From left: Andrew Glendening, Tim Higgins, Michael Mulcahy, Randall Hawes, and Gene Pokorny.
On July 8, the sound of tubas and trombones will fill the School of Music as the Pokorny Low Brass Seminar begins.
“This is held here every year,” Dr. Andrew Glendening, dean of the School of Music, said. “Gene Pokorny, a tuba player in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, was here in the 1970s and finished at USC. He came back and we have him an honorary degree during the Centennial, and he has always given back and credited his experiences here at Redlands as being a key foundation of his success.”
The seminar will run through July 13, and feature master classes, lectures and recitals. In addition to Pokorny, Michael Mulcahy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Randall Hawes of the Detroit Symphony, and Glendening will participate in the event.
“People audition with tapes to be performers in master classes, and this year there are 32 performers,” Glendening said. “We have had high school students, a man on his second career after working in the corporate world, doctoral students, and members of military bands. It’s a real mix of different people, and the level has been extraordinarily high.”
During the day, conference attendees and auditors will explore topics that are useful to them as musicians, such as the art of listening. At night, they will present free concerts; this year, 40 to 50 tuba players will perform in a compline with an organist onstage in the Memorial Chapel.
“It’s in July and the Chapel has no air conditioning, but we trade that for acoustics,” Glendening said.
Although the sessions are intense and the work demanding, there are several lighthearted activities scheduled as well.
“We don’t want things to get too serious, and one of Gene’s big things is he is an avid stargazer, so we usually have an astronomy night,” Glendening said. “Once during the middle of a recital we had everyone go out and see the International Space Shuttle go over.”
According to Glendening, the Pokorny Low Brass Seminar just gets bigger – and better – every year.
“It’s a cool thing for the University,” he said. “A lot of people ask, ‘Where is Redlands? Up north?’ After doing this seminar for five, six years now…people are saying, ‘We’re there. We know Redlands.’”
Posted: June 28, 2013
Written by: Catherine Garcia