Getting back into it
I was pretty busy back in the 80's and into the 90's playing, arranging, stepping in to help with production, copying parts - the old way, by hand in ink - and running a club date band. I left it all to go into ed at Mannes College of Music, first as the orchestra manager and ultimately running with chamber and orchestral programs.
In the last year, I've stepped away from that, and found myself reconnecting with some of the players I used to work with. In spite of the almost 30-year gap, it all feels very natural. So I started writing again. There are a lot of big bands out there these days, but they all seem to be huge: 9-10 brass, 5 reeds doubling everything, 4-5 rhythm players. I'm more comfortable with something more basic, 6 brass, 4 reeds with almost no doubling, 3 rhythm. I can write complicated lines, harmonies, etc., but a band this size really relies more on the personalities of the players than a larger group does. It feels lean, with nothing extra, and we can feature everyone. It really is all about the players.