Friday, February 13, 2009

In the next 10 days I have four auditions and a wedding to attend.

In other news, I was officially admitted to my top choice for a doctoral institution yesterday. I'm still taking the other auditions because I haven't heard anything about an assistantship yet.

This school's undergraduate woodwind skills class is taught by one person, and it is generally taught by a multiple woodwind specialist. They don't currently have one in the degree program.. make your own conclusion. I'm optimistic.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I like comfy, black, leather couches. A lot. Any school that's willing to place them in their lounge for student use has got my vote.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Well, I'm leaving for Texas in just under seven hours. It's going to be a 13-hour drive to Dallas. I'm used to long day trips so this shouldn't be too difficult. At least I'll have the sun at my back the entire way. I'll bring Karajan's Beethoven collection to keep me company.

As I was preparing my clothes tonight I once again realized I good I used to have it with my last girlfriend. Any time we'd go on a trip she would pack for the both of us a few days in advance. I'm a last-minute sort of guy when it comes to these things so as I was putting my shirts and pants together, matching the ties, socks, and shoes for the four-day trip, I thought about our past.

Hopefully I'll find someone that good to me again. I guess you don't really appreciate it until it's gone.

I'll make sure to take lots of pictures.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I'm gonna make it. I think I'm going to get everything up to speed by the time of the first audition. I'm leaving for Texas on Wednesday at the latest. The audition is on Saturday, but I'd like to spend a few days at the audition site so that my reeds will adjust.

The past two months I've really only been concerned with getting everything technically perfect, at performance tempo, and with the correct dynamics.. other than that, these pieces are still pretty flat. I'm glad that this first school is my 'safety' school. I'm also glad that I have a week and a half between the first and second auditions. That will give me the time to put my stamp on the interpretation of each of these six works. It'll also give me a chance to polish some flute and clarinet excerpts for Eastman on the 27th.

It's going to be a 13 hour drive and I'll be there for four days, so I need to find someone to look after and feed my two cats. Any volunteers?

Ibert - check
Feld - check

Tomasi - 5
McAllister - 5

Lauba - 6
Albright - 6

Ticks to go: 22
Days until the first audition: 6
Ticks needed per day: 3.67

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I could get used to this

I fixed a friend's piccolo today. It was my first piccolo, but it was so much easier to work on than the flutes I've been tweaking these past six months. I don't understand what the big deal is with fixing piccolos. I think the combination of shellac-seated pads, and cork bumpers and silencers makes it a fairly straight-forward woodwind to repair. They seem much friendlier than clarinets or oboes.

My point: Bring me your piccolo if it needs some work. I really enjoy working on them.

Ibert - check
Feld - check

Tomasi - 5
McAllister - 5

Lauba - 9
Albright - 9

Ticks to go: 28
Days until the first auditon: 7
Ticks needed per day: 4.0

Friday, January 30, 2009

Well, I have less than one week until I make the first trip out to audition for my doctorate. I'll probably leave next Tuesday, but I still need to confirm whether or not I can stay with an old friend from Indiana who currently goes to school there.

I'll make sure to take lots of pictures.

The saxophone and clarinet pieces are becoming much more challenging now that I'm getting their tempos up. The Albright Sonata is starting to get a little wild, especially in the 4th movement. My double-tonguing on saxophone gives out around 140 bpm, and the movement needs to be at 168. I guess I'll have to water down those sections for the first audition... maybe all of them.

Things are looking up for next year... I really wish I hadn't screwed things up so badly with Lauren last year. You live and learn, I guess. I wish I had a do-over. I'd do anything for another chance with her, but I doubt I'll ever get that opportunity.

Ibert - check
Feld - check

Tomasi - 6
McAllister - 6

Lauba - 11
Albright - 12

Ticks to go: 35
Days until the first audition: 8
Ticks needed per day: 4.38

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cork Palm Key Risers

I put cork palm key risers on my alto today and I like to think I did a pretty professional looking job on it. I used 1/32" sheet cork, contact cement, a razor blade, sand paper, and Sally Hansen's 'Hard as Nails', a clear coat nail polish that protects the surface of the cork.

In order to do this you need to:

1. Apply a layer of contact cement on each of the palm keys and two layers of contact cement to each pre-cut sheet of cork. Using two coats of contact cement on the cork is idea because cork is a poreous material, and in order to have uniform layer of contact cement the first coat is used as a primer.

2. Let the contact cement dry for 15 minutes and then apply the cork to the palm keys.

3. At this point take the razor blade and, using the metal surface of the palm key as your guide, trim the cork to the size of the key.

4. Once the cork is trimmed to size, sand the edge of the cork to remove any excess contact cement that may have oozed out the side.

5. Apply two layers of contact cement to the exposed side of the cork on the palm keys, repeating steps 2 through 4 until the desired palm key height is achieved.

6. Once the desired palm key height is achieved, apply a few coats of clean nail polish in order to seal and protect the surface of the cork.

With a little practice you'll have professional looking cork palm key risers.

Ibert - check
Feld - check

Tomasi - 7
McAllister - 7

Lauba - 13
Albright - 15

Ticks to go: 42
Days until the first audition: 9
Ticks needed per day: 4.67