This post at Mighty Girl has me thinking.
For almost as long as I can remember, I've wanted to be a professional trombonist. There is a trail of evidence, not limited to this high school jazz awards photo, suggesting I worked hard to pursue this passion. I've fought through schooling to earn a piece of sheepskin telling people I've mastered music. (Cognitive dissonance, much?). If my initial goal was to be a musician, I'm already there.....sort of. The life's work part is a bit harder for me to understand.
As Desz explains in her Mighty Girl post, there is no end destination to this process. After years of learning to be goal-oriented in order to survive, I am trying to better understand what makes a life in music "worth it". For a while now, I've been sitting on a project idea that incorporates trombone chamber music recitals with donor drives for the national bone marrow donor registry. Details about this project will be forthcoming as soon as I can get out of my day-to-day brain and do some planning. More than any high-profile gig I might be lucky to play, this feels like my life's work.
But seriously, if I ever start think about growing out my bangs again, someone reference this photo, please.
After months of emails, phone calls using my bad Spanish, and hard work by Avenicio Nunez, the first Panama Trombone Workshop was a terrific success. Mark Kellogg gave a series of masterclasses that were attended by over 100 student and professional trombonists, culminating in a performance in the Teatro Nacional that included solo and chamber works with the trombone front and center.
It's easy for festivals of trombone to turn into self-congratulatory monuments to ego; one of the things I appreciate most about my Panamanian friends is their commitment to community. Avenicio and crew were eager to share their own talents with us in the spirit of learning more and creating more opportunities for Panamanian and American students to learn from each other.
Special thanks to Francisco Delvecchio and Gerardo Pinto for their hospitality and musicianship!