A couple weeks ago I did a Skype rehearsal with the jazz band from Ada-Borup HS in Minnesota. The students were a delight to interact with, and were working their butts off on my not-for-the-feint-at-heart Bohemian Rhapsody arrangement.
Their director Rich Tuttle just sent me the following local news story after the fact:
IN A NUTSHELL
On Tuesday, February 24th, high school band students at Ada-Borup were given the unique opportunity to interact with a nationally renown composer, Rick Hirsch. This composer offers a free 20 minutes Skype session with any group who purchases one of his songs. Richard Tuttle heard Mr. Hirsch’s arrangements of Bohemian Rhapsody at the closing of the 2014 MN All State Jazz Band concert. In his own words, “It brought the house down.”
Since then, the song has been on his mind and last fall, Mr. Tuttle brought the idea to his students, “ Would you be willing to tackle a college level jazz band song?” Their resounding “ Yes!” got the ball rolling. According to Richard Tuttle, “A piece of this difficulty is not only a stretch for my band students, but it is also a stretch for me. I’m learning right along side them and enjoying every minute of it.”
Mr. Tuttle and Mr. Hirsch set up the Skype session for a time close to their performance at the Music Ensemble Contest @ NCE in March. With the help of a laptop, a microphone, and a lot of trouble shooting, Ada-Borup was able to bring Mr. Hirsch to their rehearsal via Skype for twenty minutes.
QUOTES FROM SOME OF THE STUDENTS
Lexi Merkens, “I learned how to create a plunger-like sound on your saxophone.”
Luke Heitman, “Mr. Hirsch was really nice, understanding, and helpful...and really funny.”
Brooke Ruebke, “He taught me how to play in a different style that was right for Bohemian.”
FROM THE DIRECTOR
Richard Tuttle was just as pleased saying, “I applaud Mr. Hirsch for making himself and his music accessible to band students around the country, especially students in rural communities such as ours.”
MORE INFO ON SKYPING WITH RICK HIRSCH