Just a quick update about three items I was pretty excited about while attending the Midwest Band clinic this year.   First, my good friend and fellow ME Blogger Travis J. Weller (The “Big Dog”), was in attendance greeting folks at his first year as a composer with FJH Music at the FJH booth in Chicago.   I have to tell you it was pretty cool to see him “working” the crowds.   This year FJH had a banner year for sales and I told him that the “chances were that it may or may not” be directly attributable to his amazing compositions now offered by them…  which is 100% true however you look at it… really!

In all seriousness though, Brian Balmages who is an outstanding composer has done a great job as the chief editor for FJH (and very savvy with regard to technology) and the works that he, Travis, Tim Loest and others at FJH are putting out are of the highest quality.  They should be on every-one’s list to peruse and perform.   Travis’ composition American Visions, is a must have for any library and I encourage you to see for yourselves.

My good friend Randall Foster, was in attendance with all the folks from the Naxos Music Library.  We had a number of discussions about some great and cool upcoming items/changes to expect from them in the new year.  Naxos is switching to a flash player for all their streaming and this will provide a much higher rate of stability and quality for all of their music streams (which are already good).  In addition, they are constantly adding to their already fantastic list of Wind and Concert Literature. 

The importance of our “kids” learning what about what real excellence is in music and band literature can not be understated.  I wrote a great article about this very topic here entitled, Citius, Altius, Fortius -Faster Higher, Stonger and would encourage all of you to read it.  Like me, Randall is a real SOB (Son of a Band Director -The famous Robert E. Foster, Composer and Conductor) as well as a fine musician and educator.  His intimate knowledge in the areas of concert bands and wind literature is one of the many reasons he is so good at what he does with Naxos.

Finally, a quick note about a great find at the last minute –bandfind.  This very well may be the answer to the “perfect” social network/utility for band directors.  This product touts complete event management, student management, communications abilities, storing and sharing of media, and database management (in a future update).   Better yet, if you sign up for it now (and tell them that mustech.net sent you ;) ) you’ll receive a lifetime of yearly renewals free.   This only applies to the first 700 organisations that sign up for it.  I plan to review this project and talk about it a couple of upcoming posts as well as interview their CEO and President Chris Purifoy in an upcoming podcast.  Take the full tour of Bandfind here.

That’s all for now, I’m getting ready to go home (There’s 8 inches of snow in Chicago!).  It’ll be a slow drive!


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