Category Archives: Travel Blog

2017 International Horn Symposium tour photo

A Run-Out to Brazil

Wesley Ferreira and Dr. John McGuire holding Brazil and USA's flagWell, this trip unexpectedly turned into quite the adventure! Clarinet Professor Wesley Ferreira and I left Colorado on Sunday, June 25, to head to Natal, Brazil for the 2017 International Horn Symposium, held at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN). This is the largest single French horn event in the entire world each year, and receiving an invite to perform at it is highly competitive. I have been lucky, though, because I work with such terrific musicians and colleagues!

Wesley and I discussed the possibility of going to the symposium back in the fall of 2016 with an idea for a new piece for horn, clarinet, and piano. We brought the request to our composer at CSU, Jim David, who was very excited and set to work on it right away. The result is what Wesley and I believe will be a fabulous addition to the repertoire, Batuque. The two-movement piece is based on traditional Brazilian folk music, with the 1st movement being lyrical in nature and the 2nd movement being highly rhythmic and percussive.

Dr. John McGuire playing hornOur flight from Denver to Atlanta went well, as did our flight from Atlanta to Sao Paolo. However, once we got to Sao Paolo things started to go a bit awry. We ended up missing our last flight to Natal and were delayed by an extra 12 hours! This turned our 24 hour travel day into a 36 hour travel day, and needless to say, we were both fairly tired when we finally got to our hotel at 1:30 in the morning on Tuesday.

With as long as that day was, the five hours of sleep that we were able to get seemed to fly by as we had to get up early on Tuesday in order to rehearse with our accompanist for our performance. But, no matter how tired we were, being in an exotic location, as well as having the opportunity to premiere a really terrific piece, gave us all the energy we needed. That, combined with some really strong Brazilian coffee!

Our performance was on Thursday at noon and it couldn’t have gone better! The hall was packed and the audience was incredibly receptive and genuinely excited after hearing Jim’s wonderful piece! We had numerous people come up to us afterwards, asking how they could to get a copy of Batuque. So, Jim, you may be having to answer a lot of emails from excited horn players!

Another thing that I would like to mention about this symposium, as well as almost all of the others I have been to over the course of my career, is just how thoroughly excited and inspired I usually find myself immediately after the event is over. And this symposium did not disappoint! Any time you get to hear some of the truly elite players in the horn world is a wonderful thing. One concert in particular stood out to us. The Wednesday evening concert featured such horn luminaries as Jeff Nelsen, Frank Lloyd, Abel Pereira, Kristina Mascher-Turner, and Marie-Louise Neunecker. This one program included both Richard Strauss horn concerti as well as Schumann’s Konzertstück for Four Horns and Orchestra. The world-class horn playing left Wesley and me speechless! Any of you horn players out there know just how massive this program was, and after all that wonderful horn playing, the orchestra closed the concert with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture! I can’t wait to get home and practice my own horn!

two men playing clarinetsLastly, I would be remiss if I did not make special mention of my colleague Wesley Ferreira. Not only was this a thoroughly enjoyable artistic experience with him, but it is refreshing to see all of his hard work and dedication to his craft pay off, especially in a foreign land. When the faculty at UFRN heard that he was going to be in Natal, they immediately contacted him and asked him to do a master class at the University. Word on the street here is that he is quite well-known in Brazil…even though he has never been here! His master class was both engaging and entertaining, and the students clearly learned a lot from him. What clarinet player goes to a horn symposium and steals the show?! I’ll tell you who – my colleague, Wes Ferreira!

Next year’s International Horn Symposium will be held at Ball State University In Muncie, Indiana. It will be the 50th annual IHS. Maybe I will see you there!

~ Written by Dr. John McGuire, CSU Horn Professor

John McGuire pictured performing in Russia

Fortress Brass Returns to St. Petersburg

Well, here we are! Another year, another Fortress Brass tour! After a year off, we’ve come back to St. Petersburg, Russia as part of the Brass Autumn Music Festival.

  • St. Petersburg 2016 Tour photo
    First day in St. Petersburg, Russia. I am very tired from traveling, but had a good rehearsal with the orchestra.

It’s always so much fun to go on adventures, especially with this group. But, as enjoyable as a tour is, I always feel the hardest part is the initial journey to your destination. We flew for 24 hours, had two connections, and had to eat airline food for multiple meals. And the hardest part is that after all of this, we had to get off the plane and go directly into a rehearsal with an orchestra. My piece, the Concerto in E-flat by Christoph Forster, is hard enough when you’re well rested, but after a long travel day…oy!

That’s when you have to rely on your preparation and trust your training!

This particular concert involved each of the five of us playing solos with the orchestra and then playing several brass quintets for a packed hall. Having been over here before, we learned that with as much as the Russian audiences appreciate good classical tunes, they really are into jazz music, especially Dixieland, which happens to be a staple of our repertoire. They clapped along with several of our tunes and demanded encores! It was so invigorating to feel such appreciation for what we do! Afterwards, we signed a lot of autographs, took lots of pictures, and visited for a long time. Music really is transcendent!

More on some of our other experiences soon! Stay tuned!

~ John McGuire
Assistant Professor of Horn

Kids Do It All Todos Santos

Kids Do It All – A Beautiful Collaboration and Exchange

Gabriela Ocádiz, CSU Alum (’15), M.M., Music Education
PhD student in Music Education at Western Ontario University

My experience with Kids Do it All in Todos Santos has always been enriching in many senses, particularly professionally and personally.

The purpose of the program, in my own words, is to give opportunities for children to express themselves – their thoughts, feelings, and personal life – through storytelling, theater, music, and art. It is a different educational proposal because we take everything that the kids come up with and help them transform it into a play; we do not intend to teach them what to do, but we facilitate the space for them to build whatever they want. All of what they know, and who they are, is welcome, accepted, and applauded. The outcome, and the process, is different every time because neither the counselors nor the students know where their ideas are going to end up. Their imagination, their daily experiences with others, has the possibility to be recreated and transformed specially through theater, and this provides an amazing learning experience for all of us.

During my time at CSU, I discovered this way of learning, and it provided me with the opportunity to work on a program such as Kids Do It All (KDIA) in my home country. The ability to communicate with people, writing, and planning were skills that I learned through different activities at CSU. Leading this program helped me understand that nothing can be possible if it is not through the work of a strong community, in Colorado and in Todos Santos.

My experience leading the camp was challenging, but highly rewarding. There is always a feeling of accomplishment that comes from months of work, combined with the sadness of knowing that the days of playing, singing, acting, and laughing will come to an end!

  • Kids Do It All Todos Santos

If the program ends with children laughing and playing – dressed up like princesses, lions, monkeys, or kings of the world – the program has achieved the goals of helping kids realize that they can do, and be, whatever they want in life; that what they have to say is important; and that there are people who will love to hear it. As a music teacher and personally, KDIA helps me remember that there is still much more to do to give even more children the opportunity to have an experience such as this.

This program has the characteristic of being bilingual and bicultural. Mexican children share the experience with children from Colorado to achieve a common goal. Since last year, the program added one more level by inviting students from the Universidad Autonóma de Baja California Sur (UABSC) to work together with the CSU counselors, and I also lead those students; being originally from Mexico and having lived abroad, another level was added to this cultural engagement.

One of the things that spoke a lot to me this year was the amazing work, flexibility, and care that the counselors had with the children. Many of them did not speak fluent Spanish, but were willing to try the best they could to communicate with their groups. Communication is complicated when you do not speak the native language, therefore, communication comes in a circus of movements, drawings, signs, and sounds to be able to understand each other, and the outcome is beautiful to observe.

A story I can share is when a group of Mexican girls wanted to talk to an American girl. They asked me to translate to English several times and they were able to share a bit. Later, one of the girls asked me to read a letter she wrote in English (with the help of google translate) to see if it was good enough to give to her friend. I was moved by the way something that appears limiting, such as the difficulty of communication, was not a limit anymore. The girl who received the letter was really excited to know someone had such an interest in communicating with her, and said that no one had done something like that for her before.

We are living in a really complex world where difficulties and differences are not praised but diminished. This program is a combination of efforts between a colorful town in Mexico, and a mountain city in the United States, for both countries’ children. As a teacher, I believe it is a powerful program and proof of a different possibility for collaboration, communication, and sharing.

Rams in Europe – CSU Chamber Choir Tour

  • 2015 Chamber Choir Tour photo
    The group after the nine hour flight from Atlanta to Munich, Germany.

This summer, CSU’s Chamber Choir went on an eleven-day European tour to Bratislava, Salzburg, Vienna, Eisenstadt, and Prague. The excellent reputation earned the ensemble an invitation to participate in the 2015 International Youth Music Festival in Bratislava, Slovakia. The invitation also brings with it opportunities to sing in historic concert halls, cathedrals, and outdoor venues across Europe.

Music therapy graduate student and choir member, Sarah Folsom, has a passion for photography and created an incredible photo journal of the trip. While looking at the photos, enjoy Music Education alum, and choir member, Dean Reiger’s recording of the concert in Vienna.


Our Bond is Beautiful Music

Colorado State University Special Assistant Professor of Horn, John McGuire, is currently traveling in Russia by special invitation, as a member of Fortress Brass Quintet.

Eurail platform

After a 4 hour train ride on Sunday, we arrived in Moscow from St. Petersburg. We have been very fortunate to have great weather almost the entire trip. Normally,  it is pretty cold here by this time of year, but it is unseasonably warm and we Americans love it!

Fortress Brass in Moscow

Fortress Brass in Moscow

Our time in Moscow included a little sightseeing, but centered on a day of rehearsals for our final performance on Tuesday evening. Everything went smoothly, as expected. When you tour, it can be very tiresome to be out of your norm, but rehearsals become a time when your balance is restored and you get rejuvenated, and that certainly has been the case for the Fortress Brass!

street sign to the Moscow Conservatory

On Monday, we had a masterclass at the Moscow Conservatory, where we heard some tremendous young college age students. It is always interesting to see how, in spite of language and cultural barriers, we are always able to effectively work with these musicians. Words aren’t always needed! And they are so interested in our views that many students stay long after the masterclass to talk to us and ask about anything and everything, through an interpreter if course!

Dan Cherry, Fortress Brass trombonist, and a Moscow Conservatory student.

Dan Cherry, Fortress Brass trombonist, and a Moscow Conservatory student.

Tuesday evening we performed for the final time on this tour, this time at Rachmaninov Hall at the conservatory. We were one of several groups on this opening concert for the annual Brass Days Festival, where we performed Bach and American composer Arthur Frackenpohl, which was completely new to the Russian audience. The response was tremendous and completely thrilling!

Lobby to Rachmaninov Hall at the Moscow Conservatory.

Lobby to Rachmaninov Hall at the Moscow Conservatory.

But I must say, the coolest part of the evening for us was listening to all of the other groups on the concert, which were made up of the top professional brass players in all of Russia. They play with such power and authority that it is truly mind boggling – it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up!

Fortress Brass Quintet John McGuire 2014 Tour Photo

Afterwards, there was a reception with everyone who performed, and our host here in Moscow, Vladislav Lavrik – principal trumpet of the Russian National Orchestra and a leading international soloist – said in a toast that “despite all of the differences our cultures might have, we all are here for the same reason: to make beautiful music.” That is our bond and that is something we will always have. So, as I prepare to return to the U.S., I keep that in mind. Music is our bond. It transcends race, culture, politics. ..everything!  And that is a comforting thought, don’t you think?

~ submitted by Dr. John McGuire, Assistant Professor of Horn

What Words Cannot

CSU Horn Professor, Dr. John McGuire is traveling in Russia as a member of Fortress Brass. The quintet is performing and teaching masterclasses for the Wind Music Seasons International project, held throughout the year since 2003, as a component of the annual Romantic Trumpet International Festival. As the festival grew, it added traditional concerts of American soloists and brass quintets, called American Brass Autumn, to its offerings. We are enjoying Dr. McGuire’s blog entries from Russia!

Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace

Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace

10.10.14 – Tonight we performed at the Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace in the heart of Saint Petersburg, a 200 year old palace that has also served as a hospital and now a concert hall. We shared the concert with a local band called The Defílé Brass, a group that specializes is popular music arranged for brass ensemble. They really got the crowd going with their exciting performance!

Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace performance hall.

Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace performance hall.

The Fortress Brass’ part of the show was just as exciting, focused on popular music of an older generation – Dixieland and the Roaring 20s! This was by far the largest audience we have had in Saint Petersburg and moreso than anything else, what I noticed was that it was such a varied crowd. There were families with young children who were clapping along with our tunes, elderly people who were just grinning from ear to ear with our standards from a bygone era, and every age in between.

Fortress Brass

Fortress Brass

In fact, there was one lovely elderly lady that came. She only spoke a few words of English, but it was quite clear what she was there to see. It was us! She comes to hear us perform every year when we are in Saint Petersburg, and she always comes up to say hi, and let us know how much she has been looking forward to hearing us. How utterly beautiful is that?! She even brought each of us a gift, a wonderful calendar with pictures from Russia. Somehow, I think I may keep that calendar well beyond its date of expiration!

Catherine's Palace

Catherine’s Palace

The sights and history of Saint Petersburg are astounding (like a visit to Catherine’s Palace), but the reason I have every intention of returning to perform here is simply for the people. Politics are nothing. People are people. And these wonderful Russian people welcome us, and embrace what we do with open arms and open hearts. Music expresses what words cannot.

Fortress Brass

Fortress Brass

Tomorrow is an off day, then on to Moscow! We will have a couple of rehearsal days and will teach masterclasses at the Moscow Conservatory before performing as part of the annual Brass Days music festival! More soon!

~ submitted by Dr. John McGuire, Assistant Professor of Horn

From Masterclasses to Mahler to Madame at the Mariinsky

Colorado State University Special Assistant Professor of Horn, John McGuire, is currently traveling in Russia by special invitation, as a member of Fortress Brass Quintet.

Saint Petersburg Music Academy masterclass.

Saint Petersburg Music Academy masterclass.

Today I spent the day with my colleagues in the Fortress Brass as we taught masterclasses and gave a short recital for the students at the Saint Petersburg Music Academy. These students are pre-college age and showed us that there is a tremendous amount of musical talent in the younger generation here in Russia. They performed for us collectively as a brass ensemble, playing an arrangement of part of Mahler ‘s Kindertotenlieder and later individuals on each instrument volunteered to play for each of us in front of a large audience.

Saint Petersburg Music Academy masterclass.

Saint Petersburg Music Academy masterclass.

As a pedagogue, I have to be honest, these students, while still young, displayed a tremendous amount of maturity and musical acumen. They each had things that needed attention, but it was very refreshing to see just how eager and capable they were to hear our perspectives and to implement them quickly. You hear so often in our media about the Arts dying, but I can assure you that they are alive and well and quite secure for the future over here in Russia! How wonderful  to see!

Fortress Brass and students from the St. Petersburg Music Academy.

Fortress Brass and students from the St. Petersburg Music Academy.

After that,  the Fortress Brass performed a short recital, including several standards from the Baroque period as well as jazz standards. The audience was quite enthusiastic and eager to hear more, especially the jazz tunes.

Madame Butterfly at the Mariinsky Theatre.

Madame Butterfly at the Mariinsky Theatre.

And lastly, as a sign of appreciation for our efforts, members of the Academy’s faculty gave us tickets to tonight’s performance of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly at the famed Mariinsky Theatre! As I said before, the Russian people have shown time and again how kind, generous, and appreciative they are.

~ Submitted by John McGuire, Special Assistant Professor of Horn at Colorado State University

Expect the Unexpected

Colorado State University Special Assistant Professor of Horn, John McGuire, is currently traveling in Russia by special invitation, as a member of Fortress Brass Quintet. Over the next two weeks, he’ll share his touring and teaching experiences with us.

From John McGuire:

Experience has taught me that when traveling, expect the unexpected. As I headed out to travel to St. Petersburg, Russia last Thursday, I was supposed to have connections in NYC and Paris. But due to a baggage truck hitting our plane and knocking a hole in it, I had to be rerouted through Detroit (where I ran full speed with my horn to make my flight) then through Amsterdam. Still, I made it to St. Petersburg only a couple of hours later than planned, and was able to catch up with my quintet, the Fortress Brass, before our first rehearsal.

Fortress Brass rehearsing in their hotel conference room.

Fortress Brass rehearsing in their hotel conference room.

Our first concert was a gala event at the historic Cappella Concert Hall. This hall is part of a former palace just a block away from the Hermitage and Revolutionary Square. The concert included the Fortress Brass performing several jazz standards (of which the Dixieland tunes were by far the audience favorite!), solo Baroque concertos (including my performance of the Telemann Horn Concerto), and a second half that featured a Russian military band.

John McGuire warming up for his performance of the Telemann Horn Concerto.

John McGuire warming up for his performance of the Telemann Horn Concerto.

The hall was packed, and the audience was was enthused! At one point, the concert organizer came to the microphone and talked about how special and important it is for people from both our countries to come together and collaborate. The audience enthusiastically applauded and was clearly appreciative of everyone on stage.


This is now my second trip to Russia and I have found the people here to be absolutely wonderful, warm, and gracious. Russian musicians are just like musicians anywhere. They have the same humor, the same artistic ideals, the same work ethic. And the audiences love hearing the music we bring to them, music they don’t usually get to hear. Whatever the political climate may be, I can tell you that the Russian people are wonderful beyond description. I hope you all can experience their rich culture and society someday!

Shaped by the experience

In addition to the Colorado State University Faculty Chamber Winds performing at the MidEurope Festival for Wind Music in Schladming, Austria, CSU music education major and percussionist Spencer Poston also participated in the festival as a member of the World Youth Wind Orchestra Project.

Spencer Poston and Richard Frey wait for the marching band exhibition to begin.

Spencer Poston and Richard Frey wait for the marching band exhibition to begin.

Initially, Spencer wasn’t sure about applying for the ensemble when his professor, Dr. Richard Frey, CSU associate director of bands, recommended it last fall, but seeing how his face lit up as he reflected on his experience, it’s clear he made the right choice!

Founded in 1997, the World Youth Wind Orchestra Project (WYWOP) is an “intense musical week” for high school age to young adult musicians, and a cornerstone of the MidEurope Festival. “[It’s] a very special wind ensemble that pulls performers from all parts of the world,” described conductor Dr. Kevin Sedatole, who is director of bands, professor of music, and chair of the conducting area at the Michigan State University College of Music. “Spencer was part of a fairly large United States presence in the group.”

Dr. Kevin Sedatole and Spencer Poston (1)

Dr. Kevin Sedatole and Spencer Poston

Spencer found out in mid-April that his application had been accepted and he spent much of June rehearsing the music on his own. Although the CSU junior went to Ireland with the Marching Band in 2013, it was his first time traveling alone and he was understandably nerve wracked, arriving in Schladming on July 6 and jumping right into rehearsals. “I didn’t know anyone and was the only student from Colorado,” he said. “But everyone was so welcoming and friendly.”

With the majority of members coming from Austria, Germany, and America, rounded out by students from Australia, Japan, Spain, and Canada, along with Austrian and American conductors, Spencer was pleasantly surprised that musically, communication wasn’t an issue. “The main difference was the tuning pitch of A=442 instead of 440, so the pitch is higher,” he explained. “Other than that, it was easy to go into rehearsals.”

The World Youth Wind Orchestra Project

The World Youth Wind Orchestra Project, performing under the direction of Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant.

Dr. Sedatole agreed. “I watched Spencer interact with his new found colleagues in the percussion section. You could tell from the very beginning that even though there might be a verbal language barrier that there was definitely not a musical language barrier.”

Within the varied repertoire, which was performed at the festival’s final concert, Spencer’s favorite piece was Steven Bryant’s concerto for alto saxophone, with Dr. Joseph Lulloff, professor of saxophone at the Michigan State University College of Music, as the soloist. “It was cool to play Bryant’s music because he was there and his wife Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant, (visiting assistant professor of the practice of music at Duke University) was the conductor, so they knew exactly how they wanted the music to sound,” said Spencer. “Plus I’ve never seen anyone play like Dr. Lulloff does…unbelievable!”

Spencer Poston and Steven Bryant

Spencer Poston and Steven Bryant.

As the week progressed, Spencer realized how much he was learning about conducting and rehearsing. “I didn’t expect this, but with five guest conductors it was remarkable to see all their techniques and working ways.”

Specifically, how they worked differently with the baton gave Spencer tools for the future. “I learned how to bring out sounds in the ensemble, you don’t tell the group, you need to show them,” he enthused. “I got something from each of them, and as an ed major, this was awesome!”

What came to the surface during my conversation with Spencer was how this experience circles back to his time at CSU. “I wouldn’t have appreciated all the conductors’ differences without looking at it through a music ed perspective,” mused Spencer. “I wouldn’t have noticed all the viewpoints if it hadn’t been for Dr. Frey and Dr. Erik Johnson, CSU assistant professor of music education encouraging and motivating me to want to be an educator.”


With new friends Jonathan Villela and Katie Duncan.

Spencer seemed to have gained clarity about his future teaching goals and is looking ahead to graduate school for conducting. “I made some really good friends in the span of one week, which is kind of crazy, but they had similar goals and I got along with them immediately.”

“It was fun to see him interact with a very international section,” remembered Sedatole. “Spencer was an integral part of this section.”

“If I can get the money, I will go back next year,” concluded Spencer. And from the sound of it, WYWOP would gladly have him back!

~ posted by Jennifer Clary

A student’s look back…look ahead.

On the train ride from Salzburg, Austria to Sopron, Hungary, I sat down with one of the CSU Faculty Chamber Winds’ oboists, CSU alumni Shane Werts (’13, Music Ed), to talk about the past year, the tour, and his future as a musician.

Shane Werts performs with the ensemble at the MidEurope Music Festival.

Shane Werts performs with the ensemble at the MidEurope Music Festival.

Shane spent the 2013-14 school year teaching band and choir at Gypsum Creek Middle School in Eagle County, Colo., and really enjoyed the experience. “I grew a lot last year – being in front of 40 kids everyday pushed my maturity and leadership. Even teaching middle school concepts, my musicianship increased through demonstrations on my instrument, and daily practice after school.”

During his time in Gypsum, Shane knew that he wanted to continue his studies, this time in oboe performance. In Jan. and Feb. of 2014, he auditioned at Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music, Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, and University of Iowa.

During our conversation, Shane reflected on the audition process, noting that some schools had a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, while others were much more intense. “A few schools had ‘stress free’ zones with coloring books and conversation between those auditioning, while others required complete silence.”

The ensemble performing the festival's opening concert.

The ensemble performing the festival’s opening concert.

Shane challenged himself to keep nerves in check, especially the weekend he had three auditions – Rochester, Cincinnati, and Cleveland – in a row.

It is apparent that this delightful and unassuming CSU grad kept it together as incredibly, he was accepted to all five schools, ultimately selecting Indiana for his Master’s in Oboe Performance. “In the end, after considering the teachers and financials, the feel of the audition experience really influenced my decision.”

Prior to the CSU Faculty Chamber Winds’ tour, Shane had not been out of the country and jumped at the chance to play. “The trip has been awesome! Everyone on this tour are people I look up to, and I had really enjoyed playing with the ensemble on the Mozart and Rossini pieces during my senior year.” “It’s an honor to be here,” he added.

Additionally, Shane recognized that master’s students are expected to be productive during the summer. “Everyone seems to be at summer festivals, and I’m playing on a tour in Europe, it’s important.”

Shane playing the clarinet

Starting with his decision to major in Music Ed, people associated with CSU were an important influence. “In high school, I didn’t have a clue, I was pretty lost, but I really respected my first private teacher and my high school teacher. Erik Johnson (now Assistant Professor of Music Education at CSU) was always so happy and that inspired me. John Hermanson (CSU ’08, Master of Music, Conducting/Music Education) really helped me figure out where to go.”

Lessons prompted by experiences at Colorado State University are prominent in Shane’s story. “At CSU, I learned that it is important to be a humble person because everyone starts somewhere. I never made an all-state band or orchestra in high school, and seeing [fellow student] Tony Fredrico accepted to the navy band was motivating because Tony didn’t even start playing until high school. I also remember being at the national double reed convention and saying to Dr. Moody (professor of double reeds and theory), ‘Those people all play better than me, but I can do better than that.’ It became an indicator of what to strive for.”

The CSU Faculty Chamber Winds delight crowds at Mirabell Garden in Salzburg.

The CSU Faculty Chamber Winds delight crowds at Mirabell Garden in Salzburg.

Looking ahead to life at Indiana University, Shane expects a big department to be very different. “I’ve heard it is competitive, although the oboe teacher fosters a friendly studio environment.”

After talking to Shane, I have no doubt that this CSU grad will succeed, even flourish, at the graduate level. He mentioned that through multiple summer jobs, he’s always paid for his own instruments and equipment. This past summer he bought a car, a gouger (the most expensive oboe tool which thins tube cane, the first step in making reeds), and saved enough rent for the entire next year.

“I’ve enjoyed working with Shane,” chimed in Gary Moody, who had been quietly listening to our conversation. “He was one of those students who came in every week sounding better, which you can’t always say about every student.”

Shane as saxophone section leader in the CSU Marching Band.

Shane as saxophone section leader in the CSU Marching Band.

Shane’s reaction to his CSU experience is very positive. “I learned how to teach, became proficient on my instrument, had many performance opportunities, and was tenor saxophone section leader in Marching Band. And at CSU, Dr. Moody is where it is at,” Shane enthused about his teacher.

“CSU is a great place to start and grow, and it is getting even better. I would go there again for sure…if I had to do it again, I would choose CSU, hands down!”

Best wishes Shane!

~ posted by Jennifer Clary