Sunday, November 14, 2004

I Am a Perpetual-Motion Machine

Wow, such a long time between posts again. But what a week this was--busy, busy, busy. I'll hit the highlights:

--The Hang™ was a bit different this week, as it started with Halfling's concert band concert. It was only the second time I'd ever seen "legit" at the Murchison (the first time was a middle-school band festival, of all things), and it was nice to watch my old buddy Nick direct "indoors" for a change (he, of course, also leads the Green Brigade marching band). From there, it was Lab Band Night as usual, as the Six O'Clock became the 257th at least the fourth lab band this semester to play "F.M." One highlight of this one was when J-Guar busted out the bell set for the last part of the tune.

--Thursday was a personal record of dubious distinction, as I endured a--get ready--seventeen-hour work day! It started at 7:30 a.m. with school lessons, then I taught at the college all afternoon and evening till 8:15, and I capped off the day with a 3 1/2-hour gig at Django with Shelley's big band. It was a lot of fun, but not nearly as crowded as over the summer. That ended at 12:30 in the morning, and I had to teach at 7:30 the next morning as well.

--There was no rest for the weary on Friday either, as Chris Vadala was in town for a performance with the TI Band, but he was also made available to clinic the college band. (If you're unfamiliar with him, he runs the jazz program at the University of Maryland and has performed with all kinds of people, though he made his name with the Chuck Mangione group in the "Feels So Good" days--but he's way more versatile than those recordings might indicate.) He had a lot of good stuff to say and really liked my soprano feature. From there, I hauled up to Denton for a Sinfonia ceremony and then hung with Halfling afterwards (he beat me a game in bowling, among other things).

--Saturday was also full, and no chance to sleep in either, as Vadala gave a special clinic just for saxes. He had a lot of great stuff to say and had some really cool handouts of stuff that should keep me in practice material for a year.

Oh, and the Mean Green beat Idaho that night, which means that another trip to the New Orleans Bowl is in the offing next month.

That takes me to today, just trying to catch up on stuff. I'm really happy that there's only a little over a week until Thanksgiving break.

QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: "If you don't have some sort of connection to the melody, you might as well get on a jet and fly as far away from that tune as possible."--Chris Vadala, on the melodic aspect of improvisation.