Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Pep Band Pays Off

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Many of you know that I’ve been playing with the Cazenovia Community Band. This has been great fun and a wonderful excuse to play my trombone again.

Most of the time I find myself drawing on the experience from the various bands I played with in high school… and trying to remember if I ever knew how to read music well. Tonight it finally happened.

I was able to to draw from that penultimate point in my musical career, the RPI Pep Band.

Yes, that’s right. Not only did this venerable organization of eardrum splitting proportions leave me with dozens of lifetime friends, not the least of which is my spouse, but through its wide range of classic tunes from the 60s, 70s and 80s… I was able to draw on our musical stylings when tonight… the Caz Band played music from Chicago.

Not the musical[1], not the city[2] but the rock-jazz fusion band. Yes, tonight we played a medley including the Pep Band favorite: 25 or 6 to 4.

If that pulsing tune is not already worming its way into your Medulla oblongata, I give you:

  1. although I played the music for that in college too []
  2. We played that song last season []

Trombone Quartet

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Our Cazenovia Community Band Trombone Quartet played at church this morning. One of the choir members recorded two of the pieces on her phone (thanks Lesley!)
Due to limitations of email or something, the files were broken into pieces. After some abortive attempts with various programs to put them back together, while trying to retain some semblance of quality and reasonable size… I eventually punted and just used Windows Live Movie Maker. At least it let me splice them together and rotate them correctly. Unfortunately, the results are about 2x the size of the original files.

In any case, you’ll probably notice a slight hitch every minute or so where the splices occurred. Still, you get the idea.

Cazenovia Community Band!

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been playing trombone in our local community band. For those who live in the vague vicinity of Cazenovia, NY, please come out to our upcoming concert! The concert is at 2PM on November 14th at the Caz High School.

Even if you can’t come, feel free to put up a copy of our announcement poster at your daily hangouts.
Poster for November 14th Concert

Cazenovia Community Band

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Our premiere performance[1] will be Tomorrow (Thursday), 7:30pm at the pavilion at Lakeland Park in Caz. We have great instrumentation and hopefully my chops will recover by tomorrows performance. Despite the release below, we probably won’t actually start playing until 7:30, but generally the lawn is pretty filled up by then. Keep your fingers crossed for no rain (or at least for it to be cleared out by then).

Official press release:

CAZENOVIA — The Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce (GCACC) is presenting its 14th season of summer concerts in the park. The 2010 Oneida Savings Bank Summer Concert Series begins Thursday, June 24 in Cazenovia’s Lakeland Park featuring the Cazenovia Community Band from 7-9 p.m. This popular summer series will run each Thursday evening through Aug. 19 with the exception of a special holiday concert on July 4th, featuring three bands, followed by the community fireworks.

A rain date has been set for June 25 at Eastern Hills Bible Church in Manlius. The band will also perform at the July 4th parade in Cazenovia. Under the direction of Marv Arnold, the band will present a selection of favorites, marches and show tunes including John Williams in Concert (music from Star Wars, Jaws, etc.), Percy Grainger’s “Irish Tune and Shepherd’s Hey,” Sousa’s “King Cotton” and Delibes’ “March and Procession of Bacchus.”

All concerts are free and open to the public. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy a relaxing summer evening and concert by Cazenovia Lake.

  1. There was previously a Madison County / Community Band, which sort-of disbanded, but this is officially a new entity. []

We knew all along.

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

This link to Dragon*Con TV goes out to my sister.

We knew all along.

Hello Kitty Death Squad!

Friday, May 1st, 2009

So I’m back visiting my folks and it happens to be the weekend of the annual Boy Scout Troop 73 Spaghetti Dinner. So I go to nosh on the unlimited pasta and run into one of my Boy Scout peers Joe Cieslak. [1] So not only was Joe one of my BSA troopers, but he was also one of my High School Jazz Band partners in crime, culminating in our back-and-forth tag team saxophone-trombone-piano-keyboard-and-pretty-much-anything-else-we-could-make-noise-with jam sessions.
So as it turns out, besides his day job, Joe wails a mean tenor sax as a member of the aforementioned band, Hello Kitty Death Squad. So Mr. C invests a CD of HKDS into my palm and here I am giving them a plug on my blog space.


What is HDKS? Well, I would describe it as a sort-of electronic heavy metal jazz. Sort of an inelastic collision of Nickelback, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and a phaser set on stun. The primary elements are wailing saxophone and rock guitar overlaid with effective gritty-toned vocals. All of this is driven by a steady rhythm section of drums and samples. I do have to say that I hadn’t anticipated how nicely the tone of a sax merges with a heavily distorted guitar. It’s a pretty cool sound and really shines in places. Unfortunately, despite the moments of real brilliance, they shift gears pretty quickly, and I’m a bit too old-school to keep up with the montage of styles. If the classic rock song follows a pattern like A-B-A-B-C-B. HKDS’ tunes go something like A-B-Q-pi-epsilon-quark-9. Of course what do you expect with track titles like Bologna Schnapps, Zombie Disco, Hillbillies & Carnies and Mellonaise. [2] In the end I’m intrigued, but I don’t see this becoming my daily listening fare. In the interest of full disclosure, my daily listening fair almost exclusively consists of NPR during my commute, so you probably shouldn’t put much weight in that. Give it a listen, there are four tracks available on the myspace page linked above.[3]

To Joe and the rest of the band, you’ve got a pretty good thing going there. Enjoy, and if you tour Syracuse, be sure to let me know. I may not be able to keep up, but I’m sure there are plenty of folks who can.

  1. Technically I ran into MR. C. Joe Cieslak and he-who-was-formally-known-as Joey Cieslak, but as he’s as much an adult as I am, it just doesn’t seem right to call him Joey anymore. []
  2. Do I sense a Homestar Runner allusion there? []
  3. Yes, unfortunately their site is hosted on myspace in its strange tiled panel-ish glory. []