Bah Humduck!

Last year, Warner Bros. released another cartoon version of "A Christmas Carol," this time featuring Daffy Duck as Scrooge. This is worth your time to watch (especially if, like me, you have little kids and will be watching cartoons anyways!) because of the outstanding soundtrack composed by Gordon Goodwin and performed by his Big Phat Band. It is a throwback to the old days of fully-orchestrated soundtracks, full of great jazz licks. "Yo Tannenbaum," one of the tracks from this soundtrack is up for a Grammy Award.
http://www.gordongoodwin.com/index1.html for more information about the Big Phat Band and this soundtrack. (GG and the Big Phat Band are behind another popular cartoon soundtrack: The Incredibles.)

One additional note: Jay Mason, Concordia's professor of saxophone, is playing bari sax on this soundtrack (and his name is listed in the movie's credits).

Big-10 Linebacker Plays Chopin

One of the highlights that has been playing during college football's bowl season is a piano solo. That's right... John Misch is a freshman linebacker at Michigan State who earned a starting position. He's also a very talented concert pianist. Here's the full video, taken at an awards banquet before the bowl game.


Favorite Movies about Music

Here's my list of feature films about music that can't be missed (in no particular order):

The Red Violin (this is currently required viewing for Experiences in Music class)
The Pianist
Walk the Line
This is Spinal Tap

Best trumpeters

I occasionally am asked who are some great trumpeters to listen to. There are many great ones out there, but the ones that I enjoy most are:

Wynton Marsalis
Terry Everson
Tim Morrison
Edward Tarr
Maurice Andre
Adolf "Bud" Herseth
Rolf Smedvig (Empire Brass)

Look these guys up and get to know their sound and phrase shaping - the best of the trumpet world!

Orchestration for tuba/baritone/trombone (also organ) from Robert King

Go to page 4, 2nd column for some useful thoughts about scoring for low brass (also for organ), specifically how to properly support low notes on tuba (or 16 ft pipes on organ).

From the International Trumpet Guild: "An Interview with Robert King."

Robert King is a pioneer in the publication of music for brass. View his catalogue here: http://www.rkingmusic.com/

Characteristic Tone on Trumpet

One of the 100-level requirements for instrumentalists at Concordia is to be able to play with a characteristic tone on their instrument. In short, this means that you can create a sound that resembles a model tone quality for your instrument. What is that model tone? Here are some of my favorite recordings demonstrating what I consider an ideal trumpet sound for the music being played:

performer: Wynton Marsalis
music: Trumpet Concerto in D (Michael Haydn)

performer: Wynton Marsalis (x3 - he is overdubbing to play all 3 parts of this recording!)
music: Canon in D (Pachelbel)

performer: Boston Pops Orchestra (Tim Morrison, principal trumpet)
music: "Summon the Heroes" (John Williams)

performer: Canadian Brass
music: Fanfare "Ablasson" (Reiche) and The Prince of Denmark's March

performers: Wynton Marsalis w/ Kathleen Battle
music: "Let the Bright Seraphim" (Handel)

performers: Boston Pops Orchestra (John Williams, conducting)
music: Bugler's Dream (Arnaud)


Student Instrumentalists Color Christmas at Concordia

Concordia University has a grand tradition of Christmas concerts. This year's concert featured the Concordia Choir, Master Chorale, Concordia Wind Orchestra, and Concert Handbells in 5 sold-out performances. The Wind Orchestra performed the following:

Fantasia on a 13th-century Carol (James Hosay)
Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head (arr. Tom Wallace)
Sussux Mummers' Christmas Carol (Percy Grainger)

The Wind Orchestra and organist Charles Raasch accompanied the audience in a setting of "Joy to the World," and accompanied the choirs for a Richard Nance setting of "Savior of the Nations Come."

Concordia student instrumentalists accompanied the choirs for two movements of Bach's grand Mass in B Minor (Gloria, Dona nobis pacem). Some also performed on the double choir motet by Scheidt, "Nun komm Der Heiland," another setting of the same hymn by Michael Praetorius, and soloist Kathryn Hinton played flute with the Concordia Concert Handbells on "Do You Hear What I Hear."

Concordia instrumentalists play an important role in this great tradition.