Zelstman Marimba Festival – New Music Weekend

As I have posted before, I will be attending this year’s ZMF (Zeltsman Marimba Festival) in Appleton, Wisconsin. All of the participants spots are filled now but there are plenty of opportunities to join in the festival as an observer (that is what I did last year when I drove over for the 5-hour participant’s concert).

This year in the middle of the festival there is a new music weekend July 3-5. You can pay a small fee (roughly $225) to attend 3 concerts, 4 composer talks, and 1 master class. All 24 of the new intermediate marimba solos will be performed by Ivana Bilic, Thomas Burritt, Jean Geoffroy, Beverley Johnston, William Moersch, Gordon Stout, Jack Van Geem, Nancy Zeltsman.

This is truly a great opportunity to participate in the festival if you only have enough time to attend 1 of the weekends. Come be a part of this historic event in marimba history! You have until June 1st to register for this event. For more information and up to the minute information, head over to the official web site of the New Music Weekend. I personally cannot wait for the Paul Simon marimba composition!

Playing Stout Etude 3 All of the Way Through

As I looked at my practice log for April, I noticed I had taken a 21 day break from practicing the marimba. First of all I need to realize that there were some good reasons (World’s Largest Trivia Contest being the largest) but that really is no excuse.

I have come back to practicing and am now able to play the entire Gordon Stout Etude #3 (from Book 1). This was a learning exercise as part of Dr. Thomas Burritt’s Percussion Axiom TV that many people have been working on completing for the last couple months. A couple notes before we get to my performance.

1) It is true that I can play the entire Etude all of the way though, but it is not performance ready yet. There are a number of wrong notes still.

2) This is the first performance where I was able to really think about the “groove” of the piece. Rhythm, dynamics, and note accuracy keep your mind busy in this piece but a major part of making music is connecting with the piece and telling the story to the audience. The “groove” is important. During m28-29 I finally started feeling this.

3) M20-25 had some problems which I usually don’t get wrong. I forgot where I was in the music for a few seconds.

4) M38-42 are “close” the groove is correct but the notes were not fully accurate.

5) I repeated m43-48 like the repeat from measure 1-6 . That is not correct therer is no repeat.

5) I am thrilled to finally play it all of the way through! As I have stated before, this would have never been I piece I would have played on my own. After taking the time to really work with it I do have to admit that I will keep this in my repretoire.

My next ask to the Percussion Axiom TV folks is to see their performances! I cannot be the only one and I would love to see other videos of progress on this piece. At minimum, head over to the Discussion part of Thomas Burritt’s site and state whether or not you completed it.

In future posts look for more videos of this piece as I get it performance ready and quite a bit faster.

Enjoy take 8 of Gordon Stout’s Etude #3!