Words of Wisdom

This is a sort of unorthodox post for me, but I read this recently and I found it meaningful so I thought I would share it with you all:

Throughout your life you will meet one person who is like no other.
You could talk to this person for hours and never get bored,
You could tell this person things and they will never judge you.
This person is your soulmate… Your best friend…
Never let them go…

Here’s hoping this holiday season brings you that person, or if you have already found them, brings you even closer to them.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday Night Football

In an effort to have something to do tonight, I’m going to be live-blogging the Monday Night Football matchup between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers! I’ll be doing my live-blogging using Twitter, and you can follow my updates by checking out my Twitter page. I’ll also be using the Twitter hashtags #mnf (Monday Night Football) and #bears, so you can search for all Twitter updates from all users by searching those tags (click the links on each hashtag to open up the search 🙂

If you’re on Twitter, feel free to follow me @Zweibz7, and do your own live-blogging! I’d love to have some fun conversations with you about the game!

Go Bears!!

Midwest Clinic

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, I don’t mean Christmas season, nor do I mean the end of the semester, or college football bowl season (which begins soon!). While all these reasons are very valid explanations for why this is the “most wonderful time of the year,” there is a much more significant and worthy explanation.

This, my friends, is the fantastic week in which anyone who is anyone (and many who aren’t anyone!) in the band and orchestra profession get together in Chicago for concerts, clinic sessions, exhibits, meals, and many drinks (for those of age, of course!). I refer, of course, to the annual Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the epitome of band geekdom, in which musicians, educators, students, and companies from around the country and in fact around the world come to share in their mutual love of the art of music. The Midwest Clinic has been taking place this week, starting in full force on Tuesday and lasting until Saturday afternoon. I had the opportunity to attend on Wednesday evening as well as all day Thursday and Friday, so I figured I would keep you updated on how the clinic went 🙂

Midwest began for me on Wednesday evening, where I picked up my registration packet and immediately had the privilege to attend a rare chamber concert at Midwest–the Walton High School Chamber Music Society. The Walton orchestra program, under the direction of Dr. Perry Holborok (whom I met earlier in the semester at UM annd who is one of my close friend’s mentors), put together two fantastic string quartets for one of (if not the) first chamber music performances ever at Midwest. The concert was truly wonderful.

After the concert, my friend Aaron (music education/cello performance major at University of Illinois) and I had the opportunity to grab some dinner at the famous Artist’s Cafe, a small cafe on Michigan Avenue just a few blocks south of Symphony Center. Pianist and former artistic director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Daniel Barenboim was known to frequent the Artist’s cafe after CSO performances. After a quaint meal, it was back to the Hilton Chicago for the “keynote” concert of the night–the U.S. Army Field Band. The Army Field Band lived up to every expectation I had, making incredible music all night.

Thursday began in the exhibit halls for me, where I wandered around for a bit, meeting people and browsing scores. In the late morning, I went to one of the main ballrooms to hear the Lockport HS Wind Symphony. I have a good friend at UM who is a Lockport alum, and her school did not disappoint me; Lockport played some extremely difficult music and played all of it wonderfully. A large bravo goes out to director Brian Covey and the band. Some more time in the exhibit halls after the concert, followed by lunch at Panera, and I found myself with the opportunity to catch up with Phil Clements, the former associate director of bands at Miami. It was great getting to see Mr. Clements again, and catch up on how the semester has been going. After meeting a few other people, I decided that it would be in my best interests to head home and get some rest.

Friday was a busy, busy day! I came down on a 7:15 train with a friend from my High School-an aspiring music educator who had never been to Midwest. It was incredible seeing her eyes bug out when she walked into the exhibit halls, or at the fact that there were SO many band directors there! Oh the joys of being young and ambitious :). Our first session was titled “A Conversation with Dr. Al G. Wright.” In this session, Dr. Wright and Colonel John Bourgois (USMC Ret.), former conductor of “The President’s Own Marine Band,” reminisced about Dr. Wright’s past, going through his bachelor’s degree at the University of Miami, his relationship with Miami’s most well-known bandmaster Henry Fillmore, and up through his time as the director of bands at Purdue University. It was a really incredible session, and was lots of fun learning more about the history behind the men who established Miami’s band program.

Anyway, after a morning in the exhibit halls, I went to my first session-a very interesting session on integrating communication using Web2.0 that was given by Carol Broos (follow her on Twitter @musictechie). Ms. Broos demonstrated her profound knowledge of Web2.0 services and definitely helped me be sure that I’m on the right track with all the networking I’m doing with Web 2.0. It was also nice putting a face to the name, as I connected with her on Twitter a few weeks ago!

My friend and I had lunch at the Artist’s cafe with another of my friends, and then went back to the Hilton to enjoy the Wheeling HS Jazz band. WOW! Wheeling played incredibly, and featured some extremely special soloists, both as guest artists and the students in the band. I was left extremely impressed by the performance!

That afternoon, my friend and I headed back up to our hometown to play at the alumni pep band game, which was a really enjoyable experience. It’s always fun going back and seeing how things are different. A major difference was the fact that the entire music department was remodeled thanks to part of the $95 million referrendum that was passed in our High School district. It looks beautiful!

I drove back downtown after the game to spend a last night with my miami friends who had come to chilly Chicago for the conference, and as I headed back home on Saturday morning, I realized how much I enjoyed the conference, and can’t wait until next year, when Midweset will move to McCormick Place!

I’m a ME Blogger!

No, although my trumpet-player ego does tend to run off a little bit, this is not a post about how my blog has turned egocentric and all about myself (it was like that already, wasn’t it?). Instaed, it’s to share a very special announcement about this blog with you:

I have been selected by Mr. Joseph Pisano at MusTech.net to be one of the last of a list of 100 Music Education Bloggers (ME Bloggers–get it now?) for the year 2008! Mr. Pisano announced this idea in January of 2008, as an effort to help bring more Music Educators into the field of blogging and social networking. The ME Blogger campaign urges music educators who have been considering starting a blog to take the first step and publish it, as well as recognizes current music education bloggers for their continued efforts and support of the field by allowing the group to network with each other, gain support together, and educate more people about the experiences that music education brings all of us.

It is an incredible honor to be chosen as a ME Blogger (there were only 100 selected this year, out of probably many more), especially as an undergrad student who isn’t actually an educator yet. I’m extremely happy to be a part of the ME Blogger community, and as I continue blogging, I will be making an effort to bring my take to ideas in the field of music education.

Don’t worry, everyone, this isn’t going to become exclusively a blog about music education… it’s still about my life and experiences, many of which happen outside the realm of Music Ed. Just be prepared to see some more well thought-out and more frequent blogs about music ed-related “stuff.” 🙂

To learn more about the ME Blogger campaign, check out the ME Blogger Page on MusTech.net. You can also see the (almost) complete list of ME Bloggers here.

Happy Blogging!

Website Upgrade

In case anyone is curious, http://andyzweibel.com is now running on the newest version of WordPress-version 2.7! WP v2.7 was released earlier today, and while it does not provide many front-end visual upgrades (you won’t see much, if any, change), it makes the administrator area (where I create posts, view stats, moderate comments, etc) MUCH more navigable and convenient!

Also, I have updated the About page with more information about myself, including my interests, professional organizations I’m involved in, and the performing ensembles I take part in. Coming soon will be fixed links on the Music page, and a few more music clips added!

For now, back to school work!