Composer Aaron Perrine

Tear’s of St. Lawrence is a highlight of our fall 2017 program.  This composition by emerging composer Aaron Perrine, captures the optimistic joy and wonder to be had on a starry night.

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Tear’s of St. Lawrence was commissioned by the McFarland High School 9th Grade Concert Band, McFarland, Wisconsin (Joseph Hartson, Director).  Composer Aaron Perrine’s thoughts on this remarkable piece:

 

Early last summer, my then five-year-old daughter became very interested in astronomy. She read every book in the library on the topic and became obsessed with the idea of seeing a falling star. After scanning the night sky for a few months with no success, she began to give up hope. Fortunately for all of us, the annual Perseids meteor shower—often referred to as the “Tears of St. Lawrence”—was quickly approaching. One clear mid-August night, I woke my daughter a bit after midnight. Without telling her what was to come, we quietly made our way outside. After anxiously waiting for what felt like forever, we saw our first falling star together! In addition to the obvious sense of excitement, however, I couldn’t help but feel a bit nostalgic, because I knew that in a few short weeks, my daughter would be going to school for the first time. As we watched the stars, we took turns telling stories as we wondered what the next year would bring. Two hours and countless meteors later, I finally convinced my daughter to return to bed. Tears of St. Lawrence was inspired by the variety of emotions experienced during that memorable night.

 

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 Aaron Perrine, a two-time winner of the American Bandmasters Association Sousa/Ostwald Award for his compositions Only Light in 2015 and Pale Blue on Deep in 2013, has received degrees from the University of Iowa, the University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota, Morris and is currently on the faculty at Cornell College. A finalist in the first Frank Ticheli Composition Contest, he was included in the series, Teaching Music through Performance in Band ans his music for band has also been featured at The Midwest Clinic, The Western International Band Clinic, and at numerous all-state, state conference and honor band concerts.

We contacted Mr. Perrine and asked him to share with us his thoughts on his journey in music, his musical influences and inspirations and words of advice that he has for young musicians.

Please tell us a bit about your journey in music and in lifeI grew up in a musical family. My grandfather and father were both high school band directors, so music was always around the house when I was a kid. While I always had an interest in writing music, I didn’t really begin to “compose” until the beginning of my sophomore year in college. I entered college as a trumpet major, but at some point during my freshman year, my embouchure changed and I was forced to switch to the trombone. Feeling inadequate for a time on both instruments, my jazz band director asked me to write a chart for our jazz ensemble. While this piece no long exists—aside from the one paper copy I recently removed from my undergraduate institution’s library!—I learned so much about composing from this experience, and was very fortunate to have a director that was so willing to encourage and foster my compositional interests.

I taught high school band for five years in the Twin Cities area and eventually found my way back to graduate school and earned a Ph.D. in composition from the University of Iowa. I currently live in northern Minnesota and spend much of my time composing, but also continue to teach part-time at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

What have been some of your musical influences? A few composers that come to mind (in no particular order) are Michael Colgrass, John Luther Adams, David Maslanka, Maria Schneider, György Ligeti, Igor Stravinsky and Johannes Brahms.

Please share a bit about your favorite musical memory? I don’t know that I could say that I have a favorite as there have been so many, but one that is quite memorable is the premiere of a work of mine entitled, “Only Light,” which was commissioned by Mark Heidel and the University of Iowa Symphony Band. It’s a very meaningful work to me, and I don’t think I took a breath during the eight or so minutes it took them to perform the piece!

Which composer/musician – past or present – would you most like to meet for a coffee and why?  John Lennon. The Beatles were my favorite band when I was young, and I think the way in which they impacted music and society was remarkable.

What inspires you?  Nature, poetry, art, live music

What do you do to relax?  Spend time with my family, golf, hike…

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Enjoy the process and joy of making music! It can be incredibly easy to get caught up in the technical aspects of performing, and while these are definitely important, don’t forget the reason you were drawn to music in the first place.

Please share any thoughts that you may have about the Northshore Concert Band.  The NCB is one of the finest groups of its kind. Thank you for the many years of excellence; you inspire me!

 

A special thank you to Mr. Perrine for speaking with us and giving permission to reproduce this material.  Please visit his website at www.aaronperrine.com to learn more about this notable American composer.


 

Star Wars: A New Hope

Sunday, November 5, 2017, 3:00 pm

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, Illinois

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

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Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

DANIEL DICESARE

Daniel DiCesare

Daniel DiCesare plays the Trombone and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2013. He is a Private Music Teacher and lives in Chicago, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing?  Both my father and grandfather were amateur jazz drummers, so I joined the fifth grade band because I wanted to be a drummer like them. Of course, I hadn’t told anyone that’s why I was joining, otherwise someone might have warned me that grade school concert bands don’t play jazz. But I stuck with it anyway, and got steered toward playing tuba. I picked up trombone in high school, so that I could join the jazz program there, thus it all worked out in the end.

What do you enjoy most about playing?  I’m creating something beautiful, and that always feels special to me.

Do you have a favorite musical memory? Performing with Quincy Jones and his hand-picked guest soloists at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

What are your musical influences?  Too many to list! Ranging from the rock group The Who to Renaissance music.

Who was your most influential music teacher?  Jim Warrick, my high school jazz director. He always seemed to be having so much fun! But working with him wasn’t just goofing around (although there was plenty of that,) it was him showing us that working hard at something, and constantly looking to improve at it, made it more fun, not less.

Does anyone in your family play music?  My wife plays bassoon, and my father plays drum set and vibes.

What’s on your iPod?  About a dozen obscure jazz albums, highlighted by The Complete Aladdin Sessions of Lester Young.

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Listen to as much music as you can, of as wide a variety as you can. Listen, and imitate what you hear, because that’s where it all began.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups?  It’s an amateur group with a professional atmosphere. I like that fact that the standards are very high even though the stakes are low. I’ve played professionally for years, but still feel like I have to bring my best stuff every Wednesday night so I don’t let my friends down.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band   Friends Making Music

Please add anything else that you would like our audience to know about you.   I teach lessons to students of all ages at reasonable rates.

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

BRAD SAY

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Brad Say plays the Trombone and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 1999. He is a Music Educator and lives in Mundelein, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing? My influence was my much older cousin who played trumpet and listening to the Lawrence Welk Orchestra! I started on trumpet in 4th grade, switched to baritone/euphonium in 9th grade and picked up trombone at age 21. I now play trombone in NCB and euphonium in another group.

What do you enjoy most about playing? The beauty involved when everyone in the ensemble is engaged and playing at a high level! That doesn’t always happen, but when it does its magic!

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  There are MANY, but two that stick out are playing for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day as part of the McDonald’s All-American Band and the Desert Storm Ticker Tape Parade in New York City. With NCB, our concert in Niedershopheim, Germany. The band and the audience were amazing.

What are your musical influences? The President’s Own Marine Band, Several of the British and European top brass bands, Steven Mead, David Childs, Christian Lindberg, Chris Martin, Jay Friedman, Michael Mulchahy, Gene Pokorny, Brett Baker… and many others.

Who was your most influential music teacher? Rex Martin at Northwestern Univ, and Steven Mead (even though I only had one lesson with him)

Does anyone in your family play music? My brother plays drums.

What’s on your iPod? Rock/Pop (mostly 80’s), classical, jazz, wind band music, brass band music

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Listen and practice more. Its a big world. You may be the best in your school, region, or even state, but there are always people way better than you!

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? How big it is. It is much different approach then having mostly one player on a part in a smaller group. Also, the high musicality demand from Dr. Thompson.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Musically engaging, Fun, Loud

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you.  I recently retired from the Wisconsin Army National Guard Band with 21 years in WI and 5 years in active duty army bands.

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

PAUL BAUER

Paul Bauer1

Paul Bauer plays the Trombone and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2001. He was also a member between 1982 and 1990. Paul is a retired University Administrator who lives in Elmhurst, Illinois and is the Northshore Concert Band’s director of development.

When and why did you start playing? 10 years old, My mother was a church organist and my father sang in the choir. They met in a college choir. I sang in church choir from the age of 6, and playing an instrument was the next natural step to be involved in music.

What do you enjoy most about playing? Making music with others for an audience.

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  A number of musical performance moments from high school, college, professional career.

What are your musical influences? Fine teachers and peers in band, orchestra, jazz, and chamber music idioms.

Who was your most influential music teacher? My high school band director, Daniel Nawrocki and first college trombone teacher, David Glasmire.

Does anyone in your family play music? My mother, father, all 3 sisters, and daughter.

What’s on your iPod? Eclectic mix of classical orchestral music, concert band music, jazz, opera, trombone music, musical theater, top 40

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Play with musicians better than yourself.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? There is a combination of a commitment for musical excellence combined with family-like relationships that can span decades.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. outstanding musical family

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you.  Playing last chair (bass) trombone is lots of fun!

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!