Out of necessity, I have been spending a lot less time on this blog. But today I just wanted to pop in and give everyone an update about what’s been going on lately. Of course, if I haven’t been blogging, then that means we have been very busy.
Recent Honors Bestowed
We have been blessed this past week with three very meaningful honors. Interestingly, all three of them were for my work as a writer, not as a player.
Olaf Waldeck Records Lion-Hearted
The first was a sound cloud post that one of my trumpet internet friends posted of my most recent composition. Olaf Waldeck is a free-lance trumpet player in Münster, Germany. He bought my solo trumpet piece, Lion-Hearted very soon after it was published. He recorded it and now you can hear his interpretation of my music on Sound Cloud:
Note: Lion-Hearted is a trumpet miniature (my definition of “miniature” is that the entire composition fits on one page of music) that I wrote for my friend in South Africa, Leonard Brandt (“Leanard” means “lion-hearted”).
Kenneth Baird Shares His Chops Express Review
The second honor I received last week was from a comment that another internet friend posted on our Facebook Chops Express page. Here’s what Kenneth Baird had to say about his experience with the Chops Express book:
“After a couple of very busy months in which my practice time dipped to just about nil, I decided to try Eddie’s Chops Express to get myself in shape for an upcoming gig. I started the month in just about the poorest playing shape I’d been in for quite a while. For about 3 weeks, knowing that my work schedule was still going to be quite busy, I used Chops Express almost exclusively (only about 10 – 15 minutes a day). The final week before the gig, I added about 10 minutes of Clarke studies after doing the Chops Express sessions. I’m very pleased to report that I felt very good at my gig. I was quite pleased with my tone and overall playing despite having had only very limited practice time. Eddie knows what he’s talking about! Chops Express works!”
One thing you may not know about the way we do business, we do not “buy” testimonials. We do not make a practice of sending the books off to be reviewed by famous people, just in hopes of getting them to say something good about our work. No, instead we rely on testimonials from our customers. If the products work, then we believe people will say good things without us having to play that other game. If the products do not work, then I don’t feel it is right to prop the books up with “bought and paid for” testimonials.
That said, we consider it a great honor when someone blesses us with genuine, heart felt appreciation the way Kenneth did in the quote above. This means a lot to us. I haven’t thanked you yet, but thank you Kenneth, so very much… first for trusting us enough to even try the Chops Express book. And secondly, for sharing your success story with such eloquence. Thank you!
Nathan Cunningham Performs Gumbo Magic in His Masters Recital at Rice
I received an email a few weeks ago asking me for information about my brass quintet composition called Gumbo Magic. In the email, Nathan Cunningham explained to me that he was a student at Rice University and would be performing my piece in his recital. He wanted to know more information about me and the composition for his program. I gave him the information he was asking for then asked him when the recital was. I told him I would be there if I wasn’t working.
Well, it turned out that I was able to make it. So Pearl and I went to the recital last night. It was a nice recital. I hadn’t been to a university student recital in years, so I enjoyed it. My piece was scheduled as the closer and I had to smile when I heard the hoops and hollers from the audience. It is a fun piece and it was obvious that the audience was feeling that fun as the students enjoyed themselves on stage.
I met Nathan for the first time after the recital. He told me that he had been listening to Gumbo Magic ever since he was in seventh grade and he always wanted to perform it. WOW! That’s wonderful!
Note: Nathan is a student of my good friend, Dave Kirk (tubist with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and low brass faculty at Rice University). I wrote Gumbo Magic for Dave back in 2000 and we recorded it with the Texas Brass Ensemble.
I know full well how big of an honor it is to be blessed this way, especially three times in one week. You see, people do not need to perform my music or use my method books. There are literally tens of thousands of other sources for them to get their music and materials from. I am a nobody. I am not famous. I most likely never will be. But I love to serve people. I write out of love, both the methods and the music, and when people receive that love, really….that is all the musical validation I will ever need.
Thank you, all three of you. Thank you Olaf for choosing to record my composition. Thank you Kenneth for giving Chops Express a chance. And thank you Nathan for your enthusiasm about Gumbo Magic. You and the people like you are the reasons why I write what I write.
I was going to write more, but I am out of time.