The 2012 Isla Verde Bronces Festival was a success, and the trip was an adventure. There were over 100 students, and I was honored to be working alongside some amazing faculty. I also made a lot of new friends, learned a bit about Argentina, and even caught a glimpse of Buenos Aires.
From Sunday, February 5th through Saturday, February 11th, my schedule read like this:
- 8:30am – Breakfast
- 9:00-10:00am – Tuba-Euphonium Group Warm-up
- 10:00-10:15am – Break
- 10:15-11:15am – Tuba Lessons/Masterclass/or Ensemble Rehearsal
- 11:15-11:30 – Break
- 11:30-12:30 – Tuba Lessons/Masterclass/or Ensemble Rehearsal
- 1:00pm – Lunch (followed by Siesta!)
- 4:00-5:00pm – Tuba Lessons
- 5:00-5:15 – Break
- 5:15-6:15 – Tuba Lessons
- 6:15-8:30 – Free
- 8:30pm – Concert
- 10:15 – Dinner
- 11:30 – Popular Music Concerts
The first day was dedicated to auditioning all of the students for placement in the different ensembles for the final concert. The tuba players were all very good, and it was challenging because many of the tuba players were not there until later in the day. There were nine tuba players for me to sort out, while my colleagues worked with 18 horns, 12 trombones, 2 euphoniums and 60 trumpets!
Throughout the week, we also had rehearsals with the faculty brass ensemble. We prepared the music for the final concert, which included Canzoni by Gabrieli, the Canadian Brass arrangement of Sweet George Brown, and some Argentinian Tangos. We also got to premier a work by the the winner of the composition contest, Brian Martinez, called Gagarara. You can view our performance of the tango Por Una Cabeza and the premiere of Gagarara here. (Gagarara doesn’t start until 4:12″) It’s a very exciting, Stravinsky-inspired work for brass septet full of Primitivism.
I performed my new arrangement of Antonio Capuzzi’s Concerto for Double Bass with Avis Romm, on one of the Professor’s concerts. My esteemed colleagues included Ron Romm (former trumpeter with the Canadian Brass and currently Professor of Trumpet at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Frank Lloyd (President of the International Horn Society, former Horn soloist of the Royal Philharmonic); Jacques Mauger (former Trombone soloist of the Paris Opera and Professor at the Paris Conservatoire); Paul Archibald (former trumpet soloist of the Royal Opera House Orchestra and Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London); and Pierre Badel (former principal Trumpet of the Lisbon Metropolitan Opera and Professor at the Centre Internationale des Arts et de la Musique). Also on the faculty where some of Argentina’s finest brass players and teachers, including Carlos Ovejero, and Hugo Migliore.
The grand finale of the concert included all 101 brass students plus the faculty performing Paul Archibald’s arrangement of the Preludio and Te Deum by Charpentier. (click here to view the video).
It was a magnificent, challenging, fun week. I met many talented young brass students from through South and Central America, including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico, and I will treasure my memories always of Isla Verde Bronces 2012!