24 November 2009

Recorder Music...

When I was younger, in school in Hastings, Nebraska, I started playing Cello. The strings program there, in fact all the orchestral instruments, was fantastic. Then my family moved to New Jersey, and I had to go along with them since I was just 12-years old.

I spent two years at North Warren Regional High School. The first year I was the only string player in what was mostly a marching band that did two concerts on stage per year. I got featured in a front stage position and they taped a mic to my cello. Our band director didn't really understand strings and couldn't deign to note that I was trying to tune my cello from a string slippage. My A-string broke as I frantically tried to tune and I ended up playing the last two pieces entirely on the D string using advanced finger positions that I didn't really have mastered. Only a few people noted the difficulty, the adjustment, and the beads of sweat forming on my forehead. Two of those few were my mother and myself.

I learned to play both trombone and baritone and actually marched a few times with the band. I had tried using a wheeled device to trundle along the cello but it just wasn't successful. I wish now I had learned the flute or oboe then, or later.

Then I transferred to Blair Academy and although I still was not in a strings program I did have a private
teacher come out from NYC. I fear that teenagedness took over parts of my brain and I did not pursue my cello education as I should have -- but I did get a college scholarship on it and in voice.

While at Blair I was asked if I would join a starting Recorder Class. Ms. Kathyrn Phillips-Price, flautist, got me started on an instrument I have played ever since. In fact, even though hurricane Katrina was the indirect cause of loosing most of my music scores, and Recorders, and Cello, I still have the Soprano, Alto, and Sopranino Recorders from my Blair days. That makes a few of my instruments well over thirty years old.

Now I compose a great deal of music and much of that is for solo instruments. I started doing that because I wanted more music to play without having to buy it. On the computer I often voice them as Oboe because it sounds better, but I play most of them on Recorder. I like to think most are suitable for Cello as well and I have transposed some for Cello.

One day, perhaps, I'll begin marketing the music through a publisher. At this time I just fill an annual subscription to customers that gives them nearly everything I compose. This includes duets, trios, quartets, quintets, etc... in various instrumental groupings. Composing has become a large part of my life and I think I owe part of that to Blair and the Recorders.

So from Nebraska and my Cello, to brass and Recorders in New Jersey, there is an instrumental part of me that coincides with my vocal part. I've been in the business world and enjoyed the money but I much prefer the musical part of me, the peace within after completing a new piece of music, even if it means I join the starving artists.

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