Application in to the Canadian Armed Forces Regular Service Bands

Well, I did it!  My first music job application!  Today was the deadline for the Canadian Armed Forces full-time bands.  I sent a cover letter, resume and CD overnight-mail yesterday.  I’m really happy with the package – I’m hoping they like the recordings.  Honestly, I wish the orch excerpts and Air and Bourree had better acoustics.  I’m really happy with the RVW first-movement recording though.  It’s not without a few flubs, but there’s a lot of great material there.  I had another listen to the Air and Bourree though and I’m not happy with the tuning and the close mic.  Yikes – I hope they forgive that.  I’m going to re-record it this fall along with the full RVW.  Here are two things that went out:

  • orchestral excerpts – various, and narrated by me (recorded at Ian Pay’s sound studio in West Guilford, ON)
  • RVW concerto, 1st mvt – with Melissa Stephens, piano (recorded by Mark Tomlinson at Zion United Church in Carnarvon, ON)

What do you think?  I welcome all critiques.

I hope they see that beyond my tuba playing, which is at least ‘competent’, they’ll see my dedication (via work on this blog), my conducting and my coaching aspirations and account for this in the whole package.

And even if this doesn’t work out – then at least I threw my name in.  This is good for me to grow as a musician going pro:  put myself through the paces of recording and auditions.

In The Zone

I don’t think I’ve practiced something so much in my life. I’m working on the RVW concerto. The first two movements so far. And especially the first.

I now understand a story I heard on ‘Q’ on CBC Radio a while back. The show host was interviewing a husband-wife music duo and she told of when they first met:  She was a harpist and was working on a Mozart concerto when a man moved in next door. She presumed she was driving him crazy working on the same single bar of music for hours at a time. Turns out he was a guitarist, they fell in love and the rest is history. Continue reading

The RVW Concerto in Catelinet’s Own Words

Since I’m in the middle of working on the Vaughan Williams tuba concerto, I thought I’d do some searching about its history on the Interwebs.  Found this:  an article written by Philip Catelinet for the IETA Journal.  Heck – it’s a whole website about Mr. Catelinet.

In the article, he traces through his career, from post-war, leading up to the call he got to play the concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra.  It’s a fascinating read and dispelled for me a rumor/story that RVW was tempermental about the composition with Mr. Catelinet (threatening to pull the composition or re-score it for another instrument, maybe – I don’t quite remember).

But you know what I really appreciate about the article:  Mr. Catelinet’s admission of self-image in regards to being a tubist:

The tuba was too often connected by the public with what was humorous and ludicrous to be considered seriously a possibility on a concert platform.

He was VERY concerned about the critical and public reception the concerto was to receive.  And being the first tuba concerto in history, it would have a tough time over-coming ‘Tubby-The-Tuba’ perceptions.  It was initially seen as an eccentricity of an aging composer, but has since gained legitimate respectability.  It’s THE representative concerto for tuba (though there are others now out there).  Any aspiring professional tubist needs to know it inside and out – and thus my journey continues…