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N.B. I know that i've already talked about this in a previous entry, and i apologize for some of the repetition

False modesty aside, I think that Ken, after having been taught by me for two years, is the most talented tenor player in Oregon.

I'm not really trying to stroke either my or his ego when I make a statement like that. Part of it is just Oregon. I'd venture to say that all of the drum lines in the Pacific Northwest are snare drum oriented. I spent a lot of time watching other drum lines, and all of the tenor players i've seen aren't really tenor players - they're aspiring snare drummers that just happen to move around the drums. Ken, on the other hand, is a Real Tenor player - he knows his way around those drums better than I did when i marched my first couple of years at West Chester.

Granted, he's not the best marching percussionist. The line at Willamette has always been small, so he's always been the lone tenor player. He's never had to play clean with anyone, so his quality of sound suffers some. But the fact that he hasn't been in a line has also given me a lot more freedom to challenge him and write for him more as a solo tenor player.

Just as an example - Last thursday I gave him a copy of his tenor feature, and although he still needs to commit it to muscle memory so he doesn't get all of the sweeps mixed up, it only took him a couple of hours of practice before he could play it with minimal rims at tempo (pulse = 140bpm):

One of the great satisfying side effects to having such a talented tenor player/drum line captain is that the other two veterans of the drum line, Matt and Tyler, are wondering which of them is going to take over the legacy next year. At one point, Tyler (my number two bass drummer) said to Matt (my snare drummer), "I don't think i'm good enough to play the tenors. I might have to just play snare."

It's a great victory for tenor players everywhere.

Comments

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(Anonymous)
Aug. 29th, 2002 08:58 am (UTC)
You should recommend this fine young musician to tour with The Ambassadors of Music (Alta Vista has link to their website). My son was recommended by his music teacher as a senior and went the summer after graduation. It took him all school year to save and gather donations. This will definately spur his aspirations to include music in his adult years as he spends time with other high school kids that hold music dear and are turned on by notes on a page.
lifeofmendel
Sep. 2nd, 2002 11:48 am (UTC)
i was actually trying to think of a way to get him to march in a drum corps over the summer. the obvious choice would have been Seattle Cascades, but for biased reasons i'm not recommending there anymore. Anywhere else he'd have to get plane tickets every month.

he's definitely interested in continuing his career in music. It's really the only thing he cares about, even when he should care about other things (such as schoolwork). We'll see what happens.
( read spoken (2) — speak )

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