This year has been one crazy and exciting adventure! Throughout the past several months I have: finished my doctoral coursework, performed solos with two wind bands, gotten married, moved away from Rochester, and started to find new musical outlets and performance opportunities in the Greater Washington D.C. and Baltimore areas. These events are both really exciting and a little scary. I know for a musician moving away from where you have established roots to begin a new life, especially if you have no connections in the area, can be very scary. My wife has been working here for the past year performing in a premiere military ensemble, but for me, that stability in region is very unknown and daunting.
It has not been bad moving to the area. I have had the opportunity to make new friends in the music community around here - primarily in the premiere bands of the U.S. Army. The members of that ensemble (U.S. Army Field Band and Soldier's Chorus) are wonderful people, not just in the trumpet section, but the whole ensemble. They have reached out to get to know me and where I come from just as fast as students are when starting a new collegiate experience. Getting to know and play for them has been a great treat the first several weeks in my new home. The next step is to find new outlets to perform and teach in the area. It is always so easy in school because universities serve as a "go-to" when local ensembles are trying to find extra musicians. Being here, and not being attached to any established ensemble makes the hunt for performances that much harder. I have applied to be a music substitute teacher in my area so that I may continue to work with students and help them make music. If anything, I want to continue to be able to work in my field of study as much as possible so as to continue working on my instructional skills and keeping myself on my pedagogical toes!
My musical transplantation from Rochester to D.C./Baltimore is just beginning and with the start of a new year it also makes it much harder to step into any collegiate teaching. The only thing I can do at the present is study for my upcoming comprehensive exams to complete my degree, but also practice my butt off and find ways to present my playing to local musicians for critique and feedback. It will be a long road to travel, but keeping my head up and going for every opportunity is something that any musician in a new area must do! The adage of "good things come to those who wait" will come true!
Until next time, back to the practice room!