TBS Showcase

This past Saturday, I had the privilege of performing as a part of Tau Beta Sigma’s first annual Fall Showcase. TBS usually does a showcase in the spring, but with the interest level that many people showed, they decided to add another one in the fall this year, and as a Membership Cantidate, I had the opportunity to take part in it.

As someone who spent most of his high-school carreer playing Jazz, when I got to UM there was a bit of a shock as I realized I wouldn’t get to play Jazz as often. Showcase provided me the opportunity to do this, and after asking around, I found that there were a bunch of members of the organization that were interested in putting together a Jazz Band to perform! There aren’t many opportunities in Jazz through the school of music for those who aren’t Jazz majors, and we all wanted to just play. Thus was born the “University Jazz Band!”

The U-Jazz Band performed a tune called “Sandu” (written by Clifford Brown) on Saturday. The arrangment was something I did for the GBN Jazz Ensemble in the Spring of 2007, and our pianist Andrew DeVine (a very accomplished composer/arranger) supplemented the arrangement with an alternate “shout-chorus” ending.

I must say that performing at showcase this weekend has been one of the most enjoyable experiecnes I’ve had performing in a very long time. It was awesome just being able to play, enjoy the music, and not worry about anything else except what was going on in the song. It was truly the most fun I’ve had performing in a long, long time.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank every single person who participated in the band (Frankie Pereda, Chris Walker-Alto Sax, Dan Sprague, Brad Newman-Tenor Sax, Jackie Kraus-Bari Sax, Raquel Shifrin, Nick Heilman-Trombone, Mike O’Brien-Baritone, Marissa Wites-Bass Bone, Rachel Hanusa, Chris Kumetz, Kevin Mazzarella-Trumpet, Tyson Greaves-Bass, Mike Heilman-Drums, Andrew DeVine-Piano) for all their hard work on the tune, and for making Saturday so enjoyable! I hope you all had somewhere near as much fun as I did!

Weekend from Hell

Well the so-dubbed “Weekend from Hell” is over, and I’m still alive! This past weekend, which really started on Wednesday, included:

  • Marching Band, Basketball Band, and Jazz Band rehearsals (Wednesday)
  • Trumpet lesson (Thursday morning)
  • Last regular-season home football Game (Thursday night)
  • First women’s basketball game (Friday afternoon)
  • Last volleyball game (Friday evening)
  • TBS Showcase (Saturday afternoon, more to come on this!)
  • First men’s basketball game (Saturday night)
  • Women’s basketball game (Sunday afternoon)

This was about as much playing as I’ve ever done in a 4-day span, except for the Illinois All-State musical my senior year (think 3 run-throughs of Les Mis each day, for about a week!). I’m feeling pretty good after it, though, and I had a blast! In all these athletic events this weekend, the ‘Canes went 4-1, with the only loss being Sunday’s women’s game (which the ‘Canes lost on a fast-break with 4 seconds left after they came back from down 13 to tie it). My voice is all but gone from all the cheering, though.

It was an awesome weekend, for sure. Busy? Yes. Tiring? You betcha (I took a 4 hour nap today)! But very rewarding and so much fun getting to spend the entire weekend doing my 2 favorite things: playing music and cheering on the ‘Canes!

MSNBC Keith Olbermann on Prop 8, Marriage and More

I saw this somewhere on Facebook and was completely and utterly struck by it, so felt I needed to share it with all of you. Keith Olbermann makes a emotional, thought-provoking, and all-in-all fantastic case for the cause of gay marriage, and for the rights he and I feel every person deserves, democrat or republican, Christian or Jewish, black or white, gay or straight. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and please don’t take this as my trying to impose mine on you, but I would implore upon anyone, whether you support “Prop 8” or not, to listen to Olbermann’s comments. They sum it up perfectly.


Basketball Band

Oh how I missed it… today was the first game of the season (a women’s game, albeit, but a game nonetheless), and it was a blast getting to play fun music with awesome people! And the lady ‘Canes looked great in a 91-42 romping of the Norfolk State Spartans! Between the football game last night and the basketball game today, my voice is already almost gone, and with a volleyball game tonight, another women’s game on Sunday, and the first men’s game of the season tomorrow night (!), I don’t expect to have any semblance of a voice left come Monday!

Go ‘Canes!

FCMENC Executive Board

So it’s been a while since I posted, and there have been tons of exciting things to happen recently. I’m going to try to start keeping more updated here, with smaller and more frequent posts rather than longer and farther apart posts. To begin with this, here’s my first mini-post about a recent event. I had the privilege of being put on the slate to be voted on for the position of President-Elect for UM’s chapter of FCMENC (Florida Collegiate Music Education National Conference). Congratulations to the 2009 Executive Board:

President: Alaina Galliford
President-Elect: Andy Zweibel
Secretary: Alyssa Kassler
Treasurer: Emily Cleghorn

I’m looking forward to working with all of you. A special thanks and congratulations to Brad Newman, the other person on the “ballot” for President-Elect. He gave a great speech about his ideas for the group and for the school, and he will be a great asset to the program no matter what.

Hope everyone’s November is going well! T-minus 12 days until Thanksgiving!