Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Tour from---Well, it's Intense!

I have just embarked on the longest and most intense tour of my life, I didn’t plan it this way but one tour merged into another and the frequency of one masterclass or concert to the next simply turned into a very long five month journey with very little thought to rest or geography.

If I had a manager who organized this mega tour (world tour feels a bit indulgent), I would fire the manager, but alas, I created it all myself!

At this moment I’m riding the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Osaka, where I will teach and after 3 days on to Okayama. Without going into details, after returning to Tokyo I will travel to Amsterdam, Salzburg, Bamburg, Würzburg, London, Manchester, Tokyo, Penn State, Los Angeles, Bloomington IND (ITEC), Hong Kong, Osaka, Interlochen MI, Carlesbad, CA, Italy, (Italian Brass Week), London, Carlesbad, Jeju Korea, Japan and finally to Mexico, where I will stay in the town of Tlahuitoltepec. Ah, but that will certainly be the focus of future blogs.

Sadly, I had to pass on Steve Rosse’s TubaMania in Bangkok, Thailand, which would have been the week following Manchester; even with the kind support of Yamaha, the aspect of the same day travel from Manchester to Bangkok after the previous 3 weeks of travel schedule, my 75 years protested. I’ll be at TubaMania in 2015.

It was exactly one year ago that euphonium icons Steven Mead and Misa Akahoshi fell in love in Bangkok at TubaMania. After their wedding in the small town of Fenny Drayton, not far from Manchester, They will return to Bangkok for the 2014 TubaMania. I’m very happy that I will be able to attend their wedding. I always thought June was the appropriate month for weddings but this year, March clearly seems to be the month of choice.

The reason this mega tour formulated in the first place is that on March 15th my daughter Melody and her fiancé Matt Poole will have their wedding ceremony in London. A couple of years ago, when Melody told me she had a new boyfriend and it looked serious, I ask Melody what he did. “He’s a rock and roll drummer”, she said! “OMG”, I thought. As it turned out he was a writer for a technical magazine and now he has become a supervisor and advisor internationally for several technical magazines; I’m very proud of Melody, I’m very proud of Matt and their future together appears to be bright and happy.

Unlike many of my colleagues I’ve known in my orchestra days, I have always enjoyed being ‘on the road’ and this tour, because of the very special wedding days, seems to be one of special significance.

February 19, 2914 on the Shinkansen between Tokyo and Osaka