I had a great time coming home to Bethesda for my second ever solo tour earlier this month. I was in Maryland from April 6thto 11th and came back to a crazy busy season of gigs and teaching here in NYC so it took me a little while to gather my thoughts together on the whole experience. While I was in the DC area I presented two masterclasses and performed a solo show.
The first masterclass was at the Levine School of Music at Strathmore in Bethesda. This one was especially enjoyable because I remember going to youth orchestra rehearsals at Strathmore when I was younger so it was so cool to be able to come back and perform a mini recital and work with everyone in the masterclass. I played a wide variety of rep for the students from pieces from my album, classics by Bach and Gershwin, and a few newer pieces that I was performing at the solo show later that week. After the performance, two of the students played for me and it was so fun to hear them and work with them on their pieces. I also talked about freelancing in NYC and a few other things like practicing and performing that I’ve talked about in my Trumpet Tips Tuesday series. (You can find that on instagram @Katetrumpet or on my FB page @Kateamrine) The second masterclass was at a Bethesda Chevy Chase High School where I performed two short pieces and talked about my time in NYC freelancing to both the jazz ensemble and the wind ensemble. I also worked with the trumpet sections of both groups on their material for the upcoming concerts. It felt great that I’ve developed some great teaching tips material through the Trumpet Tips series – so that I always had things to bring up to the students regardless of what they were working on and their levels.
On Wednesday April 11th, I had my solo show at the Red Room in Baltimore. I had a diverse program of new music including pieces from my album, two of my own pieces, and a few other favorites including Scelsi’s piece for unaccompanied trumpet. The night also featured soprano Bonnie Lander who performed Scelsi’s unaccompanied piece for voice as part of her set. The two pieces had some awfully similar movements featuring lots of wide intervals, quarter tones, different valve sounds, and some long phrases emphasizing one note. It was so much fun! I also played Kevin Joest’s piece “Thoughts and Prayers” and it was its first performance outside NYC so that was pretty exciting. I actually took it into the studio this month and I am excited to release it hopefully soon! I’ve done a bunch of shows now as a soloist so I always think I’ve made every mistake possible but sometimes new ones creep up. Here are some things I learned and loved from my trip!
Bring a stand light to places you haven’t performed before. You NEVER know. It was so dark at the Red Room and I didn’t want to play my set in total bright full lights so I suffered a bit seeing lotsa notes in the dark. I don’t recommend this. Don’t schedule an 8 am masterclass and 8 pm gig on the same day if possible. And bonus – don’t get cute and cover a last minute 4 pm gig the same day. My chops were fine but my concentration was something else!I did a great job of planning out each day and remembering who I was meeting for coffee, what I needed, travel info, etc – but I also enjoyed my time with my family a little too much and should have taken some time to take care of some emails and all that fun stuff so that it was less stressful when I got back into town after the tour
Spending time with family and catching up with people at Peabody when I was in Baltimore on WednesdayExploring the DMV area – I saw the cherry blossoms, walked around downtown, and went to two iconic donut shops (on different days of course!) Thanks Astro Doughtnuts and Duck Donuts!Playing a set of the newest of new music that I do – at a venue where people truly appreciated it and are accustomed to the weirdest sounds!Getting some teaching done in some new situations / getting out of the box of doing the same thing over and over