When last we wrote/read, we were leaving Greece and on our way to Holland. Guess how you can tell someone is in Holland.
Yup, you guessed it! There might be one or two bicycles nearby! Our first concert was in Dordrecht on July 9.
We had a master CD vendor named Willis Daellenbach.
Never in the history of Canadian Brass have the CD’s jumped off the table like when Willis is standing by. He is also a master at creating his unique style “mosaic of wares”.
Our next stop was in Eindhoven on July 10. We performed in a beautiful cathedral called De Catharinakerk te Eindhoven. The earth-wellness organization “Green Cross International” had us perform for their delegates and guests.
They put together a web page for our appearance there as well. Check it out here.
Please take a look at their web site as well. Their president is Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the USSR. They are doing amazing things to reduce the footprints we leave on our planet. They also gave us their movie, “The 11th Hour.” Check it out!
The five of us after the concert.
We performed as part of the “First International Belgian Brass Academy.”
Pictured above is Canadian Brass arranger extraordinaire Tony Rickard and me outside the Basilica Stadhuisplein in which we performed. The festival was a huge success, and they plan on having their second festival in 2010! Our concert was broadcast live online at The Music Page and should be posted there for a year. They also broadcast a solo concert with organ I performed a few days prior. I alternated solos with trumpet soloist Reinhold Friedrich and trombone soloist Michel Bequet.
A friend was also performing as part of the Belgian Brass Festival!
Canadian Brass founding member Freddie Mills (CB trumpet 1972 – 1996!) and the guys. You can see Freddie explain how a trumpet works on one of the Canadian Brass’ Sesame Street episodes from the 1970’s!
Next stop, Luxembourg!
We performed in an incredible hall in Echternach, Luxembourg on July 13! Surrounded by a loving audience with wonderful acoustics.
Yes, we know…all halls in Europe provide this for us!
Next stop, the gourmet duty free deli in the airport on the way to England!
We had a long layover, and since we all are seasoned travelers, we know how to turn potential problem into pleasure! Just look at that smile!
We’ll remember this meal as one of the 2008 tour highlights! SO much fun, and quite decadent indulgences! Mmmmuch laughter in a simple setting.
Next stop, the train to England!
Ok, now we stop in England!
The Durham Cathedral checking out Gene, Jeroen, and Tony.
Gene doing a radio interview for a Chicago radio station from England.
Canadian Brass hits England! (and Gene grabs some ice cream! J)
Ok, maybe we all grabbed some ice cream! This man is the town’s most famous vendor…and trust us, he deserves the fame! So good!
We performed as part of the Durham Brass Festival on July 15. BBC2 recorded the concert to broadcast to a few hundred thousand people as well. The “British Bandsman” interviewed Chuck and reviewed the concert.
Next stop, Germany!
We performed in a beautiful intimate packed church in Niedermoos, Germany on July 17. This was our fourth time performing there and it’s always a fantastic experience!
Next stop, Austria!
Our last European concert was in the Festival St. Veit An Der Glan, in Austria on July 18.
My luggage didn’t make it there in time for the first half of the concert, thus the jeans.
Backstage Brass Joe and Jeroen.
There were a few other brass luminaries, including long-time friend of the group, and tuba freak Jon Sass!
Chuck was mentioning how he has always really looked up to Jon!
It was quite a tender moment for the two of them to share.
Jon then admitted that he too had always looked up to Chuck.
Such a mutual appreciation is tough to find these days.
It was a magical moment for all of us!! Wow…
Next stop, USA! New Jersey to begin…
We rehearsed and toured our enlarged brass concert program that celebrated our two new CD releases. The CDs are “Bach” and “Legends.”
The “Legends” tour line-up:
Low brassers Pete Ellefson, Gene, Zach Bond, and Chuck.
Horners Gavin Reed and me.
Trumpeters Joey Tartell, Brandon, Joe, and Ryan.
Our first concert was July 23 in Morristown, New Jersey at the Mayo Center for the Performing Arts…and yes, we did have a blast!
…and so did the crowds…
Interlochen, Michigan was next.
Before our concert, we did a master class for the students from the Interlochen Summer Program.
After our concert we all went to the famous Hofbrauhaus aftwith some new and older friends. Here are Chuck and Zach hanging with Vince DiMartino.
Back row: me, Chuck, Zach Bond, Gavin Reed, Alex Shuhan
Front row: Lisa Bontrager, Joe, Joey Tartell, Ryan, Brandon, Vince DiMartino
We also did a concert and master class at Ravinia, the summer home of the Chicago Symphony.
Performing as often as possible, and learning in that environment was one of our major themes.
Brandon did some conducting as well…and some beat boxing too!
I went to do my “Fearless Audition Training” seminar at Indiana University for a few days before we did our concert there. FYI, next year I will also be doing a “Fearless Performance” for any instrument and voice as well. Stay tuned!
We did a pre-concert talk, and spoke of our deep commitment to education.
Here are some of the Fearless hornists, and our guest lecturer Elizabeth Freimuth, principal hornist with the Cincinnati Symphony, in attendance for our concert on Aug. 3.
Here are some concert pictures taken by IU’s own Alain Barker.
Some “Beale Street” cheering!
…and a special touch to the show. Chuck and IU tuba faculty Dan Perantoni have known each other for a long time, beginning in their Eastman School of Music days. For Chuck’s part as “Tubby Mirum” he borrowed/Dan lent Dan’s signature leather hat as a nice “tip of the hat” between friends.
Here Chuck is, “looking for his cross”. I heard all the tuba players in the audience got the inside “tip of the hat”.
Joe being woo-ed.
It was an amazing experience to perform with my Canadian Brass family in my new home, Bloomington, Indiana.
IU Jacobs School of Music dean extraordinaire Gwyn Richards and his wife Barbara hosted a beautiful reception for us after the concert. It was amazing to celebrate our performance with the amazing people in Bloomington.
Gwyn Richards and me.
Chuck with IU trombone faculty M. Dee Stewart.
Chuck, me, Dan Perantoni (without his hat…oh noo!) and Joey Tartell
Our last stop this summer was Santa Barbara, California for the Music Academy of the West.
Here we are in rehearsal in the new incrrrrredible Hahn Hall for our August 11 concert. We used the students to augment our forces. New Los Angeles Philharmonic principal trombonist Steve Witzer also joined us!
Steve Witzer with Chuck and Gene at…crazy I know…a coffee shop!
iPhone Central with guest iPhoner Chris Daellenbach!
Canadian Brass MAW 2008 Lobero Hall concert
The “Come Together” moment!!
Here we are with Mr. and Mrs. Jon B. Lovelace. Right behind Brandon you can also see (trying to hide J) Music Academy President NancyBell Coe.
Whew!! So that’s some of the things we were up to since last month.
Maybe here is a good place to continue sharing our…
Rules for Chamber Music Success
Rule number one: Be prepared!
Rule number two: Make it about the music
When playing music in a small ensemble (or anywhere, actually), there is endless potential to take things personally. If someone gives us a critical comment, the music and our group are best served by us taking the content of the critique into consideration before attaching an emotion to it.
Taking things personally or getting negatively emotional while discussing musical matters is never a constructive thing to choose to do. It helps me a lot to think that every time I get emotional, it is a choice. Sometimes we can get emotional because we choose to not respect the person giving the critique, or choose to stay mad at our colleague about something that happened yesterday, or choose to be too tired to handle our emotions because we had to stay up all night because we chose to not do our paper until the night before the due date, orrrrr…you get the idea. Taking full responsibility for our emotions and what we do with them is a fantastic tool for working with others. For you and your group’s success in chamber music, try to always take critique and commentary as objective content in relation to the music you’re aiming to create.
For example, if someone says, “You’re too loud there,” we always have a choice. We can react or respond. Reacting brings the initial emotion we feel when something critical is said about us. Quite often this emotion is negative. If we can admit this, we can then be smarter than ourselves. We can take a moment, feel the emotion, and then keep choosing thoughts until we can replace emotion with thoughts about how we can constructively use that person’s valuable opinion to improve the music.
Doing this takes a ton of practice, but it is a simple thing to do. It is not, however, always an easy thing to do! I wish you luck! One thing that helps me respect the person giving critique is to ask myself, “Are you thinking the best of them?”
This helps me believe that this person is trying to help (whether they are or not!) and they have an opinion as valuable as our own. It doesn’t matter who’s giving the critique, because I can usually find something useful in the content…especially since ALL types of people will be in my audience at some point, even five year olds, or people who have chosen to dislike us. I like to hear all people’s opinions, and find the lesson in each comment.
Whether we agree with the critique is a different matter, and how each of us filters critique will make each of us into the musician and person we become. Differences of opinion are essential and are what makes music an art, creates cultures, and makes life interesting. This is part of our gig as a musician to hear all critique, smile, and integrate, discuss, or ignore accordingly.
Canadian Brass has a voting system that works well too. Basically, one vote is never enough. If you can’t get one other person in the group to want to go with your suggestion, ya gotta drop it! If someone else agrees, then the group has to try the suggestion. If the other three still disagree (after reeeeeeally trying the new way of phrasing, or dynamic change, or balance decision, etc), then the three win! This is a pretty efficient way of moving through rehearsals, discussions, and decisions.
That’s all for now!
Go “play” your instruments, have fun, and we’ll see next time!
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