So, my 34th birthday was one for the books! The USNA Brass Quintet was fortunate enough to not only be invited to perform at the 2016 ITG convention held in Los Angeles, but to perform multiple times including a very memorable recital with the greatest musician in the history of Hollywood, Malcolm McNab. One of the reasons I did not post about this two weeks ago when it happened was because I wasn't quite sure how to process it, and even now I know I cannot do that week justice, so I'll just do my best to try and summarize the whirlwind of a week.
Wednesday June 1st
After a 345am wake up time, and 6am flight out of BWI, the quintet lands in LA at 1130am. No time for rest though, as my fellow quintet trumpeter Davy DeArmond and I already have business to attend to. Our colleague and friend from the US Marine Band, Amy McCabe, has graciously invited us and former Marine Band member Jennifer Marotta to be judges for the final round of the ITG Mock Military Band Audition Competition. We heard three very fine young trumpet players, including an extremely talented freshman. In high school. Needless to say, he inspired all of us to practice.
Thursday June 2nd
Our first performance was in the grand ballroom, as we performed the music of Los Angeles based composer Ray Burkhart. The music was fun, and well received by the many in attendance. What truly made this special, was the fact that the USC Trumpet Studio was the opening fanfare for this performance. Being able to see my mentor, trumpet hero, all-around great man, Boyde Hood again was an absolute blast. I also have to admit that I found it a tad funny when after the show was over, I had a handful of people approach me and ask me what equipment I was using because they liked my sound (*Cough* You hear that Yamaha? *cough* accept me as a performing artist *cough).
Friday June 3rd
Well, my birthday also happened to be on one of the biggest days of my musical career. This was the day of our quintet recital, which we presented as a lecture recital on successful chamber music. It was also the performance that Malcolm McNab would serve as our guest soloist on his 12 minute movie medley, playing all sorts of famous solos from TV/Film music. The performance went incredibly well, and I played as well as I could possibly hoped to. Of course it wouldn't be a major musical milestone without my usual fan club, which consisted of my Mom, Dad, and Wife who made the journey to hear me perform in what was a definite highlight of my career.
I realize that this is really a terribly written entry. Maybe this will be something that I come back and re-write, or elaborate on later. I was so nervous leading up to this week, its not everyday you have a chance to return to where you once called home, play in front of the most trumpet-smart crowd of your life with people like Chuck Findley and Malcolm McNab listening, to have your former teacher and mentor open for one of your performances, and to do this all while working as a professional musician, something that you desperately hoped would come true when you were living in that very city, wondering how on earth I was going to make it as a trumpet player.
This blog is not good. Im not a good writer. I should probably delete this part of the website. I don't want to proofread. So I won't.