Semester’s End Whirlwind

Snow in April, tornadoes throughout the South, flooding in the Midwest, a cyclone in Myanmar, an earthquake in China; I think this is one of those years that Mother Nature wants to remind us that she is in charge. It gives one perspective, to compare the problems people are having all over the world to our petty end-of-the-school-year challenges.

Our plans for ITEC have been finalized, and thanks to the School of Music, my students and I will be enjoying the International Tuba Euphonium Conference in Cincinnati next month. I was even able to order some snazzy custom polo shirts. I’ll start teaching my music appreciation course; Great Musicians next week, and enjoying the beautiful weather (finally).

Last weekend, I was at the Iowa Bandmaster’s Conference in Des Moines. Both the Iowa Brass Quintet and the Atlantic Brass Quintet performed, so for me it was like being on a date with two people one the same day and at the same restaurant. I also wore a third hat as a proud teacher and colleague, as the Universitiy of Iowa Symphony Band performed Dr. Myron Welch’s final concert. We got a lot of positive feedback from both the Atlantic Brass Quintet clinic, as well as the Iowa Brass Quintet solo with the Northwest Iowa City Jr. High Band, who played far beyond their years on the fifth movement of James Curnows Five Concord Diversions. Des Moines is a pretty nice city – not too big, but still thriving, and an extensive skywalk. I got a chance to go to Java Joe’s, which is where the only Klezmer band in Iowa – the Java Jews – got their name. I haven’t played with them again, but it was interesting to see the place, apparently they have a long history of fine live music.

My parents took a two-week vacation to California and had a great time. My father was stationed at Twenty-Nine Palms when he was in the Marines. For years, he has told the story how he helped build a church there, and on Mother’s Day, he and a friend bolted the cross to the top of the steeple. After seeing the movie Bucket List, he decided that he wanted to finally visit that place again. Coincidentally, one of my incoming students was a Marine Drill Sergeant at that very base until recently.

One more bit of tuba news (pardon the pun); the website TubaNews.com has undergone a facelift, check it out.

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