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davewerden

Reflections from IEI 2007

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As regular readers of this blog know, I recently taught, coached, and performed at the International Euphonium Institute. It was truly an inspiring event.


I have been attending low brass events for a couple dozen years or more, and there is often a chance to hear students play in different venues. If you haven't been to an event of this quality before, you owe it to yourself to get to one. The level of performance of the students I heard was very exciting. Some very difficult solos were performed with great skill. There were ensembles of 4 euphoniums where the bottom part(s) were down in the tuba range and that were handled very capably by euphoniumists.


It seems to me that euphoniumists are willing to take on daunting challenges and are improving remarkably because of this. Modern composers are writing more and more difficult pieces and students are choosing those plus some very difficult music for other instruments. At the same time, many composers today are writing music for the euphonium that is melodic and can show off the "euphonic" nature of our sound.


Speaking of modern composers, it was my great please to see Ken Friedrich there, after having met him face-to-face for the first time only a couple months before. Ken has done great work for us euphonium players, writing many titles that are challenging to play and still listenable for your audiences. Thank you, Ken! (See his music here)


The IEI and Adam Frey also reminded me of the value of promotion. Adam has a regular event set up as part of IEI where the participants go to a nearby church to perform for hundreds of "civilians" who might not otherwise be familiar with the euphonium. Adam is not rich or magic - he just talked to folks and stepped up when he saw an opportunity to benefit the world of euphonium and the audience. We all need to be "evangelists" in this way.

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