This July, I was honored to be a guest artist at the 2010 C-TEW. It was held at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. This ten-day event is an opportunity for tuba and euphonium enthusiasts of all ages and abilities to gather, improve, and perform on their instruments. It was such an inspiring week for me. The workshop is a focused and intense learning environment, but the atmosphere is fun and all about camaraderie. I have tons of picture and an overwhelming amount of memories. I will showcase some of my favorites here, but be sure to check out the photo album for more fun shots.
The guest artists and participants were housed in on-campus dorm rooms. It was a bit nostalgic. Nothing says "college" quite like a plastic-covered mattress.
Throughout the week I conducted and rehearsed the large tuba-euphonium ensemble. The group was very fun to work with, and dusting off the 'ol baton and stretching my conducting chops is always a good challenge. The group met every evening for an hour.
Each day, participants attended a group warm-up class, then a masterclass, clinic, & recital by the different guest artists. The afternoons were filled with quartet rehearsals, practicing, and the large ensemble rehearsal that I conducted. In the evenings, we were treated to fantastic performances by groups that the coordinator, Mike Milnarik, brought in.
We had lovely facilities at East Stroudsberg University. When I first walked in to the black-box theatre, I spotted this spectacular champagne prop. This provided endless amounts of amusement throughout the week. I thought I should put my euph next to it, to offer some perspective.
One of the guest artists was Adam Frey. It was really great to get to know Adam and work with him for the first time. Here he is saying something sage and wise during his clinic.
A staple of this annual workshop is the performance of the Cosmopolitan Quartet. I was subbing for Swiss euphoniumist, Roland Fröscher, who couldn't make it this year. This picture is with the other members of the Cosmopolitan Quartet as we present a panel discussion about chamber music.
The Cosmopolitan Quartet in concert! This was such a fun gig. I loved playing with these guys, and the music was a blast. Most of the arrangements were done by Matt and Mike. This ensemble isn't limited by traditional tuba quartet music. No genre is safe, as the group presented an exciting mix of everything from Michael Jackson to Bon Jovi.
Here we are posing for paparazzi after the concert. Adam and I are still new at the whole rockstar thing, since we are apparently saying "I Love You" in sign language, rather than being badasses. Oops. Good thing Mike knows what he's doing.
The next day was my opportunity to hold a masterclass and perform in recital. I was fortunate to be able to collaborate with Sanae Kanda, a fantastic pianist, co-coordinator of the workshop, and Mike's beautiful wife.
For those curious, I performed "Arise Ye Subterranean Winds," a bass aria from The Tempest, by Henry Purcell, Song (in memoriam Bengt Eklund), by Frode Rydland, and Simone Mantia's Auld Lang Syne.
During the masterclass, I listened to six workshop participants play solos. I really enjoyed their well-prepared selections, and tried to offer some suggestions for improvement. Later, I presented a clinic on taking successful auditions and spoke briefly about being a military musician. There were lots of great questions, and everything flew by. Performing for and working with the musicians of the workshop was definitely a highlight for me.
I very much enjoyed coaching various quartets throughout the week. They all prepared 1-2 pieces and performed them in concert on the last two evenings of the workshop. I rotated coachings with other guest artists. This quartet had some extra inspiration during this particular rehearsal. :)
Dr. Bowman was a guest artist mid-week. I was, as always, inspired by his teaching and playing. I didn't take him for granted when I was studying with him; I was always appreciative and grateful. I just never realized how much I'd miss him when I didn't have his feedback every week. It was also so nice to catch up and visit.
Here is a quick shot of a clinic held by the inimitable Don Harry. He had some great things to offer, and it was my first time to meet and hear this low-brass legend. It was interesting to speak to him about some of my family's Native American heritage, as he has much knowledge in that area. Very cool!
Our evenings were filled with amazing performances by several unique groups. This is Innovata Brass, one of the ensembles that Mike Milnarik performs with. They featured many of Sanae Kanda's compositions.
Guest artist Matt Brown gave an outstanding presentation about the life of John Philip Sousa. I was so impressed by his research. He gave a very thorough biography, full of musical examples, photographs, and other historical documents. The program culminated in a performance of Sousa's music, by Matt, including a tune played on the original J.W. Pepper Sousaphone!
This is Toobis Groovis, another rocking group the workshop was privileged to host. They are a funk ensemble, in the vein of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
In addition to hosting and organizing a major workshop, Mike Milnarik and his wife are outstanding musicians and performers. Here they are together, during their recital, where Mike played many original pieces composed by Sanae.
Jim Self, Hollywood tuba superstar, was also a guest artist. It was great to make his acquaintance and hear this fabulous musician play and teach.
The week flew by! Before I knew it, the final concerts were upon us. It was awesome to conduct the large ensemble as they closed out the workshop. You could really see how far people had come and how much it was possible to grow in an environment designed to encourage and cultivate musicianship. The participants made this week very special, and I was honored to stand in front of them for the final concert.
What a week! So much happened. This is really just an overview, it is impossible to describe all the fun we had. This picture pretty much depicts how I felt when I got home, exhausted after the intense, but excellent, week. :)