Mr. BeBoppin Fool came to visit Saturday and Sunday
and brought with him a 7 and half hour tour-de force
clinic. He also brought his lovely wife Janet...I
tried to persuade him to take his clinic on home and
leave Janet, but he didn't think that was much of a
good idea. :)

I assembled a group of 13 trumpet players from our
area and we sat and listened and played along with
Rich at our Church in Madison Alabama. The morning
session gave us some real hands on instruction of the
importance of breath attacks during the warmup.
Everyone got the chance to blow - there were skill
levels from a full time pro player (who actually was a
trombone player)to a high school student to a french
horn player who just started doubling on trumpet.
Rich had something for everyone. There were a whole
lot of basic things he went over that made a lot sense
to us all.

After a short lunch we headed into the (uncharted for
us) area of jazz improvisation. He's certainly one of
the best out there I've ever met in not only being
able to play - but being able to compile and instruct
a neophyte group of mostly amatuers how to start
thinking about playing jazz. Some of what he was
talking about and doing went so far over my head I
needed binoculars to even see the contrails - but by
4:30 p.m. it was starting to make sense. The last 1/2
hour was a great play along that involved everyone.

Sunday Rich returned to our Church and did a duet
prelude with me on 3 Movements from the Water Music
(another clinic attendee also had the chance to play
with him on Movement 2)and anchored our Trumpet Choir
of Eric Ewazen's Prelude and Fugue for 6 Trumpets for
both services.

It's amazing how one's skill/performance level comes
up a notch or 2 when playing next to someone vastly
superior to yourself. I really felt "brought to
another level" while playing alongside Rich on the
Handel pieces. I felt very comfortable and confident
playing with Rich...he never made me feel like the
hack that I am. I almost felt like a real pro next to
him for that short while.

All in all it was a great trumpet weekend. I
absolutley will endorse Rich and recommend him highly
to anyone interested in putting together a clinic like
this. He's a consummate gentleman, a great player, an
excellent instructor and has a wonderful sense of
humor. I feel quite priveleged to be able to know him
and call him a friend.

I've just got to find a way to get him to lend us
Janet for awhile next time... :)

Bill Mirrielees