It is always strange to meet a new year and write /17, instead of /16.

The same was true for /16 from /15.

We always adjust.

The only constant…is change.

We survive the unfamiliar by making it familiar.


How many times in the last month have I heard people moan…”2016, what a terrible year! I cannot wait for it to be over!”? "Bring on 2017, it has to be better than 2016."


2016 was ‘a year.’ A year…much like any other with ups and downs, highs and lows, losses and gains, much like any other year. The year is in the eye of the beholder…for as many who were dissatisfied with 2016 an equal amount were satisfied…on second thought, it’s more likely in thirds…a third hated 2016 (poor, innocuous digits of 2-0-1-6), a third loved 2016 (lucky digits) and a third looked it as ‘a year.’ Of course, everyone I know believes vehemently in their third and cannot possibly admit there is any other valid point of view.


Those of you familiar with my welcome message know that I muse on whatever topics are on my mind at that very moment, whether they are music-related or life-related. When I write to you (as I am now) I am usually sitting at my home in Wisconsin while on a break from Indiana University, usually with a dog snoring next to me, blissfully unaware of my task yet somehow annoyed at my occasional stirring. Once school starts and meetings, hearings, recitals, auditions, letters of recommendation, etc., etc., etc. grab me, keeping current with this site becomes too much to deal with. Luckily, I have Jon Whitaker prodding me for this and that. I am grateful to him for maintaining the site and at some point I will write more blogs. As I mentioned earlier, when I get a break from school, I want a BREAK.



Jean-Michel Defaye (b. 1932) is a wonderful French composer who, among other significant trombone works, has written six short character pieces in the style of historically important composers. I have paired each of his “In the Manner of…” pieces with a work (or two shorter works) by the honored composer. This is a concept which I have been using on recitals for years and was finally able to set aside a few days to record them. The fun part, which proved at times quite challenging, was to find a piece or pieces to pair with Mssr. Defaye’s.


It was a challenging and rewarding week of recording. I hope you will find it enjoyable.


I think that is all for now. Enjoy the digits 2-0-1-7.

Your happiness is no one’s responsibility but yours.

Not even the digits in ‘a year.’