Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Monday, July 10, 2006
Monday, June 26, 2006
Finally, before I head off to the U.P. next week, I will playing on the Opening Gala Concert for the American Guild of Organists National Convention 2006.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Sunday afternoon, the Elgin Symphony Brass Quintet will be playing a free concert at Lords Park Pavilion. The show starts at 2:30 pm and will feature a lot of fun, standard fare for brass quintet.
Hope to see you there!
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
This Sunday, I will be involved in a performance of Robert Schumann's Paradise and the Peri with the North Shore Choral Society and the Metropolis Symphony.
Come out and hear this rarely performed masterpiece.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
The program features Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Ravel's Mother Goose Suite, and Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade.
Friday, May 26, 2006
One more show left. Sorry folks...it's sold out!
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Friday, May 05, 2006
Yesterday we had our first orchestra rehearsal for Chicago Opera Theater's production of Nixon in China.
This is what I will be doing for most of the month of May. Lots and lots of rehearsals...should be fun though!
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
I will be helping out with Session 2. (June 5 - 11, 2006) Here is message from Mike Becker about accomodations for people coming in from out of town...
For more information, visit http://www.beckbone.com/bootCamp.htm
or email Michael Becker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, April 24, 2006
On Sunday, I will playing with the Lithuanian Opera Company. We will be perfoming Pilenai by Vytautas Klova.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
DO YOU WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR PERFORMANCE SKILLS?
DO YOU WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR ORCHESTRAL AUDITIONS?
LED BY PRINCIPAL TROMBONIST OF THE
AN INTENSIVE COURSE ON AUDITION AND PERFORMANCE PREPARATION
Ø ORCHESTRAL EXCERPTS
Ø SOLO PERFORMANCE
Ø ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE
Ø TECHNIQUES TO MAXIMIZE FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION
MAY 13-20, 2006. SESSION 1
JUNE 5-11, 2006. SESSION 2
Class fee is $400 per session*
Michael Becker has been Principal Trombonist of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra since 2000. Previous to this appointment, he held positions in the Honolulu Symphony and the Savannah Symphony. He has spent many years playing, recording, and touring with major orchestras including the Chicago Symphony and the Detroit Symphony. In 1995, he was appointed to the “World Orchestra” by Sir Georg Solti. This all-star orchestra is made up of top players from orchestras around the world. He has also performed with the London Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Becker brings a vast amount of audition and performance experience to this seminar. He has been finalist for many orchestras in the U.S and abroad including the Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Metropolitan Opera, and the London Symphony Orchestra.
“For any student who is serious about orchestral training, Becker's low brass boot camp is a great opportunity. His extensive knowledge of auditions and experience as a performer would be a great asset to the student and young professional.”
--Jay Friedman, Principal Trombone,
"This is a great opportunity to deal with the specifics of the audition environment. Many fine musicians fail to excel in this most artificial performance setting. It is a unique challenge and warrants a specialized workshop such as Michael Becker's Low Brass Boot Camp. I recommend it highly."
--Michael Mulcahy, Second Trombone,
To apply, contact Michael Becker at 520-245-7377, or E-mail at email@example.com
* Fee does not include housing expenses
Sunday, April 16, 2006
As a brass musician, I will be looking forward to it. We will be featuring saxophonist, Carrie Koffman on music from Catch Me If You Can. I got a chance to hear her perform at the Pine Mountain Music Festival last summer and she was terrific.
If you are in the Elgin or Schaumburg area this weekend, come check it out. It should be lots of fun!
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Tenor Trombone Materials
Etude and Method Books:
Arban’s – Complete Method for Trombone
Bitsch – 14 Etudes de Rhythm
Blazevich – Clef Studies
-70 Studies for Tuba (play in tenor clef)
Blume – 36 Studies for Trombone w/F attachment
Boutry- 12 Etudes de Perfection
Clarke, H.L. - Technical Studies
Concone/Korak – The Complete Solfeggi
Fink – Introducing the Alto Clef
- Introducing the Tenor Clef
Johnson, J.J. – Solos (transcribed by Leisenring & Butler)
Kopprasch – 60 Selected Studies (both Trbn. & Tuba versions)
Mantia – Trombone Virtuoso
Marsteller – Advanced Slide Technique
Maxted - Studies
Charlie Parker Omnibook
Pichaureau – Special Legato
The “Real” Book (or any good fake book)
Remington – Warm Ups
Slama – 66 Studies in All Keys
Schlossberg – Daily Drills
Wilson/Viola – Chord Studies for Trombone
Bach – Six Suites for Cello Solo
Barat – Andante and Allegro
Bernstein – Elegy for Mippy II
Berio – Concerto
- Sequenza V
Bloch – Symphony
Brahms – Cello Sonatas
Cage – Solo for Sliding Trombone
Casterede – Sonatine
Chavez – Concerto
Clarke – Cousins (w/trumpet)
Creston – Fantasy
David – Concertino
Defaye – Deux Danses
Dorsey – Trombonology
Dutilleux – Chorale, Cadence and Fugato
Ewazen – Sonata
Frescobaldi – Canzoni per Basso Solo
Galliard – Sonatas
Grondahl - Concerto
Guilmant – Morceau symphonique
Harnley – Chorale Fantasie
Hidas – Movement
Hindemith - Sonata
Holst – Duet for Trombone and Organ
Jacob – Concerto
Jongen – Aria and Polonaise
Larsson - Concertino
Liszt – Cujus animam (w/Organ)
Marcello – Cello Sonatas
Martin – Ballade
Milaud – Concerto d’Hiver
Nymen – Concerto
Peasley – Arrows of Time
Pilss – Concerto for Bass Trombone
Pryor – The Blue Bells of
- Fantastic Polka
- Thoughts of Love
Pugh - Concerto
Rabe – Basta
Rimsky-Korsakov - Concerto
Ropartz – Concert Piece
Rouse – Concerto (in memorium Leonard Bernstein)
Saint-Saens - Cavatine
Schuller – Eine Kleine Posaunenmusik
Serocki - Sonatina
Starer – Concerto a tre (w/trumpet and clarinet)
Sulek – Sonata (Vox Gabrieli)
Telemann – 12 Fantasies
Thomas - Concerto
Vivaldi – Cello Sonatas
Weber - Romance
Zwillich – Concerto
Brown – Additions for amplified flute and trombone
Elgar – Duett for trombone and double bass
Hartley – Sonata da camera (w/ oboe, 2 cls, & bsn)
Kellaway – Esque for trombone and double bass
Poulenc – Sonata (w/trpt & horn)
Premru – Concertino (w/ WW 4-tet)
Stravinsky – Concertino
- In Memorium Dylan Thomas (Tenor, String 4-tet, Trbn. 4-tet)
- Octet for Winds
- L’histoire du Soldat
Villa-Lobos – Choros #4 (w/ 3 horns)
This is a list of materials for my tenor trombone students to have studied or be familiar with.
Friday, March 31, 2006
This weekend with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra:
We will be performing Richard Strauss' Horn Concerto No. 1...featuring our fantastic principal horn, Greg Flint!
Also on the program: Les Preludes by Franz Liszt and Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
The Importance of Sight
I have been thinking all week about some of the things that I discussed at my master class on Monday. It’s interesting how you can be thinking about an idea and then it will present itself so clearly out in the “real world.” Working on Schumann’s First Symphony this week has given me a multitude of examples to draw on.
For many of my colleagues, our first major professional opportunity came at a moment’s notice. Someone has an emergency situation come up and a last minute substitute is needed to fill in for them. What if I got sick and someone had to come in and play the bass trombone part for the Schumann? Now, a lot of people would know the Third or Fourth Symphonies. But, this piece is not performed that much. Certainly, no one learns it for auditions. Well, the bass trombone part to the First Symphony is very active and exposed. It could be a little unsettling for someone to come in and have to read it on a concert without any rehearsals.
The most basic thing that I will tell a student when we work on sight reading is to believe what you see on the page. (Kalmus editions, not withstanding…ha, ha) You have to learn to trust yourself to be a good reader. This is such a little thing, but there are many times in the first movement when the bass trombone will have an eighth note pickup before the alto and tenor trombones enter. This can cause you to be hesitant and to think things like...did I come in too early...is that a misprint, etc.? One little moment of hesitation can be very noticeable to your colleagues. I can’t stress enough that the most important job of a substitute is to not make the people you are working with worry. If you are hesitating or playing in holes, you will make people worry.
Another important thing is to acclimate yourself to the style of the piece. A bass trombonist should approach a Schumann symphony like Schubert or Mendelssohn. Most of the time, you are playing in unison and octaves with the bassoons, cellos, and basses. The bass trombone is the leading voice at these times, but you can’t play with the same kind of sound that you would use for Mahler or Wagner. This might seem obvious…but a lot of bass trombonists will come in and be too aggressive. This is a sure-fire way of not being called back. Now, I am not telling you that you can never play loud. You just need to be aware of how the rest of the section is playing and try and match them. Getting the right color for the piece is of prime importance.
In the first movement there is a nice little “solo” starting at measure 271. This is an excellent opportunity to show that you listened to the woodwinds preceding you. Match how they played it!
The second movement has a very beautiful trombone chorale near the end. Listen to the principal and don’t play too soft. You want your principal to be able to hear you and be comfortable on top.
Alto and tenor trombones are tacet in the third movement. It’s just you! You need to match the trumpet and horns, as well as the bass instruments.
There are a lot of nice parts in the last movement, but it ends with a “Brahm’s One” type arpeggio melody. Just like in Brahms, you can play this very strong…but with your most beautiful sound.
The most important thing to do is to remember to have fun. This might be kind of hard while you are freaking out over not playing in the holes, not playing too loud, etc. But if you are a good reader, any unfamiliar piece of a similar difficulty level should not be out of your grasp.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Back to work. This week I will be performing with the Lake Forest Symphony. Our program will feature Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole with David Taylor. No...not the great bass trombonist.
This David Taylor:
Also on the program will be Robert Schumann's First Symphony. A nice piece with an odd little bass trombone part...more on that later.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Mark Fry, Bass Trombone
Kathryn Goodson, Piano
March 20, 2006
Also featuring Jennifer Walvoord, violin
Jan Koetsier - Allegro Maestoso
Georg Phillip Telemann - Fantasie in c minor
Duke Ellington - Come Sunday
Daniel Schnyder - Concerto for Bass Trombone
Mr. Fry will be giving a masterclass immediately following the recital.
Mr. Fry will be giving a masterclass immediately following the recital.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Friday, I will be performing the annual Saint Patrick's Day concert in Orchestra Hall... Siamsa na nGael.
Saturday, I will be performing with the Heartland Voices at Elgin Community College.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Saturday night I will be going out to St. Charles to perform Morten Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna with the Heartland Voices.
And finally, Sunday and Monday I will performing one of my favorites, Dvorak's Sixth Symphony, with the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
This is a list of important works for my bass trombone students to have studied, or at least be familiar with.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
After the recital, I will be giving a masterclass on the various aspects of being a freelance musician. Things will start up at 4:40pm in the Cady Room of the Stearns Building. If you want to find out more about Kathryn Goodson...
Monday, February 27, 2006
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Please feel free to contact myself or Mike with any questions. I will be back with more updates in the next few days.
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