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Buckeye Nation

Last week’s visit to The Ohio State University was chock-full of reasons to be pleased… terrific performance, great people, fun seminars with the students… But giving the Wind Symphony‘s absolutely beautiful and sensitively-performed performance of my piece a run for it’s money was Maestro Mikkelson‘s personal tour of the OSU stadium and state-of-the-art marching band facility. For this city boy, a 230-piece brass band (with matching silver instruments, of course) rehearsing in a cavernous room complete with double-gun video projectors, flat-screen displays for game-tape viewing, and John Madden-style telestrator for complete ease of marching analysis – well, it’s not something one gets to see every day. And I’m not sure we should – my brain got full just watching these guys warm up. I’m guessing the marvelous excess is exactly what’s needed to engage the 105,000 souls in the stadium, but I prefer to think of it as one more of those exotic Musics Of The World I wish I understood – a glorious noise requiring a lifetime of study, like African drumming or Indian ragas.

My thanks to the OSU Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, Erika, Rich, Mark, Rick, and Russ for making mine a blowout residency! And next time I’ll be drugging the lead sousaphone before pre-game and dottin’ that ‘I’ myself.

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