Meet The New Big Band 3 Conductor, 1st Year of Masters…Nailed it!

dudamelHello, good morning, and welcome to the Saturday Morning News Post!

How time flies! Here I am, half way through my Masters degree in jazz composition, and what a year it’s been, a veritable roller-coaster ride of emotions and jazz-educational triumphs! Well,… maybe not, but it’s been a damn good experience for me so far and next semester is shaping up to be even better.

Why better? Well, yours truly will be directing McGill’s Jazz big band 3 next year!

In the words of the Kool-Aid man… OH YEAH!! Finally! A position of power! Molding minds! Making and breaking jazz careers on a whim. THEY WILL RESPECT MY AW-THOR-I-TAY!!

But readers, I won’t let this new found position of authority go to my head. In fact, the audition for this position was pretty damn humbling,… border line emasculating actually. And it went a little something like this…

The audition required conducting one of McGill’s big bands for 10 minutes. “No problem.” I thought “I’ll just choose a piece, listen to some recordings of it, study the score, and throw down with big band 3 for 10 minutes.”

However, I later found out that I would have to conduct big band 1, the top band (which is full of my peers and already sounds great). Also, I didn’t get to choose the piece I would conduct and one more small point,… I HAD TO SIGHT-READ THE FUCKING CHART!

So picture, if you will, a guy who has no experience leading a big band, walking in to conduct a piece he’s never seen in front of a quality big band (made up of my peers) and the entire jazz faculty. Yeah,…it went about as well as you would expect.

Anyways, despite my lack of actual “know-how” my brilliance and innate leadership abilities must have somehow shone through, ’cause I got the gig y’all!

On that note, I gotta wrap this SMNP up and get some practicing done.

Thanks for reading and have a fantastic week everyone! jd1

  • Kim Rowley

    James,
    How ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!! Congratulations to you and major applause for this new achievement. One more notch in your belt!

  • http://wsf1027fm.blogspot.com/ Guy

    Don’t you just need to nod to get them started and close your hand to get them to stop? It’s jazz!

  • http://www.johndoheny.com John Doheny

    You got off easy, man. A top notch big band is easy to direct because they know what they’re doing, even if you don’t. Imagine walking in to face a really crappy middle school band, filled with hormonal, hyperactive teenagers who can barely play, and a big stack of scores you’ve never seen before. Then imagine doing that every day of your working life.

    If you’re a high school band sub, that’s your day, everyday.

  • Chops

    That’s dark John. Pretty dark stuff.