Friday, December 10, 2004

In the Homestretch

I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as this semester is concerned (and I'm reasonably sure it's not attached to the proverbial oncoming train). I only have two full teaching days left now: Monday and Thursday. Tuesday and Wednesday will be partial days, as Halfling and I head to the New Orleans Bowl Tuesday night. Since Friday is an all-exam day, and most of my students will have already had their band class, Thursday will mark my semester's end.

Tomorrow will be a fun (if very early) day for me, as I'll be the clinician for an all-region jazz band in Highland Park. It's the first time I'll have done one of those, but I'm basically looking at it as a similar experience to directing my band at camp, only with not quite so much rehearsal time (we're even doing two of the same tunes my camp band did this past summer). I'm really looking forward to the whole experience.

TV tribute: Frederick Fennell, to whom I paid tribute in my previous post, will be honored during the In Memoriam segment of ABC-TV`s "This Week with George Stephanopolous."  The program will air 9:30-10:30 CST this Sunday (December 12). I was pleased to see that he got a fairly big writeup in our local paper; he was a giant in the classical music world, but I had no idea how well he was known in the world at large (though his Dallas Wind Symphony connection certainly raised his profile around here).

Unplanned damage: I was really shocked the other night on my way home from Denton when I heard about the Columbus nightclub shootings that took the lives of five people, including "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, a Metroplex resident and member of the band Damageplan. He was also a former member of Pantera, a band that I saw live several times during my metal days (yes, I had metal days, believe it or not). He never really struck me as a particularly cuddly figure, but everyone who talked about him in the paper said he had a heart of gold, and he and drumming brother Vinnie Paul Abbott were known for helping launch local bands and showing up randomly at clubs to jam with the musicians onstage (they did this at a Sepultura show I attended). But no matter whether you like metal or not, it's unsettling to know that someone would gun down a musician onstage in the middle of performing. As the NBA fiasco of a few weeks ago proved, the unwritten line between fan and performer keeps getting breached these days. I wonder how concert security will be affected in the future (and I'm also really glad that I perform in a much more sedate atmosphere).

This one came from Combo PM, where we were talking about how Alex the guitarist managed to both move out of his house and play a concert in the same day:
NORMA (the pianist): Wow, he's a better man than I am.
ME: Well, I hope so...

Blowing out partial candles: It's my half-birthday today. I still think it would be funny to give someone the front half of a humorous card on this occasion and then make them wait six months to get the half with the punch line. Heh.

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