Month: June 2016

Are YOU up in a tree?

JESUS stopped right under the tree in which Zacchaeus was, and all at once He looked up and saw Zacchaeus, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down.” I can just imagine Zacchaeus saying to himself, “I wonder who told Him my name? I was never before made known to Him.” But Christ knew all about Zacchaeus; and, sinner, Christ knows all about you; He knows your name, your dwelling-place. Do not think God does not know you. If you would try to hide yourself from Him, bear in mind you cannot do so. He knows where each one is; He knows all about our sins. He said to Zacchaeus, “Make haste and come down.” He might have added, “This is the last time I shall pass this way, Zacchaeus.” And thus also He speaks to sinners,—-“This may be the last time I shall pass this way.” Yes, this may be your last chance of eternity. He may be passing away from some soul now. Oh! sinner, make haste and come down and receive Him.”
The words of my fellow-Massachusettsian, D. L. Moody,  in 1875

Long tones — revisited…

Are long tones useful?  The predominant tendency, while holding a long tone, would usually be to increase playing pressure, tighten the embouchure, or unconsciously activate various improper actions as one continues to hold the tone.  If one can manage to maintain proper ease of playing pressure, etc., it may be worthwhile, yet I really cannot see what value there would be in doing that.  I cannot see how it is of any value to hold the tone for an extended time.  I seems to me that the longer you hold the tone, the more would be the tendency to re-activate any bad habits, or wrong actions based on fatigue or boredom. And consider……why….for what purpose…..would you want to use long tones?  There has to be a reason.

Rather, I suggest producing intelligently thought-out, beautiful, and musically-enriched tone, to be played in relatively short lengths, perhaps as briefly as 1 to 3 seconds, then repeated, giving attention to proper tonguing and breathing while so doing.

If your goal is to improve your tone, properly done lip slurs are the answer…not long tones.

My Greatest Symphony Hall Event

My Greatest Symphony Hall Event…….

It was January, 1973, and I was practicing on my Alexander CC tuba in the large tuning room right off the stage in Symphony Hall. It was vacation period so no one else was in the building, save for the man at the stage door. I was all alone, and frustrated, thinking about Jesus, thinking about my life, but not really knowing what to do — where to turn, to relieve my frustrations. I set my tuba down, and, realizing that no one could hear me, and in total honesty, I yelled out, “Jesus! If you are real, will you let me know?!” Instantly, His Presence FILLED that room, and I said, “You are real…….” And He has never left me. I found out that He IS REAL, and that He HAS RISEN FROM THE DEAD, and is now ALIVE! Why don’t you try yelling? He is there. He waits. Listen to His words:

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,

I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

Revelation 3:20  The  Bible

Long tones…..useful?

Long tones are good, if the sound is good. I have my doubts about the value of bad sounds being held for a long time.

Canadian Brass Spectacular 1989

Remembering the tour in 1989 with the wonderful Canadian Brass, and the marvelous artists in the NY Phil and the BSO.

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