Whenever I hear the “Concerto for Trumpet in Eb” by Johann Nepomuk Hummel I have this flashback: I’m once again in high school, about to perform the Concerto (on a Bb trumpet). It’s an ambitious piece for any trumpet player, let alone a high schooler; let alone a kid from rural Alaska who has had no lessons. I’m nervous, of course, but I’ve practiced (or so I think), I’ve worked with my excellent accompanist a few times. I’ve never performed it before but I don’t give this much thought because I’m too nervous. I sit in the warm-up room and practice a little before I go perform. That’s not true. I practice a LOT. It’s becoming frighteningly clear to me–much too late–that I don’t really know this piece. I work the sections that are difficult (there are a lot) and begin to get tired. My chops are getting tender. I stop practicing and go perform with a feeling of trepidation in my gut.
Many changes in the wind this week. In celebration of the new Sol Ut Press web site, you can get a free eBook copy of two of my books Basic Music Theory: How to Read, Write, and Understand Written Music and Sound the Trumpet: How to Blow Your Own Horn. Tell your friends. I’ll be giving an unlimited number of eBook giveaways for the next month. When I’ve done this sort of thing the past, it usually works out to around 10,000 copies per month. I hope to break that record.