Posted by: mschraft | March 10, 2010

a few quick thoughts….

I cannot believe that we are less than 36 hours away from departure. I have a few ideas in my mind as I prepare:

1) Dr. Fansler: I am glad we are not wearing concert black in Brazil! The weather forecast looks very exciting, but not compatible with tuxedos! I am excited to participate in this trip to Brazil, especially as this will me final Wind Ensemble tour. I am always excited to introduce new audiences to our band, and am especially looking forward to seeing how Brazilians react to the sounds and concepts we present in our performances. I am looking forward to making WIU proud as we always strive to.

2) Speaking of the Brazilians, I am interested in seeing their response to music from composers along the likes of Ticheli and Copland. I’m sure they’ve heard something by Aaron Copland, but Frank Ticheli? I wonder if many audiences are familiar with him outside of  the concert band world. There are so many great pieces we are taking along with us, but of particular favorite are “The Promise of Living” from Copland’s The Tenderland, and Ticheli’s ever popular work for band Blue Shades. I was introduced to works by Ticheli in high school, and have admired his writing ever since. I am excited to be able to play Blue Shades again, in all places, Brazil. I am in turn looking forward to learning and absorbing much in the land of samba and bossa nova; so much of the Brazilian art form is a guessing game among non-native born musicians. It can be quite frustrating when older musicians insist on using Afro-Cuban performance practice in Brazilian styles; I hope if anything I can learn more about correct playing concepts to not only bolster my knowledge of this idiom, but also my resistance to those musicians who think they know better, but don’t. I am sure this will be an experience I will reflect upon lifelong.

3) I don’t know much Portuguese, if any at all. This will be a completely opposite experience of past trips to places like Germany and Canada, which is both exciting and somewhat overwhelming. I am always up for a challenge though if it means the opportunity to experience new places and concepts.

Only two nights left before the adventure begins…..

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