Sunday, October 09, 2005

Quick Followup...

To clarify and expand a couple of points from the last posting:

First of all, I really do understand the need to declare one's academic credentials. I just think that they really don't say all that much about our most personal and interesting qualities as musicians, composers, clamdiggers, or whatever we are. And it's certainly much easier to let your DMA from Cornell or somewhere do the talking about who you are...

Secondly, I am in favor of a flatter world—i.e. a world where the folks who are really doing the work get a fair share of the credit. So many individuals are doing stellar work out there—why do we only recognize a few? Why should I overemphasize Jacob Druckman in my bio, just because he's more famous, and I know that the people reading it will have heard of him? The fact is, it was Sullivan and Gruber who were in the trenches week after week with me as an undergrad comp student, and when I survey my musical values, it was they who had the defining influence. And this notion extends to every band teacher, chorus director and community music school instructor in our land, who labor simply because they love this art and thus devote themselves to the betterment of their students, with no thought of how it will affect their own careers or reputations.

I used to be ashamed of my modest musical background and its lack of "sophistication." Then (as a student at Nazareth College) I heard the music of Charles Ives, and I saw how he took similar musical experiences to what I'd had as I was growing up, and he turned them into great art. I realized that my heritage wasn't something to be ashamed of, but something to cherish and understand.

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