Bill Cahn: Blog

Creative Music Making Course – spring 2012

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Eastman School of Music – January 17 to February 28, 2012 This was the second  year in which I facilitated a Creative Music Making (CMM) course as part of the Eastman School’s Arts Leadership Program.  As in the first year (2011) the course consisted of seven weekly 2-hour-long sessions focused on freeform improvisation based on my… Read more »

Showa Repertoire – December, 2011

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My eleventh residency at the Showa Music Academy in Kawasaki since 1998 included: * performance on a gala percussion concert in the academy’s opera house (Teatro Giglio) * 44 private lessons * 11 small ensemble coaching sessions * 1 Creative Music Making (freeform improvisation) workshop * 1 videotaped interview for students in the English language… Read more »

Showa Residency – 2011, Part 2

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On Sat. Dec. 11 at the end of the first week of my residency at Showa,  I woke up and 7 AM and worked on my computer for several hours.  It was a free day with no lessons and only rehearsals scheduled for the afternoon.  From noon until 5 PM I was involved in a… Read more »

Showa Residency – 2011

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  I have been visiting the Showa Academy of Music in Japan almost every year since 1998.  When NEXUS toured to Okinawa in 1997, I was introduced to Kazunori Meguro by Yoji Sadanari, who had studied at the University of Toronto in the 1970s, and who knew all of us in NEXUS. When Kazunori (‘Kaz’)… Read more »

More About the Beginning of NEXUS

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Further to Bob Becker’s blog posting of Dec. 8, 2011 I also received a request from Yale graduate student Victor Caccese to addess a few questions about the beginning of NEXUS.     Mr. Cahn, I mainly want to ask you about the start of Nexus with your first performances in 1971. Even though all… Read more »

Starting a Career as a Percussionist: 14 Questions

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The questions below about starting a career in music performance were submitted to me by Peter Ferry, a third-year applied percussion major at the Eastman School of Music.  They are all good questions which are frequently asked by career-track music students.  The responses are never easy or simple, and can be complex enough to fill… Read more »

A Double Timpani Concerto

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On Saturday Sept. 10 Ruth and I drove to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio in the evening to attend a concert of The Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival. The weather became drizzly and yet it seemed that about 7 to 8-thousand people braved the dark clouds to be in the Blossom audience. (Fantastic!) The main reason for our… Read more »

Revolutionary Drummer Boys

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Recently I saw in the local newspaper that there was going to be a guided tour dealing with the American Revolution at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester.  Of course, there are a number of luminaries buried there – Susan B. Anthony (women’s rights leader), Frederick Douglas (antislavery advocate), and Col. Nathaniel Rochester, the founder… Read more »

Article for “The Instrumentalist” – June 1999 Issue

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“The Instrumentalist,” a magazine serving the music education marketplace, contacted me in 1999 about the possibility of writing a short article on the subject of percussion performance at the high school level.  Since my college degree was in ‘Public School Music’ and since I had regularly been invited to coach high school percussionists or to… Read more »

Advice on Orchestra Auditions

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  In many visits by NEXUS to music schools, conservatories and universities all over the world, both during my time as Principal Percussionist in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and after, I have been regularly approached by students asking for advice on auditioning for orchestras.  In my current position as an adjunct teacher at the Eastman… Read more »

Questions About “Afrodditty”

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I recently received an email from a student working on a DMA project.  The email contained questions about “Afrodditty,” a piece that exists in two related versions – 1) a timpani solo in “Six Concert Pieces for Solo Timpani” (Meredith/Hal Leonard Pub.), and 2) a snare drum solo in “NEXUS Suite” (HoneyRock Pub). The two… Read more »

Bah-ston Days – April 18 to 20, 2011

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It’s back home again after a week of vacation in Massachusetts – Stockbridge (Red Lion Inn), the Old Deerfield Inn, Sandwich Village on Cape Cod (Daniel Webster Inn), and three days in Boston, where Ruth and I heard absolutely no live music (but plenty of Kenny G’s saxophone in almost every restaurant, cafe, and elevator;… Read more »

Klezmer Xylophone

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Recently I received an inquiry from Jon Singer, a percussionist in Brooklyn, NY.  He had a copy of my 284-page discography, “The Xylophone in Acoustic Recordings. ”  Jon had just met with Arnie Lang who was a student of Billy Gladstone.  Arnie remembered Gladstone playing a ’78-rpm record in a lesson.  The music consisted of… Read more »

From me flows what I call reflections on Austin

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As I write this, NEXUS is in Austin Texas to perform with the Austin Symphony conducted by the orchestra’s music director, Peter Bay, who has been with the orchestra for 15-years.  Prior to Peter’s coming to Austin, I had the pleasure of performing in many concerts under his baton at the Rochester Philharmonic, where he… Read more »

Creative Music Making at Eastman – Jan./Feb., 2011

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In the middle of my third year as an Associate Professor of Percussion at the Eastman School of Music, I entered into a new musical experience.  On Tuesday, January 11 a new course of study at Eastman titled, “Creative Music Making,” began in its first of seven weekly 2-hour sessions through January and February.  The… Read more »

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