On leaving Axiom


Man, I sometimes think. It’s been a long time since we rehearsed - isn’t there something… Then I remember that I don’t go to those rehearsals anymore. They could be rehearsing, but I wouldn’t know it.* Other times I go days without even thinking about the group. It’s a common experience, expecting something familiar that is gone, then immediately living life as if it had never existed. What is that? Is it called something? Paging Dr. Freud, am I right?

I was a member of Axiom Brass from its early days of 2007 when we played almost never, and got paid almost never. I saw the group make huge strides both musically and in its career. And now it could be argued that I left in the middle of an upswing.


"It was just time" is what I usually say. Time to follow other interests, time to teach more, time to perform the music I haven't had time to, time to feel more connected to what has to be one of the most wonderful community of musicians in this, one of the best cities in the world, Chicago. 

Since September I've been coaching chamber music at Midwest Young Artists in the north suburbs of Chicago. These are talented middle and high school students dedicated to learning to play their instruments at the highest level, as well as learning to connect with and collaborate their peers. It's so much fun to guide them through the intricacies of group dynamics, and how to turn their combined energies to the task at hand. I'm not gonna lie, I'm having them play music that is definitely too hard for them. But am expecting that by the end of the semester they'll be killing it. I suspect I'm going to win some and lose some, but...

Performance wise, I just got to play Dai Fujikura's amazing piece Poyopoyo. I'll post a clip here soon**, but believe me that this is one of the great solo horn pieces in the rep. I look forward to playing it again! Right now Jonathon Kirk and I are in the beginning stages of a horn & electronics project that will be going up in the fall. I am soooo excited about this! More info on that process soon.

So, changes are happening. New opportunities are coming up. And, hey, I just played a John Williams concert with the man himself conducting, so I must be doing something right, right?


*i would know it - the rehearsal space is two blocks from my apartment
** it's posted