02-07-2010 12:24:46 AM CST
Sunday, February 7th, 2010
This update coming to you from Cadets country -- Allentown, Pennsylvania!
The first decade of the 21st Century has come and gone, and 2010 is well underway. Having recently returned from my trip to Ireland, where I had the pleasure of performing for very appreciative crowds in both Galway and Dublin, I am comfortably settling into my spot as a mellophone in the 2010 incarnation of the Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps. This is undoubtedly going to be an amazing summer, and I cannot wait for what the rest of the year brings! I have been bitten by the self-improvement bug, and from it I have contracted a passion for life I simply must spread to others!
11-14-2009 11:48:57 PM CST
Saturday, November 14th, 2009
A long-overdue 'Thank You' Post!
This is just a quick post to thank those out there that have helped me out in various ways over the last few years.
A 'thank you' to Lucy Colwell, Brian Cervone, and George Arsenault for allowing me to work with your amazing bands.
A 'thank you' to George Parks, Thom Hannum, Michael Klesch, and Fred Pye for teaching me frameworks of band leadership, dedication, rehearsal standards, and performance excellence.
A 'thank you' to Joe McSweeney, EB McCarthy, Liana Benson, and anybody else who has worked beside me and shown me what they love.
A 'thank you' to Alyson Villard (photography), Kayla Creamer (graphic design), and my many talented friends who have helped me out in various ways!
A 'thank you' to my family for putting up with me drumming on table-tops, my housemates for helping me patch rifle-dents in the ceiling, and my friends for never questioning why my iPod doesn't contain a single song without a trumpet.
Lastly, a VERY special 'thank you' to everyone who has been left out of the above list. (This is why you should never name individual people... you will ALWAYS forget somebody you couldn't live without!)
11-14-2009 10:51:41 PM CST
Saturday, November 14th, 2009
This weekend officially marks the end of the 2009 marching band season! This was quite an interesting and exciting season, full of all sorts of surprises! Let's review:
07-29-2009 1:43:55 AM CST
Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time to pull back the sheet and announce the three shows I have been working on this summer, and will be instructing come August!
Tantasqua Regional High School Warrior Marching Band Presents Santana!
Westford Academy Grey Ghost Marching Band Presents The Music of Stevie Wonder
Framingham Flyers Marching Band Presents A Night at the Movies
07-01-2009 2:29:40 AM CST
Wednesday, July 1st, 2009
The new marching season is upon us and it is off and running! But first, a recap of last fall:
Framingham High School. 2008 Show: Earth, Wind, & Fire.
Tantasqua High School. 2008 Show: Selections from Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba.
Fall 2009 is looking promising, and I will be posting soon a tentative list of schools I will be working with this year.
10-08-2008 2:34:59 AM CST
Been a while since I've had a chance to sit down at a computer and work on something BESIDES music or psychology. Just a little update:
Tantasqua's show has been improving by leaps and bounds. The students are beginning to take more individual ownership for their music and their drill, and it is definitely showing in their performance. Now the real test is if they can keep this attitude of 'individual responsibility' as we begin to fine-tune the show.
Band Day organization is coming together smoothly again this year. I am training a freshman, Megan Godart, in the art of 'making things happen' so she can take over my position next year and I move on to greener pastures.
This is all for now. Time to go re-acclimate to the
09-06-2008 1:44:04 PM CST
Saturday, September 6th, 2008
Not a music post, but... I'm officially an Uncle!
Little Myra Rose McKenzie was born August 31st, 2008... mere minutes before the Reading Buccaneers finished their FOURTH undefeated season in a row!
08-12-2008 9:49:20 PM CST
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
The last two weeks have been exhilarating! Between getting all of my shows done, helping out at DMA, and starting band camp at Tantasqua, everything has been going swell!
I sense a major update will be coming soon. I have so many things floating around my mind right now, I have to take a few days to sort them all out and write them down in a way that will actually make sense to people. But I will say this...
People will always surprise you with what they are capable of; Big things can come in odd packages.
07-26-2008 10:14:57 PM CST
Just a few thoughts regarding 'attitude' that have been on my mind as of late:
When somebody in your house has a cold, they may cough... sneeze... etc, and germs are spread. Your healthy sister may touch a doorknob or refrigerator handle and pick up these germs, thus becoming infected herself. While she may or may not start sneezing right away, she herself is now sick. Quickly, she too will begin spreading these germs, contaminating others.
Bad Attitudes and Germs are identical. Both are contagious, both infect people, and both can be spread without somebody intending for them to be. However, germs can be cured by medicine... what about bad attitudes?
You go to the doctor, and they give you a shot. The medicine in this shot, although limited to your own body, is contagious itself; It moves through your arm, spreading to your chest, your heart, your legs, your head... your entire body. While this happens, yes you are still sick and yes you may still spread some germs... but slowly your body is being taken over by the cure.
Yelling at a student to change their Bad Attitude is like amputating a diseased leg; it is an attempt to force a change. Bribing a student is like giving a cough-drop to somebody with strep-throat; it temporarily relieves the problem, but doesn't cure the underlying issue.
The only way to fully eliminate a Bad Attitude is by instead infecting people with your own Good Attitude. In truth, all Attitudes are contagious... Bad ones are just much more easily spread. The key is to inoculate each and every member with Good Attitude starting with the very first time you make contact. With much care and follow-up, this GOOD disease will spread.
07-09-2008 12:03:47 PM CST
Wednesday, July 9th, 2008
“Competition is a by-product of productive work, not its goal. A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” ~ Ayn Rand
Preliminary charting is nearing completion for Framingham High School, and music break-downs are done for Tantasqua High. Now all I need is final numbers for Tantasqua, and everything from Quaboag High. Things are looking good!
06-23-2008 11:25:42 PM CST
Tuesday, June 24th, 2008
What happened to the days where the price of a laptop would drop by half after it has been out for 6-months?
Just a thought that has been on my mind as of late:
Marching Band doesn't simply exist for the sake of music, or for the sake of football. Marching Band is an opportunity for every student involved to learn and practice the basic skills of good character.
How to be on time... by being early.
06-16-2008 2:22:20 PM CST
A few thoughts on instrumentation:
Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass. The four (main) voices. But just because all four parts are present doesn't mean the sound is going to be full. Having 20 flutes, 15 alto saxes, 10 trombones, and 3 tubas may technically cover everything, but will leave the ear wanting more. A tenor sax part and trombone part may be identical in a piece, but simply having the two different timbre brings so much more to the performance.
Does your band have no mellophones, but you're rich with trumpet players? Ask one of them if they would like to learn a fun new instrument. The two have identical fingerings (in relationship to the note they read on the page,) and the mouthpieces are nearly identical.
Perhaps you have a 50 person band made up of 25 clarinets? Tell them of the opportunity in front of them to try something new! Bass clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax,
06-13-2008 4:33:48 PM CST
Friday, June 13th, 2008
Happy Friday the 13th everyone!
There are certain elements that, if present, combine together to create a top-notch marching program. To list a couple that have been on my mind as of late:
*Active Band Parents*
*Sense of Community*
06-05-2008 12:17:24 PM CST
Thursday, June 5th, 2008
Summer is finally here! Most of my friends are off with Crown, Crossmen, Cadets, or Buccaneers and I wish them all the best of luck!
Summer, however, also brings along something else... the beginning of marching band planning season! I am currently in communication with three band directors and I am very excited about how this season is shaping up. I would like to spend a special 'thank you' out to Mike Monteiga for lending me his percussion expertise on the reworking of a high school fight song.
11-24-2007 01:12:25 am CST
Saturday, November 24th, 2007
So here's an update that was a long-time coming!
So, for those few of you who haven’t been following the whereabouts of the Minuteman Band, last week at this time we were performing for 30,000 screaming marching band fans at the Bands of America Grand National Championships. All I can say is… wow. The music… the cheers… the energy, enthusiasm, excitement…
It’s funny how things go full circle, you know? Three years ago I was standing on that same field, looking around at those same seats, imagining what it must be like to have them all full of screaming fans. To experience this twice? (my mistake, three times; we were asked to also perform before semi’s as well, an honor that no college band has had in over a decade). I have truly been blessed to have had such great experiences and opportunities with this Band.
(Oh, and Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser was at the show on Friday night! Such a great man, I’m glad he made it out)
11-12-2007 08:27:56 pm CST
Monday, November 12th, 2007
Well, Senior Day has come and gone. I find it amazing how four years can fly by so quickly... without you even realizing. It feels like just yesterday I was arriving at rookie camp and hearing the name "George Parks" for the first time. And now? Now I'm attempting to make a living writing drill, using the lessons and concepts that he has taught me as a bassline. Funny, no?
Oh! And I don't think that ANYTHING could top the feeling I got from conducting Somewhere... knowing what that song means to me, this Band, and my class of seniors...
11-12-2007 08:22:58 pm CST
Monday, November 5th, 2007
As of today, NJMdrilldesign.info is up and running! This may just be a temporary home for my my business, but for the time being suits my needs. Hey, the price is right and the editing is easy. Who could ask for more, right?