Am I just getting old or is this difficult?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by SteveRicks, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    My son came in yesterday with the music for Allstate. He placed well last year after I worked with him. We put the music up on the stand. he asked me to play it through for him one time. Dang! Nothing from Arbans. Here is what they are doing:

    2013 All-State Exercises

    One piece goes up to high C several times, a number of close to octave lip slurs, and a fairly grueling ending, and with no rests throughout the piece that ends on a high C. I realize I haven't played technical stuff in many many years, but I sounded terrible reading this. Worked on it for about 15 minutes without huge improvement. Came in today and gave it another shot. Better, but I will have to stop 3 times to get through it. chops just won't last- and I don't see pulling the high C at the end any time soon.

    Yes, I realize this isn't that difficult for some pros. But this is high school. How many kids are going to walk through the door and knock this one out of the park?

    I imagine some posts will say we need to set high standards, demand more, etc. (I am an educator and expound such frequently). This just seemed to me a little high on the difficulty scale. we have another post running about why bands are shrinking. Don't see that this helps.
  2. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    I'll say it is on the tough side. Tough enough to stop all but the most determined players. The problem with All State is that it is to no advantage to the competitors. For one it does NOTHING to nurture young musicians, only pits them together. What some music educators don't realize is how truly idiotic All State is. Music, at this level shouldn't be about competing but building and growing.

    What does anyone get out of All State? I sat at a very high chair last year in All Region, there was a guy who sat a few chairs below me, the guy was a monster player, a true virtuoso! He was accepted into Eastmen, he gigged, he had a repertoire, a consummate musician at a young age. Now first chair? A joke. The kid could barely read music, he just practiced, practiced, practiced that music, had it spoon fed to him by his director. If it was the real world, I'd have the kids book in a heartbeat. What did that kid even get out of it? He didn't advance as a musician, he didn't learn, he regurgitated.

    Why spend months practicing two excerpts and learning scales, when you can learn scales but also build yourself as a true player? Any why all the stress? At Area, I saw people crying over audition results, the stress levels are way too high. I can understand being upset at the audition, they think that out there in the real world, All State matters, and I may be wrong but that is a load of bologna!

    I will say it does get people to learn scales from 1 to 8 to 1. Great, if anyone has a song that plays the Key of Eb up and down, let me know because I will eat it for breakfast. It isn't practical, I could play the A scale, but if something came up in the key of A, oh my!
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  3. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    Those two would give pretty much anyone a run for their money. I am thinking the serious players will work hard enough on them to give a very good account of themselves.
    There are more difficult things they could have given out of the Charlier and Bitsch books, but these are nasty.
    Rich T.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  4. mctrumpet98

    mctrumpet98 Pianissimo User

    Sep 29, 2011
    Down Under
    They're brutal.. but doable.
  5. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    Sometimes I wonder if it is just me (or my tastes changing as I grow older) but I'm finding myself regarding many brass bands (mainly American ones because I've come across more of them recently) as not so much playing music as performing something more like a gymnastic display. I can admire the skill of a good gymnast but if it were me who was so able, I would prefer to apply those skills towards some practical end (e.g. when climbing a mountain (struggling a little for a compelling example)) rather than to "merely" demonstrate the skill itself. Perhaps another comparison would be indoor rock-climbing and real rock-climbing.

    It's great when bands can play really tricky stuff, but even better when that tricky stuff was needed to realise some beautiful (or other good adjective) music...

    coolerdave likes this.
  6. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    agh, I'm with you man!
  7. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    The Philadelphia All City High School Orchestra played the Ravel Piano Concerto in G when I was a member in the 1950s. My teacher at that time was Sigmund Hering. We played pretty difficult stuff in high school, try those etudes on C trumpet. Kids can be amazing!
  8. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    Natalie Dungey Live at the 2011 GABBF - YouTube
  9. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Wow Wilmer. She is something else. Very nice sound. Certainly outplays me.

    On the Allstate material for this year- I just don't know of any kids that will get through it. In the past, the material has been playable for most. This year the range, endurance seem to be the factors that most will have trouble with.
  10. JNINWI

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    It looks like Arbans material....It's what I would expect to see for state level, challenging, sure but this is state level stuff. It's part of the weeding process.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012

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