accomplishments include 1st chair Tenor Saxophone in the All-County Symphonic Band, 1st Chair Alto Saxophone in the All-District Concert Band, and a […]

Plan to play saxophone after high school? Eight Essentials.

This is a short list of skills I encourage young students to target. Will this ensure success? Not entirely. Effective practice, performance experience and creative entrepreneurship will also be needed to be successful, but this is a great start. Play in ensemble settings. Good section players are very valuable. Sight Read accurately. Read new material […]

Memorial Day, Military Music and Friendship

My family and I had a wonderful time with a couple of great friends and their families  last evening – a Memorial Day gathering. Perfect weather, excellent food, lively conversation. Laughs and hugs all around. These friends and I were in the Army Band together. We met first in the Military School of Music, then were […]

One of the Greatest Joys

I came home from a quick trip out of town late this evening to find the house filled with young musicians. My son, Mark, was rehearsing a string quartet for his upcoming recital. He had transcribed a piano accompaniment of G. Caccini’s version of “Ave Maria”. Mark will be singing Countertenor on this selection. Adding […]

…but it’s not in my Fake Books!

So what do you do when you teach a student about, say, “Piano-less Jazz Quartet” and the student is excited to learn a specific tune? You allow that passion to drive the learning forward. Sometimes that means transcribing a less familiar song. We will hear this at a private saxophone student’s Senior recital. She has recruited […]

Everything New is Old Again

Grammy nominee, Gregory Porter is a newer voice in jazz, with sounds deeply rooted in tradition. His combo is acoustic, straight-ahead and more than proficient, creating context and support for Gregory’s baritone voice. Very sincere and moving delivery. Very cool. Jazz News reports: “Blue Note Records and Universal Music Classics & Jazz have announced the […]

Oft Overlooked Jazz Singer

One of my “If you could only listen to 10 albums for the rest of your life” picks, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman ranks up there at the top. Love Hartman’s tibre, love his swing, and love his subtle emotion. Rhythm section is a who’s who of Bop/Post-Bop jazz: Mccoy Tyner on piano, bassist Jimmy Garrison, […]