I am really excited to start this blog and share what life is like at West Point! Spring is a busy time of year for the band, we are transitioning from our chamber music duties to some big events with the Concert Band, and supporting the cadet graduation activities.
Picture of the West Point Band during a review, one of the activities the band will do to support the Corps of Cadets at West Point:
My chamber music group, Quintette 7, recently went on a tour for Army Band recruiting in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. We played at Louisiana State University, Loyola College, The University of New Orleans, and taught master classes to the students at each school. It was a great experience for the group and it was our first tour together! The day after we got back from Lousiana, we played up near Woodstock, New York for the Saugerties Pro Musica Series to a great audience. The release of our CD in October of last year has been the kickstarter for this series of concerts, which culminated with a performance at Google NYC that will eventually be shown on their Musicians@Google YouTube channel!
Quintette 7, the Jazz Knights featuring Walt Weiskopf, the West Point Saxophone Quartet, and the West Point Concert Band featuring Claude Delangle will all be performing in a couple weeks for the North American Saxophone Alliance which is being hosted by the West Point Band. It should be a great event (put together by our saxophonists!) full of some really challenging music!
We're also gearing up for the West Point Band's conducting workshop which will feature Frank Battisti. Mr. Battisti will guide the accepted applicants through the challenges of conducting, and the West Point Concert Band will serve as the "lab band" for the participants. They will conduct us in concert on April 8th after two LONG days of rehearsing!
Picture of The West Point Concert Band performing at Avery Fischer Hall (That's me with the E flat clarinet!):
Needless to say, this is a very busy time of year, with a lot of music to learn and concerts to prepare for. We don't have a large support staff, so on top of preparing for the events musically, we also do the "dirty work" of producing any given event... down to every last detail! When I won this job, never in a million years did I imagine that I would be doing some of the stuff I do (booking hotel rooms, setting up chairs, making videos...). With all of the creative and talented people in the band working with me, it is never a burden because in the end, I know that all of our extra efforts will be worth it!