Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Low Brass Boot Camp 2009 Update!

Mike Becker has just confirmed that this year's special guest artist will be Larry Zalkind, Principal Trombonist of the Utah Symphony.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Mr. Zalkind's playing, I highly recommend purchasing both of his solo recordings.  They are favorites in my own collection!   

You can also purchase them directly from Larry Zalkind's website.

Larry will be coming down to Tucson for a day to teach a masterclass and perform.  Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity to work with one of the world's great trombone artists!

For more information on this year's Low Brass Boot Camp, please visit http://www.beckbone.com/bootcamp.php

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Double Bell Contrabass Trombone

Gérard Buquet is pictured to the right with the world's only double bell contrabass trombone.  Mr.  Buquet is a tubist, conductor and composer.  From 1976 to 2001 he was the tuba player of Ensemble Intercontemporain

For more information on Gérard Buquet, please visit his website and this Wikipedia article.  

Thanks to Randy Hawes for posting the following video on Facebook today!  

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Musicians

I am a big fan of the work of the Polish film director, Krzysztof Kieslowski.  I regularly revisit many of his films and consider them some of my favorite artworks of the latter Twentieth Century.  These films include, The Double Life of Véronique, The Colors Trilogy (Blue, White and Red), and The Dekalog.  Kieslowski often colloborated with the Polish composer, Zbigniew Preisner on these films.  Preisner's sparse scoring seems to lend an extra layer of austere beauty to these important cinematic works.  

Just tonight, I ran across a short film by Kieslowski's teacher, Kazimierz Karabasz.  The film is a documentary about an amateur band comprised of tram drivers from Warsaw.  It seems as if nothing is happening, yet I find the film to be strangely moving and beautiful.  Give it a view!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

ESO on WFMT Tomorrow Night

The Elgin Symphony will be on WFMT 98.7 tomorrow night - Friday, March 27 at 8pm.  This season's Classic 3 concert will be broadcast.
January 9-11, 2009
Andrew Grams, Conductor
Matt Haimovitz, Cello
Smetana    The Moldau
Barber        Cello Concerto
Brahms      Symphony No. 2


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Chicago Brass Festival

This weekend Northeastern Illinois University will be hosting the Chicago Brass Festival.  Friday and Saturday's events will feature such performers and clinicians as CSO trumpeter and renowned teacher John Hagstrom, "President's Own" Marine Band Brass Quintet and the American Brass Quintet.  For more information please visit the festival's website.

Friday, March 13, 2009



Led by

Michael Becker

Principal Trombone, Tucson Symphony Orchestra

Assisted by

Mark Fry

Bass Trombone, Elgin Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Free-lance artist

June 2-7, 2009

Tucson Symphony Center, Tucson, Arizona

This intensive workshop is dedicated to:

  • Audition and performance preparation

  • Fundamentals

  • Orchestral style

  • Solo preparation and study

Daily classes will include:

  • Master classes

  • Section coaching

  • Mock auditions

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 any student and young professional.”

  • Jay Friedman, Principal Trombone, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

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 would recommend it highly.”

-Michael Mulcahy, Second Trombone, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

*Fee for this workshop is $600

Sign up at www.beckbone.com

*Scholarships available for limited number of eligible students

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chicago Composers Big Band at the Jazz Showcase

The great Tom Matta just sent this announcement to me.  I plan on checking out the show myself.  It sounds like a fun time!

Special engagement – 3 nights only!!!

The Chicago 


Big Band

directed by Thomas Matta

The Jazz Showcase

Historic Dearborn Station

806 S. Plymouth Court

Chicago, IL

(312) 360-0234


Monday March 16

Tuesday March 17

Wednesday March 18

8:00 and 10:00 pm

REEDS: John Wojciechowski, Nick Mazzarella, Chris Madsen, Greg Ward, Mark Colby, Dan Nicholson, Jerry DiMuzio.

TRUMPETS: Joey Tartell, BJ Levy, Bob Lark, Rob Parton, Brian Schwab, Marques Carroll.

TROMBONES: Scott Bentall, Joel Adams, Tom Garling, Tom Matta.

RHYTHM: Mike Pinto, Scott Hesse, Ron Perrillo, Dennis Carroll, Bob Rummage, Tom Hipskind.

Chicago Composers Big Band • Thomas Matta, Director

(773) 463-0344


Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Non-Classic Bass Trombone

Most bass trombonists need no introdution to Eliezer Aharoni's New Method for the Modern Bass Trombone.  Last Year he followed up this very important and valuable work with a new and completely different method book, The Non-Classic Bass Trombone.  I have just recently aquired it and am working my way thru it. This is a very important book for anyone to have, especially students who are working to be more complete players.  I will have a more formal review posted here soon. You can order both books from Hickey's Music Online. In the meantime, Mr. Aharoni was kind enough to send along these videos of himself and Micha Davis performing material from the book.


Funkey Blues

A Weird Ballad

Duet 1

Duet 3 (In Latin Style)

The Mute Shop (Part 1)

The Mute Shop (Part 2)

The Mute Shop (Part 3)

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