I am exceptionally lazy when it comes to keeping my thoughts current on my site. I am not a social media guy and don’t have the impelling urge to keep everyone in the world up-to-date on what is going on in my life. In fact, I value my privacy.


Suffice it to say that all is well.


The 2017-18 school year passed faster than any year I can recall and I said so-long to my graduating students in May, which is always bittersweet. The relationship of teacher and student is a sacred one. It necessarily includes struggle, hard work, emotional investment, contemplation, sacrifice, risk, vulnerability, progress, achievement, and constant evaluation…of equal proportions on each side of the studio. When it is time for the student to move on, I hope that I have given my best to help them become better musicians, better trombone players and perhaps most importantly, better people. That may sound arrogant and/or inappropriate and it may just be exactly those. When I accept students, I offer my experiences in both the musical world and the real world to help them become better musicians and better citizens. They all come in as great people, just young—-and eager to learn. An important part of the entrance audition process is determining who I want to spend an hour a week with and who I do not. It is a tough distinction to make in a 10-minute audition but after hearing over a thousand auditions, I have gotten pretty accurate at assessing who I want in my studio. We end up like a family, a harmonious one. The results are incredibly rewarding. I love going to work every day…how lucky I am.


There are around blog 20 topics that I want to publish in the Blog section but first I need to review what I have already written in order to avoid redundancy. If I just turned off the damned TV and/or web browser and/or email application and/or phone and/or iPad, and wrote for an hour a day, I could probably get them completed in 2 weeks but…for me, that is the problem. I am often frustratingly undisciplined when it comes to distraction. The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, etc. for the nth time get in the way. Perhaps it will help to put a deadline on myself. How about October 15? That date seems as good as any.

October 15. October 15. I can do it!


Here are some topics I will address:


-Too many equipment options. Too much emphasis on equipment and not enough on practice.

-When did the trombone sound morph into the sound of a baritone?

-Why do people smile in photos?

-We have voluntarily given away our privacy.

-The same mistakes everyone makes in 10 common audition excerpts.

-Rules in life and why we need them.

-A-style and B-style practice.

-Entrance audition thoughts.

-What happened to easy delivery? Why so big? Why so loud? Why so much work?

-With such advances in recording technology, why do people still make terrible sounding recordings?


In other news:


In May, I recorded another CD. The working title is: 3. I used the same principal crew (Kay Kim, pianist and Jon Whitaker, producer) as my previous Defaye recording (thanks for the warm and generous compliments on that CD, btw). It was a wonderful week of rigorous recording and great friendship in Tuscaloosa. I cannot imagine the experience being any more pleasant than working with those two. I am excited for you to hear the result. I am going out on a limb here but I think that 3 will be my last solo recording. In order to prepare for a recording, one must really believe in the music being recorded because of the hours required to prepare. As many of you know, I am not wild about original trombone music, from any era. I have now recorded the pieces I believe in and wanted to record. A couple of years from now, I may eat these words but for now, I am happy with what I am leaving behind.




A couple of weeks in Australia in February was a highlight. Seeing old friends and meeting new as well as hearing terrific students made for a great trip. What an amazing continent! Great food, great coffee, great wine and an incredibly fascinating history! Being there makes it all seem more real. I’d return in a second. Tasmania was especially interesting and seeing all the critters at the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary may have been the pinnacle of the entire visit.


Tomorrow I am off to Norway, my homeland, to begin a 2-week Baltic cruise which takes me then to Copenhagen, Berlin, Gdansk, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm. Surprisingly, I have not visited any of these cities before. It will be a terrific adventure. My 23andMe profile tells me that I am 87.7% Norwegian, 6.8% Northwest European and 5.6% British and Irish (where’d THAT come from?). I am excited to see a beautiful part of the world that I have yet to experience.


So…I will try to get the blogs posted and October 15 is my target date to be caught up.


Thanks for checking in.