Sunday, November 11, 2001

There was a joint senior trumpet recital this afternoon, but it was not particularly well-done. The Kennan was just plain sophomoric and the Ewazen, which is one of my favourite trumpet works, didn't fare much better. The performance lacked any kind of soul or drive -- there were no peaks or valleys, just a flat sameness throughout. It was like someone slapped the Ewazen around and told it to behave and be polite. I have to give the girl credit -- it takes balls to put a piece as demanding as the Ewazen on any program -- but when you're taking notes down the octave after only forty measures and there's still about six hundred measures to go, something's gone wrong somewhere! She did have a very pretty tone though, and the pianist played the crap out of an exceptionally tough piano part.

I don't begrudge anyone for being a bad performer -- I know I'm not an excellent one myself. However, it amazes me that people can continue to foster false impressions of their abilities, and that their school and/or professors do nothing to show otherwise. Sometimes I wonder how bad performance majors ever hope to survive as a competitive musician when there's so much amazing talent out there. The music I heard today should not have been acceptable to any mature senior, and yet the audience continues to madly cheer for friends and ending high notes.

I'm not out to get the performers -- I just hope that they aren't oblivious to their faults because now is the best time in the world to correct them. Then again, maybe it's just my cynicism and disillusionment bleeding through... Virginia Tech definitely did its share of graduating performers of meager skills and dedication. It's no one person's fault, but it is disappointing.

I finished the 3rd Edition of Badinage this afternoon for Dr. Bachelder's possible performance. I took many of Martin Ellerby's suggestions from our lesson a few weeks ago, and I really liked the way it's turned out. This is the first time I've really fine-tuned a piece after freezing the initial score, and you can hear the results on the Music page.

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