Today I got to the warm-ups right at 8 am. The session was packed so I ended up standing in the back of the room along with 20 other people. I think over 60 people showed up. I’m finding these warm-up classes really tough. I really don’t think my body wants to play the horn at 8 am. Actually, I know my body doesn’t want to play the horn at 8 am. Taking in tons of air and breathing properly is a big part of the warm-ups as it should be. However, first thing in the morning, the breathing makes me dizzy. Getting sound to emerge from my horn and getting my brain to remember the routine is close to impossible. I don’t think I’m going to go tomorrow.
The adult amateur (also called the over 50) ensemble is wonderful for me. I can play all the music, something that I don’t think I could have done a few months ago. It’s very rewarding.
David Amram led a jazz improvisation class that was just superb. We all brought our horns so we had this huge jazz horn choir with Richard Todd, no less, as one of the soloists along with Amram. I spent some time talking to David yesterday since I knew him from back in the day. He was one of my mother’s students. David’s a brilliant composer and a truly interesting guy.
I went to two master classes this afternoon. William Klingelhoffer, co-principle horn with San Francisco’s Opera Orchestra, led an orchestral master class. He had two students play excerpts from Italian operas and then explained how to play them better by using vocal techniques on the horn.
Jeff Nelson, Hornist, Canadian Brass, led a session on fearless horn playing. He talked about how there are three components to successful horn playing – musicality, technique, and performance – and that we don’t practice the performance side often enough. He talked about practicing walking out on stage, thinking only positively about your performance, staying in the ‘now’, and more. He’s a really good speaker and it was an excellent presentation.
The performances today were all excellent. John Ericson (Horn Notes Blog) gave a fabulous performance of Teleman’s Concerto for Horn in D. Richard Todd just blew everyone away with his jazz technique.
All in all, it was a great day today.