Here's my recordings of reference tracks for the 2016 TMEA All-State etudes... Virtual master classes to follow in the coming weeks!
Filtering by Tag: TMEA
Following on the heels of last week's virtual master class covering the Gatti etude, here's the Bohme etude for this year's ATSSB tenor trombone auditions. As always, leave your questions in the comments!
For those of you who've read my page about Dr. Neill Humfeld, you know that he was a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where he studies with the great Emory Remington. When he began teaching at East Texas State University, he brought the great trombone choir tradition from Eastman to Commerce. This is a recording of Tommy Pederson's Cogent Caprice, featuring Dr. Humfeld and the trombone choir at the 1974 Texas Music Educator's Association convention. Dr. Bruce Faske is a graduate of Texas A&M - Commerce (as ETSU is now called), and took the time to put this performance online. Many thanks, Bruce!
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A march, awesome! Really, we couldn't have an étude where the musical path is any clearer for our performance goals.
Let's first talk about march style. Rigid time, not too long, and not too heavy. Does that last aspect surprise you! I think this is one of the biggest mistakes people make in their interpretation of march style. Loud, yes. Heavy? Well, you just killed all the forward momentum in your performance. "Puffs of air" is a great concept I like to think when playing a piece like this, along with "light tongue" and "bounce".
Next, let's look at tempo. I strongly suggest you base your opening tempo on your ability to play the continuous 16ths beginning at m.33 cleanly and in tune. I find that the lower end of the tempo range works great. Yes, it's slower than true march tempo, but it's your solo and you have the option!
I opted out of the low D and low C octaves. I wasn't happy with how it sounded, so I didn't record it that way. I have work to do in that register! I suggest that you do what makes you sound your best. The low stuff doesn't add much to the music, but if you can do it well, then it is impressive.
Finally, on the continuous 16th runs, I am going for correct intonation via excellent slide placement at all costs. RECORDING YOURSELF is a necessity! Practice slow, and ingrain the pitches in your mind. Speed it up slowly, you have plenty of time. Don't panic! Most people will practice slowly just a little bit, then jump to full speed and simply not spend the time getting it in tune that they need to. Resist the temptation to play it too fast too soon!
Marches can be a very fun and exciting musical experience. With attention to detail, this étude will separate you from the people who don't practice thoroughly and carefully.
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Strive for a comfortable, beautiful sound. I often find it necessary to somewhat ignore the piano marking at the beginning, it shouldn't be loud, but it should sound comfortable, confident, and really sing! Play it like you are the world's greatest soloist! Also, imagine you are playing in a large auditorium and filling up the space with beautiful sound (or better yet, find a large room to practice in!)
I prefer to play the turns, or grupettos in a very unhurried way. Using the rhythm of an eighth and four sixteenth notes will accomplish this. Listen to the recording to hear what I mean...
Likewise, the cadenza sounds best to me when played in a relaxed way. This isn't a piece to show off blazing technique. It IS a place to show off smoothness and elegance! Again, listen to the recording!
Have fun with this beautiful little piece. It is truly a joy to work on, and a nice break from marching band parts you may be working on this time of year.