In the presence of truly great individuals

Discussion in 'TM Lounge' started by tpter1, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

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    We all have our personal great inspirors: those individuals who, as a result of their greatness or command over a subject, have a mystifying power over us. They make us feel like small children; or like a preteen with a crush; insecure yet welcome; motivated; we view these people aqs living legends when they are alive. When they pass on, they live in our memories, their words and deeds always with us.

    This past weekend, I was attending a concert, and one such individual for me, in my life, was there.

    Brock Mcelheran (I hope I spelled his last name right; he's always been Brock to us!), a great conducting teacher and great conductor himself, was there at this concert. The man must be pushing mid-upper nineties by now. He has macular degeneration; it began for him when I had him for conducting classes. I remember him having us work on Beethoven 2nd in conducting classes. One of the first lessons, he turned off the lights and told us to jump around as we felt the music should look; to make ourselves be silly children. He and his wife used to frequent the local ice-cream place and split a chocolate shake (1 shake, 2 straws).

    On seeing him, I felt a rush of a chill and warmth at the same time; of admiration and respect for this man who has worked with composers like Lucas Foss, and groups like the Philadephia Orchestra and conductors as great as Eugene Ormandy. His very last concert as conductor of Crane Chorus was none other than Handel's Messiah, which he conducted from memory. (And for him to do that...he always told us that to do a score from memory you must know EVERY rehearsal number; EVERY part). I was playing trumpet 2 on that. My first experiences with him were doing the anthem Zadok the Priest and the Bloch Avodath Hakodesh (Sacred Service), preparing us to work with guest conductor Stanley Chappel.

    My wife is always telling me I should say hello. That's the pre-teen crush thing...I want to, but am always nervous that he won't remember me. I should; he will not be here forever. My chance to say hello will eventually disappear. Maybe that's my way of hanging on.

    So, who has this effect on you? How has this person effected your life? What stories can you share?
     
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Living where I live, and being a former member of the military Band Community, there are a number of guys who are on my gaga list - the guys who make me nervous and stammer when I try to talk them when I've come into contact with them on occasion:

    John Blount - retired lead player, US Navy Commodores
    Joey Tartell - Joey, I always wanted to pick your brain when I'd see you at FUSA games, but I just couldn't seem to get past my nervousness
    Patrick Hession - I tried to make small talk with him while he was standing at the bar at Blues alley the last time I went to hear Maynard there, and I'm afraid that I came off as bumbling.
    Jack Wengrowsky - Lead player, US Army Jazz Ambassadors - I even had a lesson with him one evening and I spent most of the time trying to stop being nervous!
    Woodward (Woody) English - Pershing's Own US Army Band - Woody is a stunning legit player and I could never seem to get my tongue untied when I would see him on jobs around Fort Myer
    Dennis Edelbrock - Pershing's Own US Army Band - another stunning legit player
    Tommy Williams - US Army Jazz Ambassadors/US Army blues - the guy plays lead as well as he solos and if you have ever heard him solo, you know what I'm talking about.

    There are more, but those are the guys that immediately come to mind. I imagine I would be just as speechless if I were ever to meet Manny, Wilmer, Ed, Pat H, etc face to face too. These guys live and work in a league that I can only dream of aspiring to.

    Good post Glenn.
     
  3. Bear

    Bear Forte User

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    Man I'm jealous,
    Ya'll get to see all these wonderful people live and actually talk to 'em. I got tons of CD's and whatnot but that expeirence of the "live"... ya just can't beat it.
     
  4. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Age:
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    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    John Blount!!! I marched in drum corps with him many years ago! He was a good player, from what I remember. Made the rest of us sopranos really work to keep up! I remember hearing him warm up in the morning before we all got up...some ridiculopus time (at the time, it was to me) like 6:00 or 7:00 am. Wow...I had no idea he had gone so far. That's really cool!
     
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    From what I hear, John has a great work ethic when it comes to playing trumpet. I've been told he practices like a fiend and expects the same thing out of his students.

    All I know is that up on the bandstand, he can read fly specks at 50 paces, his sound is highly charged, and his phrasing is perfect. It's a lot of fun to play alongside of someone who plays like that. Yet, at the same time he seemed very down to earth and approachable - I just wish that I had been able to hold up my end of a possible conversation. :-)
     
  6. BobList

    BobList New Friend

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    Nov 10, 2003
    Baltimore, Md.
    I am studying with John Blount at this time...he is without a doubt one of the great players out there. He's totally approachable....his sense of humor is really dry...I like that...reminds me of myself..lol....
    If you get a chance to talk to him on a gig, he'll include your impression of sound and projection, regardless if you are a beginner or seasoned pro....we all have ears, and all levels of players listen to music...
    He is in the process of penning a method book, and I am using his drills and common sense explanations about how to be a better player now...and it's well worth it...

    There is a CD coming out soon featuring JB, and I'll post immediately when it is....you can hear 3 tunes in their entirity at

    jmb-music.com


    one of the nicest guys you'd wanna meet....readt the tutorial..

    Bob List
     
  7. ebtromba

    ebtromba Pianissimo User

    He also is the founder of the National Trumpet Competition, a nonprofit (read: he does it for nothin'!) yearly event. He puts countless hours into this every year, and the end result is nothing short of amazing.

    http://www.nationaltrumpetcomp.org/
     

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