Going to Amherst

Or, less colloquially, The Amherst Early Music
Festival
, which this year takes place at Connecticut College
in New London, Connecticut.

The reason to go is because I hope it will be an opportunity to
play brass several hours a day, and get my lip closer to the
kind of shape the people who played in band in high school for
several hours a day have.

Amherst is lots of things to lots of people, and in the past
I’ve used it to do lots of singing and recorder playing. So I’m a
little nervous that they won’t read (or won’t believe) what I
wrote on the form:

Q: What are your primary interests and goals for this
workshop?

A: play brass instruments all day every day.

I did do as instructed and put second and third choices for all
the class periods, and of course there aren’t always 3 classes
suitable for brass instruments, so they might screw up and give me
a recorder class.

If it’s a good recorder class, I’ll put up with it,
but it might be another ten years before I try to see if I can get
what I need for being an early brass player out of them.

If it’s one of those babysitting classes for 20 people of
varying abilities, I’ll just tell them I need the time to practice
or take a nap.

Not only might they be confused about what I want because it’s
different from what I wanted 10 and 15 and 20 years ago, but they
might make a judgement that my lip isn’t strong enough to play for
4 hours a day. This would certainly be true if I were playing
cornetto, but I routinely play 3 hour rehearsals on serpent, so
I’m sure 4 classes wouldn’t be a problem. And any reasonable
person would rather have my serpent playing in an ensemble than my
cornetto playing. At least after the first 10 minutes.

In any case, there’s lots of singing and dancing and eating
dormitory style with good people, and good concerts, so it will be
fun even if I still haven’t figured out how to convince them that
they want to develop early brass players who weren’t modern brass
players in high school.

I’ve set up a category for blogging about this experience.
You have even less time to blog at a workshop than you do at a
festival, so I don’t know how much blogging I’ll do while I’m
actually there. But I promise to tell you how it worked out afterward.

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