Good Music and Band Music | 06/17/04
Tonight, Jamie, Chris and I endured the mid-70's, low humidity and gentle breeze to listen to Mike play bass with the summer wind band. Honestly, they were pretty bad. I completely forgot how much I hated band-only music. To a certain extent every piece sounds one of two ways: the brass is voiced too sparsely and it sounds loose or the brass voicings are too close together and it sounds pinched. Neither are particularly tempting options and the reason this isn't a problem in the orchestra is that, let's be honest, typically orchestral musicians are better overall musicians. They have a better sense of blending and intonation where not nearly enough time is spent in bands. Mike was easily the best conductor--my completely unbiased opinion. He was the only one whose head was up and looking at people and (in my opinion more importantly) his left hand stayed down. That's an easy way to tell if a conductor sucks (which a lot of student conductors did last night)--if the left hand is always up or, even worse, constantly mirroring the right hand it is wasted movement and a distraction for the players. I'll forgive the girl who will be directing the marching band next year for doing this, at least she wasn't timid. One of my former students, Dan D. played Xylophonia with them and I must say, did a very nice job. The showmanship would have been kind of cheesy if I didn't know him, but fortunately my pro-Dan bias allowed me to like it. Showmanship aside, though, he played the piece really well. After the concert we trekked to On The Border and I concluded my night by watching Celebrity Poker Showdown.
I have to admit that I was disappointed by your email after I read the subject. I thought for sure you had put crackers in the floppy drive, or perhaps downloaded a virus that closed any IE window and brought up a porn site (see a later email!) or maybe kidnapped Chompy. I'm glad you kept a sense of humor about things, but crying? Come on. I believe I also stated at the beginning of the semester emoticons were strictly banned (along with abbreviated short-cuts and net-slang l8r,gr8, h4X0r)! At first I read it was one of those multiple-mouth smiley-faces :))))) which I particularly hate, but upon a second reading I see that the second "mouth" is just your closing parenthesis. With regards to your CoolEdit Pro project, you were supposed to splice some samples together and make a clean version, not find the one with the least mistakes, rename it and then upload it as a finished product. After having me as your teacher for almost five months, surely you know that I am merciful. Thank you for telling me which class this one--I have a tendency to go to the wrong class and just, well you know, start teaching. MC
drbegsalot will go on to finish with a C+ because s/he, if nothing else, came to class consistently and at least tried to do the work.