Lessons with Dick Sisto and Jim Rupp

This semester, Steve Houghton, my primary studio teacher is on a sabbatical. He just finished up a huge project in Washington DC yesterday performing with the US Army Band at Constitution Hall! I so wish I could have been there to watch him perform.

In his absence this semester, we have had two special guests so far. For the first month of the semester, vibist Dick Sisto shared his insights on Jazz. We worked on tunes including My Romance, A Night In Tunisia, Ceora, and Afternoon in Paris. I really enjoyed learning from him. He always said to keep the melody in mind while soloing, so that the audience will remember what tune you’re playing even though you’re not actually playing the melody.

This month, we’ve been hanging with Jim Rupp, who usually teaches at Ohio State University (he’s probably going to give us some heat for losing in basketball earlier this evening…). He got me started on an important tradition in drumming, a rudimental style, often associated with parade/marching/battlefield drumming. We’re working out of Wilcoxon’s book, The All American Drummer. I’ve found these solos to be challenging but fun; sight reading the intricate grace notes and rolls prove difficult, but once they’re worked up to par these little guys can really GROOVE!

That’s all for now…check in soon for some more news. Back to the woodshed for Shiney!!!