CC or bust! - Pit stop in Caddo Parish
Good afternoon friends!
I wanted to formally post about my Fiverr and Patreon setups! I’ve created a page that links to both of my accounts, and I can take care of you whether you want a one-off piece for your instrument or ensemble, or if you’re into a monthly bit of new material, check out Patreon!
I’m gearing up for a road trip to Virginia, so any little bit helps!
You may have noticed a few new birds flying around the website! I’ve officially begun using my business name, Ornith Music, instead of my personal name for my website and business dealings. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new setup for the site, as well as the idea of Ornith Music in general. I look forward to hearing from you!
Back in my undergrad, I was fortunate enough to find a group of guys to spend long nights and make some wonderful music with. I was initiated into the Xi class of the Zeta Mu chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity in 2008.
There’s certainly no way to say that the whole journey was easy. Learning how to be an adult, while beginning an intensive course study in college is difficult enough as it is. At the time, I was still a journalism major, and hadn’t yet decided to dedicate my entire life to music. I was still active in the marching band, writing music, and teaching as much as I could, though. Several of my close drumline friends were already members, and by my sophomore year, they had talked me into beginning the membership process.
I decided to go through with it mainly because it was an opportunity to learn how to sing, and to sing in an ensemble. Every meeting has a music rehearsal, and opens and closes with songs that Sinfonians all over the country know by heart. There’s not enough that can be said for how reassuring that is. Each year at the TMEA convention, the Step Sing is by far the most satisfying and endearing event. I got into music because I love making something with other people, and 100-200 men in a large room singing in four-part harmony is exactly what I wanted.
Though I was getting something, it’s also worth mentioning that it’s a great feeling to give back as well. Throughout my music travels, I have met some great folks. I’ve visited chapters in Virginia and Texas, as well as worked closely with Sinfonians on other projects outside of formal fraternity events. Whether it’s offering feedback, or supporting younger Sinfonians on their journey through Phi Mu Alpha, or guiding those young men into being better educators or musicians in general, the mutual trust that develops throughout membership is completely invaluable.
When I started graduate school, I had fallen out of favour with Phi Mu Alpha. The guys in the Zeta Mu chapter were kind enough to help me with the process of becoming reinstated as an alumni member. That meant the world to me. Though each chapter and each member goes through ups and downs, in general Sinfonians are compassionate, intelligent, and thoughtful guys. In my experience, this group of men has been one of few groups I can consistently rely on musically, and as a human.
This Spring, I was honoured with a ten-year membership pin. It had honestly slipped my mind how long I’d been a member. At conventions, I see other Sinfonians and wonder what it’s like to be in their shoes. I turned 30 this year, so I am kind of in their shoes. Guys in their sophomore year may benefit from my experience or expertise, and seeing that ten-year pin on my chest or collar hopefully lets them know that I’m there for them.
Young men, if you’re considering college, music school, or any opportunity to better yourself that has a chapter of Phi Mu Alpha available to you, I implore you to at least check it out. Even if it’s not for you when you first make contact, ask yourself if you’d benefit from an unrelenting network of support and musical experience that are hard to achieve otherwise. Collegiate or alumni Sinfonians, it’s our job to spread the word. Be a shining example of what it’s like to be a good man and a good musician.
I’m super excited to have Valeri and Brandon on to talk a bit about the new vocal ensemble, Avanzare, the website we made for it, and just music and life in general. Check it out! www.AvanzareVE.org
This summer, while in Chesterfield County, I had the privilege to spend time and work with some extremely dedicated and talented music educators. Virginia has always been an intriguing place to me. Most musicians that I've met that have come from Virginia all the way to Texas have been world-class people, performers, and teachers. It was extremely refreshing to learn that several folks over there share many of my philosophies and appreciate the validation that comes from someone that lives halfway across the country and has a completely different education and pedagogical journey.
The idea that a student-centric approach to marching band design, planning, and implementation is reassuring; it's not secret that I've been a little bit disenchanted about how band program are put together and run, but being over here makes me feel so much better. The students are set up to get everything they need to succeed, and because of that, I've noticed a huge change in just the short time I was there. A month isn't quite long enough to completely change a culture, but empowering the students to create their own environment in which to grow is almost always my goal. The students I taught at Clover Hill and L.C. Bird high school are really taking charge to make band a more fun and fulfilling experience for themselves and their peers joining them over the next couple of years. This was a special month!
Many thanks to Marcus Grant, Buddy Deshler, Brianna Gatch, Mason Gatch, Vincent Guzman, and Charles Brown for working with me this month and showing the students that they are worth our time.
I look forward to working in Chesterfield County next year!
Check out the progress these young folks have made!
I have recently partnered with Los Cabos drumsticks from Canada. I played a pair that my buddy David gave me, and I've been sold. Their jazz sticks are super quick, their 5B's are stable, and I look forward to trying out their parade sticks later this week. If you have any questions about what they do for me, or want to check out some rad sticks, check out their website www.loscabosdrumsticks.com
To see my other Los Cabos friends, check out this and other pages in their Artist section https://www.loscabosdrumsticks.com/artists/us-artists/
Be sure to follow these cats on Instagram @loscabosdrumsticks and Twitter @loscabossticks
I’d like to announce the addition of one of my good friends and colleagues, Robert Lewis, to the podcast. Robert will occasionally accompany with interviews as well as serve as a recurring guest on the podcast. The original format will remain intact, but will now include Robert for some episodes.Read More
We in Zero Detail have been quite busy over the last few months. We played several huge venues like White Oak and Warehouse Live, and now we’re taking a break to record. The summer brings some traveling opportunities for me, so while we are taking a break from live shows, we’re using this time to write and record new music for everyone! We’ve got several irons in the fire, including two track by yours truly. You’ll have new Zero Detail in your ears by the end of the summer, and a few more tracks before the year is up. We are also actively booking for the fall, so if you #needZD in your life, contact any one of us, or Andrew at AndrewGarcia@zerodetailmusic.com
It is with great pleasure that I announce my newest business affiliation! Liberty Drums, over in the UK have offered to have me in their artist family! I’ll be helping the. Expand here in the States. My friend Andrew with liberty made me a custom four-piece kit. It’s infinitely small, but sounds absolutely wonderful!Read More
This summer, I have privilege to share my expertise with several schools over in Chesterfield County, Virginia. I'll be working with Clover Hill High School and LC Bird High School.Read More
Hopefully by now you’ve heard; The Woodlands Chamber Music Project is off the ground! We had a super successful first outing on 19 May 2018. Around 30 people stopped by to sing, play, and listen to the musical offerings. We packed out Kidville wall to wall and and a wonderful time.
I encourage you to join us on the third Saturday of each month as we explore different genres, eras, instruments, and ideas in this versatile and satisfying series. We welcome feedback and suggestions, and are always welcoming new contributors. If you’re a composer, a performer, artist, dancer, or simply a patron, we think you’ll love spending time with us for our intimate, accessible, and inexpensive programs.
Please join us on Facebook at (https://m.facebook.com/groups/1740412986001783) or the Fan Page at (https://www.facebook.com/twchambermusic/). Also be on the lookout for a brand new Instagram account that you can follow to keep up with what we’ve done and what we’re doing (https://www.instagram.com/woodlandschambermusicproject/)!
We wouldn’t have been able to open our doors without help from the following people: Savannah Thomas, Robert Lewis, Brandon McDougal, Amanda Passamante, David Pham, Ben Miller, Daniel Burkeen, Nathan Mays, Daniel Porter, Deborah and Ralph Reavis, Geneva and Brian Minnear, and Rebecca Paddie. Each of these folks have contributed time, effort, and sometimes money to help get this project going.
Don’t forget to save the date and your $2 for the following upcoming recitals!
Dates after these may change, but keep an eye on the Facebook page for details
Good morning music friends!
I wanted to take a moment to shout out my band, Zero Detail (www.ZeroDetailMusic.com). These guys work super hard and I’m so excited to be working with them. Every rehearsal is a wonderful creative outlet, and shows are really just a hang with music instead of a huge chore. We’re building a following in the Houston area, and we’re hoping to expand soon. We’ve been working at Sugar Hill Studios in Houston (sugarhillstudios.com) and couldn’t be more excited to bring you all some new music!
We’re sharing the bill with some super talented folks at Warehouse (Rogues Among Us, Metanoia, and Clay Melton) on 10 March. If you are interested in attending, let one of us know for tickets ($10), or check out the website for Warehouse (WarehouseLive.com) or the TicketFly app or website (TicketFly.com).
I’d like to take this time to recognise the efforts of those in charge of a new client of mine, the Cypress Springs Varsity Winter Guard. They’re competing this season in the Texas Color Guard Circuit. I was fortunate enough to catch a rehearsal of their program “Rule The World”. I worked with director and choreographer Grace Zientek and drill-writer Lee Turner. We combined Lorde’s cover of “Everbody Wants to Rule The World” by Tears for Fears and some original composition of mine specifically for this soundtrack. I’m super excited to be working with these talented and dedicated folks! You can follow their progress on www.texascolorguardcircuit.org
A huge thanks to everyone that helped out and contributed their skill and time to the recital last month at the Rec Room! For all the work everyone put in, I feel like it went swimmingly!
I’ll be posting an album with photos from the event in the next week or so, but I’d like to include a few of my favourites!
Thanks to Space City Performing Arts (spacecityperformingarts.org) and the Rec Room (recroomhtx.com) for facilitating this wonderful event! A huge thanks goes out to Brandon MacDougal, Eileen Vaughn, and Esteban Puentes for their help on the operations side of things, as well as Greg and Tash with Rec Room for their help on the logistics side of things. It cannot be said enough that an event like this could not happen without lots of help.
Photo credit: Stevie Rowe