I had the privilege of conducting the Arizona All-State Band last month. The experience was extraordinary. One hundred students from schools throughout the state participated after going through several steps to qualify.One of the most rewarding aspects for me personally was that many of them came from schools where my former college students are now teaching. During this two-day event, everyone comes together from different high schools, makes new friends, and focuses on learning the music and performing a concert as a new, cohesive ensemble. The momentum found in the music was a driving force that brought these students from different parts of Arizona together and connected them as a single expressive group. As a conductor, one artistic challenge is to be sure all of the inner points of musical emphasis are felt but kept in perspective in relationship to the whole. It’s a large part of what brings the music to life. When all of the parts and patterns work together from a common perspective, the momentum builds and the results are truly meaningful.

The greatest respect an artist can pay to music is to give it life.
~Pablo Casals

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