A line of five field drums being played be musicians with white gloves, white drumsticks, and black or dark blue outifts. The drumheads are white, the drums are red at the rim and have a black or dark blue body.

Armed Forces Salute

Here in Washington, DC, we have access to so many cultural institutions when we want a night on the town. Everything at the Kennedy Center, lots of other theaters, jazz venues, orchestras, recitals, choruses, all the museums…We also have the incredible multitude of Military ensembles at our fingertips. By my count, there are 36 ensembles that perform year-round here. They are concert bands. Ceremonial bands. String ensembles. Chamber groups. Choirs. Jazz ensembles. Rock bands. All representing the Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy. (The only missing branch of the Military is the Coast … Continue Reading

Train tracks at the center of the photo heading into very thick, gray clouds, although the sun shines from behind them. The tracks are on top of grass.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Are you eligible to vote in the USA on Tuesday, November 6, 2018? Do you know where to vote? Do you have an upcoming primary election? Do you still need to register to vote? Even if you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that the election on Tuesday, November 6th has the potential to be a game-changer for our country. One of the ways this rings true is in arts funding. Sure, funding for the National Endowment for the Arts is good for 2018. But what about 2019? And how about … Continue Reading

Three Programs in black and white (L-R: David Sedaris, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic) and an admission ticket for the Sixth Floor Museum below the middle program on top of a black wooden table. There is a silver octagonal paperweight between the left two programs.

Pressing the Play Button as the Pause Button

Last month was a busy month, but I was still able to make time to attend Arts and Culture events. Like staying hydrated and eating a vegetable every couple of days, giving the brain some variety can be helpful for doing things well. Or at the very least, for not burning out altogether. Event #1: David Sedaris I’ve been a fan of this insightful and hilarious author for about ten years now. I can’t really think of anything original to say about his works. Brings you to another world, but somehow it’s … Continue Reading

A watercolor painting of a frog saying "Thank You". There is a wooden well to the left with a wooden bucket dangling by light brown yarn. "Thank You" in cursive is written in light brown in front of a blue sky. The green frog is at the center. It is mid-air with its arms open and a smile on its face. It is green and hovering over green grass and flowers than are white and yellow. On the right side in the back, there are red and green shrubs.

Thanks for the Raise!

Dear [Member of Congress], [As your constituent and] as a musician, union member, teacher, and middle-class income earner; I want to thank you for the work you did to bring H.R. 1625 to the President’s desk. Among the many agencies that will now officially receive federal funding for the rest of 2018, I would like to especially express my gratitude for the $152.8M you’ve appropriated to the National Endowment for the Arts. This is almost $3M more than you had previously legislated. With this increase, you’ve demonstrated a genuine commitment not just … Continue Reading

A faun pug with his tongue sticking out the left side of his mouth. There are two silver metal bowls to his right on top of a brown bowl mat, and a clear container of dog food to his left. He's sitting on a black and white tile kitchen.

You can’t spell “Propranolol” without “LOL”

My shoulders and rib cage tighten. My breaths become shallow. My mouth goes dry.  My arms, hands, and legs shake. Not only am I describing the minutes preceding a first date, but I’m also talking about what happens to my body when I’m playing a performance that makes me nervous. The symptoms I’ve listed are examples of psychological stress that manifests itself physiologically. The Fight-or-Flight Response, as it were. Playing a brass instrument with shallow breaths and shaking limbs is…shall we say, not ideal. And sometimes it isn’t the actual music at hand … Continue Reading

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