Poets and other writers have often written of springtime as the start of the four seasons, the time of beginning anew, and that of rejuvenation. Spring is a time of joyous anticipation of the birth and growth of things to come. For many of us, September marks the beginning of a new year for us - we are teachers, we are students, we return to our regular symphony subscription series, or we have had our summer vacation, the children are back in school and we return to work. As I commence a new school year, I begin with the excitement, the motivation, the anticipation, and the feeling that it must truly be "springtime".
I am writing this essay, having just returned from the annual ITG Conference held in Gothenburg, Sweden. What a tremendous conference! The theme was East meets West, and the conference was an unprecedented meeting of trumpeters from Eastern and Western cultures. It was a week filled with warm camaraderie. The six days were filled from morning until late at night with almost nonstop concerts, lectures, and master classes.
The virtuosity of the invited artists was magnificent, and the broad diversity of their backgrounds included baroque trumpet, symphony orchestra, jazz, bands, brass ensembles, and more. One great reason for my excitement is the fabulous trumpet performances I heard. The key phrase here is "I heard". We must remember that ours is an aural art, dependent upon hearing. I believe that our excitement toward music often becomes stale because of what we regularly hear, or more importantly, what we don't hear. Therefore I recognize that I must discipline myself, and my students, to listen on a daily regularity to new literature and new performers.
Perhaps even more stimulating than the virtuosity of the Conference's artist-faculty was the performances by student trumpeters. I must first say how proud I was of the fine concert by the Florida State University /University of North Texas Baroque Trumpet Ensemble, which convened in London for 10 days of rehearsals prior to their ITG Conference performance. However, I was truly inspired by several of the performances in the ITG student competitions. In several instances, it was evident that marvelous things can result when a student will combine a certain amount of talent along with an enormous amount of hard work, focus, and dedication. These student performances provided a great stimulus to me for my teaching schedule this semester; I hope that my students are prepared for my renewed expectations for their work ethic.
It is my wish for you that you may begin a new "spring" season with the same joyous sense of excitement and anticipation that I feel.
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