Thursday, February 19, 2009

Before the Summit

This coming weekend will possibly be one of the most important in the history of the Rivers Jazz Department. From the perspective of a trombone player within both the Big Band and the Select Combo I, the date which was once only a speck on the horizon has become a palpable reality. This sudden change has been documented strongly in our rehearsals, as for the past month, we have doubled our efforts, our output, and our willingness to work with the music to which we have become inexolerably committed. I suppose it would be safe to say that by now, we no longer just play the music, but rather, we feel it. For a musician, this is the ultimate goal in the long process of learning and understanding a piece, a composer, or a playing style, and in the case of this competition, it is a very positive sign. This coming sunday, we will be going head to head with some of the finest youth jazz ensembles on the east coast, many of them from specialized performing arts schools. In all honesty, we have no idea how these groups will sound in relation to us. However, it can be guarunteed that they will all feel the music just as strongly as we do, and that they will play it with as much effort as we have ourselves. As the day of the competition draws ever closer, we find ourselves nervous with anticipation, but comforted by our work and our improvement in understanding the music of Mingus.

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