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Thread: My journey

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Valley City, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    568

    My journey

    Going to provide more personal information here than I typically do online…hoping that maybe it will serve as encouragement for others.

    Grew up in small town North Dakota (well, travelled quite a bit early on as an Air Force brat, but settled down in ND before starting high school). Started playing euphonium midway through 8th grade and took to it right away. Practiced obsessively throughout high school adding trombone and tuba as most low brass players do…but primary always remained the euphonium.

    Started at the University of North Dakota as a music performance major. Immaturity + a growing alcohol problem conspired to end my college career after less than one year. The following spring I enlisted in the USAF. Played in D&B groups in basic training and tech school…and then my playing fizzled out.

    Fast forward 20 years (to 2011). I buy a stencil horn and mess around on it for a year or so.

    .....
    It is here I need to add some additional context. I am on 70% VA disability (combat-related, PTSD). At the beginning of this summer (2022) I am shipped off to an inpatient rehab facility in Orange Cty (CA)….after decades of self-medicating with pain killers and alcohol. I successfully complete 60-days and return home to reintegrate into my life/job/family/etc. (will be 6 months clean and sober on 5 Nov 2022)
    .....

    Getting back into music has been an enormous benefit to myself. It provides me great joy, a healthy escape, and a positive outlet. I am working on regaining fine motor skills, which playing has been helping with. Currently playing with the local college band, a newly-formed community band, and will likely join another community band soon.

    Last night, our community band, which hasn’t played much together yet, had their first performance at a local senior living center. My fingers didn’t quite want to work the way I wanted, but still had a blast.

    Here is one of the songs we played:
    https://youtu.be/9Z5exdkWoAI
    Last edited by iMav; 11-04-2022 at 09:34 AM.
    Euphoniums
    John Packer 374LT
    John Packer 274L

    Larry Herzog Jr.
    Twitter: iMav
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Posts
    930
    Good performance there, Larry.

    The musical support from the band was good, too.

    Dennis
    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original
    2019 Wessex Tornister

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Valley City, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    568
    Quote Originally Posted by highpitch View Post
    Good performance there, Larry.

    The musical support from the band was good, too.
    Thank you. It fell short of what I expected from myselfbut sometimes my fingers dont work like they shouldand I just have to deal.

    Your kind words are much appreciated!
    Euphoniums
    John Packer 374LT
    John Packer 274L

    Larry Herzog Jr.
    Twitter: iMav
    Facebook: iMav
    Email: me@imav.org
    Founder of geekhack.org

    Linktree: iMav


    All things EUPHONIUM! Guilded server

  4. #4
    Thank for sharing this story Larry. I'm really glad to hear that picking up the euphonium again and joining some groups has had such an impact in your life.

  5. #5
    Great sounds, Larry!

    Thanks for sharing your story with us. It's interesting how playing music/reclaiming an old part of ourselves can be so healing...
    Nicholas
    Shires Q41s
    DW 4AL

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Posts
    930
    So your grouchy-looking avatar is really you?

    Hard to play when you're frowning.

    Easier to play the high ones when smiling.

    Jus sayin'.
    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original
    2019 Wessex Tornister

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,659
    Interesting story Larry and thanks for sharing. Keep making music!
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (recently sold)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    El Cumbanchero (Raphael Hernandez, arr. Naohiro Iwai)
    Greensleeves (arr. Alfred Reed)


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Valley City, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    568
    Quote Originally Posted by highpitch View Post
    So your grouchy-looking avatar is really you?

    Hard to play when you're frowning.

    Easier to play the high ones when smiling.

    Jus sayin'.
    Yep. Thats me.

    I can smile. Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by iMav; 11-05-2022 at 01:03 AM.
    Euphoniums
    John Packer 374LT
    John Packer 274L

    Larry Herzog Jr.
    Twitter: iMav
    Facebook: iMav
    Email: me@imav.org
    Founder of geekhack.org

    Linktree: iMav


    All things EUPHONIUM! Guilded server

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Summerfield, Florida Sturgis, SD (previously)
    Posts
    1,697
    Larry,

    Thanks for sharing your story with this community. Music has a profound effect on people (both those playing and those listening). It seems to be a guiding light and helping hand for you, and that is really great news. I am retired from the Army and know and understand a fair amount about service-related disabilities. Glad to see you are getting into a better place now. Keep at it, and especially the music. I enjoyed listening to your group and your playing. You are well on your way to getting that thing called euphonium sounding glorious. Good luck to you and God speed.

    John
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Kingdom of the Sun (KOS) Concert Band, Ocala, FL (Euphonium)
    KOS Brass Quintet (Trombone, Euphonium)

  10. #10
    Thanks for the background, Larry. I can relate to your fingers not cooperating! It's something I'm fighting as well, but in my case it's my age fighting against fingers that had been well practiced.

    I have a suggestion, but you may already be doing this. First, have a look at this blog post:

    http://www.dwerden.com/forum/entry.p...-and-Arpeggios

    I play scales as the first part of my warmup, and then combine with arpeggios. All this is out of my head, not from a written warmup routine. That is part of the value. As much as possible, we want our fingers to be solidly in the habit of following the scale patterns. I cover every diatonic scale and the chromatics scales, which imprints all the patterns as you build up practice experience. And THAT will come to your aid as you are in pressure situations like concerts, and perhaps tire a bit physically and/or mentally toward the end of the concert (that last thing sneaks up on you without you realizing it!).

    The more you do this, the more mindless it becomes, which is the whole point!
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
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    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

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