Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Washington Ambassadors of Music Tour - July 9 to Aug 4 2014

I'm excited to be participating in a summer jazz experience through the Voyageurs International Washington Ambassadors of Music tour. I originally signed on in hopes of getting my 2 sons a meaningful travel experience with a music theme before they're grown and out of the house. My boys have chosen to sing in the choir instead of playing in the band. The choral conductor is Gary Widdenaar from Central Washington University. I'm excited to see what he will create.

Not long after committing to the tour, I learned that the intended jazz band director had cancelled and I was asked to direct the jazz band portion of the trip.  I agreed and am now days away from meeting this new group for the first time.

My wife Christina will also be along as choir accompanist/rehearsal coach and chaperone.

Students from all over Washington State are nominated by their high school music instructors and then choose to participate in either the choir, concert band or jazz band. This year there will be over 250 students traveling to 8 countries in 16 days.  Countries include the UK, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Lichtenstein, Germany and Italy.

I intend to post photos and updates here occasionally.

The auditions for placement in groups were held via recorded submissions on gmail. It was taxing but should help make the rehearsals prior to leaving a bit more focused and productive.

I've selected 5 pieces to prepare knowing that we may scrap some or swap some in and out depending on each performance situation. We are going to work on Baylock's Love for Sale, Marty Paich small band recording of Bernie's Tune featuring Art Pepper, Misty arranged by Dave Barduhn, Mike Kamuf arrangement of Watermelon Man and the classic Benny Goodman tune Sing Sing Sing.  A few of these charts were my choice and a few were selected by veteran WAM director Chris Bruya, director of jazz at Central Washington University.

Thanks for tagging along with us virtually. Let me know if you have comments or questions.

EWHS Jazz Colony

I'm grateful to have summer off to recharge my batteries, practice, play and listen to more music.  This summer our Edmonds-Woodway High School Music Program and Boosters host the 5th annual Jazz Colony improvisation workshop.  This program helps to keep kids growing during the summer by offering expert instruction from quality instructors in a safe and supportive atmosphere. This year we received support from the Hazel Miller Foundation to help offset costs and bolster the infrastructure of the lessons and activities.

You're welcome to see what the students are experiencing at the blog maintained by noted author, saxophonist and educator Steve Treseler.

Maybe you have something similar or related you'd like to share?