ITG Conference – 2012

This year’s conference was held in Columbus, GA at Georgia State University.  The facilities were gorgeous as the school has recently had a fantastic center for the arts built.  The Schwob school of music is connected to a new building that has a 1800 person hall, 500 person recital hall and a black box theater.  The buildings also have great practice and rehearsal room facilities.  There is a charming convention center a block away from the school and that is where the vendors were located.  This made for an interesting conference as a vendor.  I would have to say as a vendor this was not the best configuration.  There were so many musical events that were stacked on top of each other in 15 minute increments that one could easily stay over in the music building, not see everything you would want, and still never make it over to the booths.  A number of the fellow vendors had a similar experience.  I’m not sure of the actual attendance but on day 1 they had about 1000 registrants which seems a little light but not as light as our vendor sales warranted.

Lecture Performance

It sounds like I’m complaining and I don’t mean to.  I had a very nice time this year.  Especially since this was my first solo recital at one of the conferences.  I have played a few new music recitals in the past which were fun but this was a real treat.  I got to play in the big hall and presented the concertos of Lauren Bernofsky and Jim Stephenson.  They were there to talk about their compositional process, their works, have me demo some spots and field questions at the end.  I then played through each of their concertos in their entirety.  A review and a couple photos of the recital can be found here (under Wednesday).

A very special treat for me was that my UWP Trumpet Ensemble was selected to play the opening music for my performance.  This was a first ITG for many of them and I think it opened some of their eyes like it still does for me.  They played a piece by Lauren, Jim and UWP theory prof, Mike Forbes.  The group worked really hard on that set and went out there and nailed it for my presentation then played it again (even better) at another site called “Tower Music”.  I was so happy for them and proud of how they did.

Final Thoughts

Some musical highlights of the week for me were hearing Peter Bond of the Metropolitan Opera play the first movement of the Bohme Concerto with a trumpet ensemble.  (U of GA, I think)  He was an alumni of that school and was featured in this arrangement.  His playing was extremely expressive yet controlled and confident; a fantastic performance.  I also enjoyed the ballet of Robert Bradshaw.  It was great music with equally great trumpet playing by James Ackley.  Jim has been one of my favorite players for the last decade or so.  However, by far my favorite moment of the week was listening to Marvin Stamm’s Inventions Trio.  To me this was as close to perfect music as I have ever heard.  It was a fantastic blend of chamber music nuance and jazz improvisation with technical virtuosity to top it off.  I could have listened to the trio of trumpet, piano, and cello for hours.  I had a chance to talk with Marvin a few times later in the week and found him to be a wonderful guy, very gracious and kind.  I hope to cross paths with him more often.

All in all, a very nice time.