Wow! It’s been a long time!

by thetubamonster

Hello, cyber Andy Tuba fans. It has been some time since my last update. I have been extremely busy, and am finally able to fill you in. I sincerely apologize for the delay. I think the last time I typed on here, I had just performed my final required DMA recital. So much has happened since then! I am excited to share it all with you, and thank you for being patient with me.

Let’s go chronologically from the beginning of November!

The Sunday following my recital, November 6, I drove a 15 passenger van to Texas for a small recruiting tour. In this van was held percussion equipment, brass instruments, and 12 of the more awesome members of the LSU Brass and Percussion ensemble. (What happened in our van on the road stays in our van, so don’t expect any tour stories.) We can, however, share that our tour was incredibly demanding and rewarding.

  • We drove to the Cy-Fair area of Houston and stayed in a hotel Sunday night, arriving around 1am. We then had a performance at two high schools in the Cy-Far district before lunch time. After lunch, we drove to Bryan, Texas, where we did a masterclass at Bryan High School. That evening, we performed a full concert in Bryan for a crowd of about 350 people. Following this performance, we ate dinner, and drove to our hotel in Dallas, arriving at around 1am.
  • The next day, we woke up super early again, performed at two Flower Mound area high schools. We then ate lunch! Following lunch, we drove into downtown Dallas and performed at the Booker T Washington School of the Performing Arts. After that performance we had several hours to kill before our performance in the Meyerson Symphony Center at 7:50PM.
  • Several students, Dr. Skillen, and myself walked a few blocks away to the Dallas Museum of Art. They had an amazing collection of work by current artist Mark Bradford. His work was stunningly large, complex, mostly political, and sometimes unsettling. I really enjoyed his environmental installation entitled Pinocchio is On Fire. The museum also had works by Pollock, Rauschenberg, and Rothko that were incredible to see in person. One work that I really enjoyed in particular was by Ellsworth Kelly. It was called Red Panel (1980) and featured a huge canvas painted red that was slightly curved hanging on a wall. The way it was curved and hanging fooled with my eyes, big time. It was awesome!
  • After the art museum, we performed our fanfare preceding the Dallas Wind Symphony concert. Just like last time we performed there, the DWS was amazing. They performed the Jennifer Higdon Oboe Concerto, which is a remarkable composition. I have never heard an oboe sound like that. The sounds that she was getting from the band and the soloist were really quite staggering, and masterful in their combination.
  • After the concert, we went back to our hotel and slept. We woke up in the morning and drove back to Baton Rouge! Upon arrival, we had about 2 hours to hang out before performing our final LSU Brass Ensemble concert for this season. It was a wonderful concert that was well attended and got us some really nice compliments. This Brass Ensemble thing is really gonna take off at LSU in the next few years.

After that, I had a really intense paper to prepare. I was writing on the use of the tuba in the music of Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff, and William Kraft. It led me to some really interesting places in my research. I have enjoyed reading on the composers, and am looking forward to continuing my research on experimental music and the tuba.

Next, I had to prepare a 20 minute conference style presentation to the rest of my class based on my research and my paper for the same class. It is always difficult to prepare that much talking, but as a performer, I felt quite comfortable with it. I also feel like I have a good grasp on how to present what I am doing in a way that is watered down enough to be understandable, intelligent enough to sound credible, and persuasive enough to entice the reader to want to learn more.

Then it was Thanksgiving break! I went to the LSU Tigers vs. Arkansas Razorback game on Black Friday. It was an amazing way to end my collegiate football career. While in the stadium on that beautiful afternoon, I got somewhat nostalgic and began thinking back to 10 years ago when I first enrolled at LSU and how my life has changed since then. It’s been quite a roller coaster!

After the weekend, Rachel (my girlfriend) and I went to the Saints vs. Giants game on Monday Night Football in the Superdome down in New Orleans. That was something that was on both of our Louisiana bucket lists. (Since we both anticipate leaving Louisiana upon our respective graduations, we formulated our Louisiana bucket lists. More on that later.) The Saints pummeled the Giants in what was my first professional football game. We sat in section 605, seats 5 and 6. It was awesome. The Saints are awesome, the atmosphere is awesome, the stadium is beautiful, the fans are great. I really enjoyed being at that game.

This week, I have a small presentation due on Friday. Following work on Friday, I am driving to Atlanta to watch the LSU Tigers take on the UGA Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game. It airs at 4PM Eastern. I’ll be in section 303! Watch out…

Then, next week, I have finals on Monday and Saturday, and am proctoring exams for my two minor lesson students on Tuesday.

I have also been in the process of getting the questions for my General Exams, as well as scheduling the Defense of those exams. It is difficult work, co-ordinating that many schedules, but will be worth it (and dare I say, fun!) to do that defense in the end. My committee is full of really talented professors who are good at what they do and have my best interests in mind. I am so lucky to be at LSU!!!!

That’s a lot of writing. I hope you got through it all okay. If you have any questions for me, are interested in my research, want to cheer me on, think I’m an idiot and want to tell me so, or get in touch with me for any other reason, my contact info is on this page! Until next time….

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