Tomorrow (November 5th) I will be at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for their annual Junior High Honor Band Invitational. Dr. Jason Worzbyt (friend, colleague, and bassoonist supreme) extended an invitation to me last spring to come down and share with the students. I am so very appreciative when the invitation comes from not only a friend, but a colleague that I have the utmost respect for in the profession.

I am eager to join a group of students tomorrow on a different stage, and although many of us are meeting for the first time going on a music journey together. Part of the journey is how they can grow from what I offer them tomorrow. Part of that journey is sharing how music has impacted me and led me to this point of my career. Part of that journey is learning from them and how music is shaping them. We have but a small window of time together, but the positive impact we make on each other could have long-lasting effects on them as people and musicians.

I don’t think it will translate into a whole honor band full of students choosing music as career path, though I hope to have that conversation and give them the best perspective I can. I do make it a priority to reinforce to them that whatever path they choose to make sure music continues to be a part of it. The path for me continues after I will leave IUP on Saturday evening. I am looking forward to extending my journey of new faces brought together through music as I visit with Chris Curry (Clarion JH/SH), Tad Greig (Westminster College) and Mark Stickney (Plymouth State, NH) and many other students on a similar path.

I don’t take these invitations lightly, as it may be a chance to inspire and ignite young musicians to boldly choose the many gifts that music offers and make it their own. I feel terrible when I have to decline an invitation, as these are unique opportunities to grow and learn with a group of like-minded people. At the end of the day, it is an honor to be thought of for these events and I consider myself blessed to have the opportunity. To Jason, Chris, Tad, and Mark I humbly thank you.

November 5th Program at IUP:

Kentucky 1800 – Clare Grundman
Friends of Freedom – Timothy Loest
The Greenbelt at Dusk – Gabriel Musella
Suspended Animation – Patrick Burns
Salute to the Duke – arranged by Michael Sweeney
The Rising Kingdom – Travis J. Weller


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