Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tuba Christmas...

Here are the locations/dates/times I pulled off the 'Tuba Christmas' website For Buffalo, NY, Rochester, NY and Erie, Pennsylvania...

LOCATION: Kleinhans Music Hall, Mary Seaton Room
REGISTRATION: 4:30 pm same as concert
REHEARSAL: 5:30 pm same as registration
PARKING: Music Hall parking or surrounding streets
NOTE: Please bring music stand, wear festive clothing
COORDINATOR: Craig Hodnett 716-553-0368

LOCATION: Hochstein Music School, 50 N. Plymouth Ave., near intersection of W. Main & N. Plymouth
REGISTRATION: 12:30 pm same as concert
REHEARSAL: 1:00 pm same as registration
PARKING: Various lots or garages nearby (some free on weekends). Enter nearest lot from Main St.
NOTE: Directions: From expressway I-490 take Plymouth exit 13 or 14. Unloading/temporary stopping on N. Plymouth, center door (with ramp). Bring instrument, mouthpiece, folding music stand or lyre, music, hats, scarves from last year if you have them. Dress colorfully. If convenient, bring a folding chair in case we run out, but leave in car until needed. Also use gig bag, leave cases in car. Sponsored by MCC Music Department and the City of Rochester.
COORDINATOR: Joe Baker 585-244-4015

LOCATION: McGarvey Commons, Reed Union Building at Penn State - Erie
REGISTRATION: 8:30 am Reed Union Building, Wintergarden
REHEARSAL: 9:30 am McGarvey Commons
PARKING: In adjacent visitor lot
NOTE: Registration $5.00, lunch $4.00
CONDUCTOR: Gary Viebranz
GUEST CONDUCTOR: Daniel Burdick, Ron Stitt, Lowell Hepler
COORDINATOR: Gary Viebranz 814-898-6289

Thursday, November 26, 2009

History of Christmas Carols...

'Angels We Have Heard On High'
According to the beloved traditions of the first Christmas, it was the shepherds tending their flocks near Bethlehem to whom the angels first gave the news of the baby Jesus' birth. And so, in medieval times shepherds who found themseles minding their little herds in the wintry mountains of southern France on Christmas Eve remembered the story of that first birth and the angels who sang of it.

They called one to the other, each from his own peak, singing the good news as the angels had sung so long ago, until finally the mountaintops themselves rang with a glorious patchwork of echoing voices.

In this favorite carol, the music probably comes from a 17th or 18th century French noel, as does the text. But the back-and-forth 'Alleluia' refrain is probably based on a much older phrase of music, perhaps a bit of plainsong chant from the Church's earlier days.

The combination of tune and text was not published, so far as we know, until it appeared in a carol colelction in 1855.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

'Twas the night before Thanksgiving...

'Twas the night of Thanksgiving,
But I just couldn't sleep.
I tried counting backwards,
I tried counting sheep
The leftovers beckoned
The dark meat and white,
But I fought the temptation with all of my might.

Tossing and turning with anticipation,
The thought of a snack became infatuation!
So I raced to the kitchen,
Flung open the door,
And gazed at the fridge full of goodies galore.

I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes,
Pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.
I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,
Till all of a sudden, I rose off the ground!!

I crashed through the ceiling, floated into the sky
With a mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie,
But I managed to yell
as I soared past the trees ...


Monday, November 23, 2009

Did you know?...

Turkeys can have heart attacks. Groups of turkeys, sometimes known as a "rafter" of turkeys would drop dead when the Air Force was conducting test runs and breaking the sound barrier nearby.

We have noticed dead turkeys outside the house after I've finished practicing the tuba. [I say it's just a coincidence]

Friday, November 20, 2009

Broken down clarinetist...

The cute blonde clarinetist had a flat tire on the interstate, so she eased her car over to the shoulder of the road, carefully got out of the car and opened the trunk. She took out two cardboard men, unfolded them and stood them at the rear of her car facing on-coming traffic. They look so life like you wouldn't believe it! They are in trench coats exposing their nude bodies to the approaching drivers.

To her surprise, cars started slowing down to look at her life-like men, which made it safer for her to work at the side of the road.

And, of course, traffic started backing up. Everybody was tooting their horns and waving like crazy. It wasn't long before a state trooper pulled up behind her. He gets out of his car and starts walking towards our gifted clarinetist. Sher could tell he was not a happy camper!

“What's going on here lady?!!!!!”

“My car has a flat tire,” She said calmly.

“Well, what the h---- are those obscene cardboard men doing here by the road?”

She couldn't believe that he didn't know. So the clarinetist told him, “Helloooooo, those are my Emergency Flashers.”

Thursday, November 19, 2009

And you thought your director was tough...

“Play the gayest tunes in your books, play them loud and keep on playing them, and never mind if a bullet goes through a trombone, or even a trombonist, now and then.”
~By General Phillip Sheridan during the Civil War upon ordering his band to go to the front of the battle line to play

My job History...

My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned - couldn't concentrate.

Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the ax.

After that I tried to be a tailor, but I just wasn't suited for it, mainly because it was a so-so job.

Next I tried working in a muffler factory but that was too exhausting.

I attempted to be a deli worker, but any way I sliced it, I couldn't cut the mustard.

My best job was being a musician, but eventually I found I wasn't noteworthy.

I studied a long time to become a doctor, but I didn't have any patience.

I became a professional fisherman, but discovered that I couldn't live on my net income.

I managed to get a good job working for a pool maintenance company, but the work way just too draining.

I got a job at a zoo feeding giraffes, but I was fired because I wasn't up to it.

After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally got a job as a historian until I realized there was no future in it.

My last job was working at Starbucks, but I had to quit because it was always the same old grind.

So, then I retired ... and found out I was perfect for the job!

Thought for the day...

Where am I going and why am I carrying this tuba?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Band Terminology

Cut Time: The sudden realization that everyone else is playing twice as fast as you are.

Accelerando: What happens when drummers have to keep a steady beat.

Accidentals: The wrong notes.

Fermata: A chance for the conductor to catch their breath while attempting to make the tuba player pass out.

Key Change: A change in the tonal center of a piece that takes place 3-5 measures after it is written in the music.

Tempo Change: Signal for musicians to ignore the conductor.

Trumpet Player: A person who thinks that every note has 8va written above it.

Trombone: A device that has the same pitch as the baritone, except that it is played with a slide, so it is easier to forget the positions.

Tuba: A compound word; "Hey woman, fetch me another tuba Preparation-H!"

Woodwinds: Proof that God has a sense of humor.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Wagner tuba is a comparatively rare brass instrument that combines elements of both the horn and the tuba. It was originally created for Richard Wagner's operatic cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen. Since then, other composers have written for it, most notably Anton Bruckner, in whose Symphony No. 7 a quartet of them is first heard in the slow movement in memory of Wagner. The euphonium is sometimes used as a substitute when a Wagner tuba cannot be obtained.

The instrument is built with rotary valves which, like those on the horn, are played with the left hand.

The Wagner tuba nominally exists in two sizes, tenor in B-flat and bass in F, with ranges comparable to those of horns in the same pitches while being less adept at the highest notes. Several 20th-century and later manufacturers have, however, combined the two instruments into a double Wagner tuba in B-flat and F. Wagner tubas are normally written as transposing instruments, but the notation used varies considerably and is a common source of confusion—Wagner himself used three different and incompatible notations in the course of the Ring, and all three of these systems (plus some others) have been used by subsequent composers. An additional source of confusion is the fact that the instruments are invariably designated in orchestral scores simply as "tubas", leaving it sometimes unclear as to whether true tubas or Wagner tubas are intended (for example, the two tenor tubas in Janáček's Sinfonietta are sometimes wrongly assumed to be Wagner tubas).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The annoying neighbor...

Here's a Nissan commercial for all of you who have that annoying neighbor who always gets a better deal than you did!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A professional musician is facing a mugger with a gun. "Your money or your life!" says the mugger.

"I'm sorry,"
the poor guy answers, "I am a professional musician, so I have no money and no life."

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Because of the SWINE FLU, we're taking special precautions at our house.

We encourage you do the same.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Stairway to better fitness...

A musical incentive to use the stairs. Even I would use the stairs, even though it might be a "glissando!"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Change you must believe in...

As you get older, things change... especially after a beef burrito.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Great rehearsal last night...

I thoroughly enjoyed the Erie County Wind Ensemble rehearsal last night at the Kenmore West High School.

Good attendance, good music, surrounded by powerful musicians and a very talented conductor. We're rehearsing for our concert on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at Niagara Wheatfield High School in Wheatfield (Saunders Settlement Road).

These late-night rehearsals with a long ride home call for many cups of coffee the next day.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tuba - Euphonium Conference...

This is a heads up for 27th Annual Tuba-Euphonium Conference

January 27-30, 2010. The location is at Brucker Hall on Fort Meyer in Arlington, VA. Its run by the Army and is free. You just need to find a place to stay and cover your own meals. The 2010 Brochure is not posted yet but as soon as I see it, I'll notify you.

[Thanks to Ken Foster for the heads-up]

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hard-working politicians...

Connecticut House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, pictured standing, far right, speaks while colleagues, Rep. Barbara Lambert, D-Milford and Rep. Jack F. Hennessy, D-Bridgeport, play solitaire Monday night as the House convened to vote on a new budget. (AP)

The guy sitting in the row in front of these two... he's on Facebook, and the guy behind Hennessy is checking out the baseball scores. These are the folks that couldn't get the budget out by Oct. 1, Seriously!!!