2017: A Year in Review

2017 has come and gone.  I think as you get older time speeds up.  The years start to go by so quickly.  Or maybe your memory starts to fade.  It still seems like yesterday Rebecca and I were loading a Uhaul in Iowa, wait… no, Georgia, wait…no Florida.  We have sure moved a lot but it all has become a blur…just like 2017.

I wanted to take a second to reflect and highlight the year that was 2017.  It sure had its ups and downs but I am ready for what 2018 will bring.

High points:

  • Performances
    • Collaborations
      • Full Horn and Percussion recital program and tour with Dr. Kristine Coreil to the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University
      • Duo music
        • Song Book for Alto Sax and Marimba by David Maslanka with Dr. Paul Forsyth (alto sax)
        • Histoire du Tango by Astor Piazzolla with Dr. Andre Kurti (violin)
        • Grand Union by Charles Wuorinen with Paul Christopher (cello)
        • buttonwood by Evan Chapman with Cher Anabo (dance)
      • Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich with NSU faculty and students
      • Sugarmill Music Festival with the newly formed 2×2 Percussion with Joe Moore III, Greg Lyons, and Mel Mobley.
    • A full recital of the percussion music of Marc Mellits (at NSU and the Brownsville Marimba Festival)
    • Performed Gravity by Marc Mellits and presented a lighting talk on phone apps at the National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy at the University of Arkansas.
    • Performed a solo recital at BrainSurge in Alexandria.  I hope I can get out into the community more and perform at different venues.
  • Omojo Percussion Duo back at it again!
    • Joe and I have played off and on since we started the duo in 2014 but this year we had our most productive year.  Performed at the Sugarmill Music Festival, UCF Percussion Institute, and a weeklong tour in TX and LA.
  • PASIC 17
    • Presented for the first time at PASIC on Keyboard sight-reading fundamentals.
    • Helped organize and run the PASIC Rudiment Training sessions.
    • Performed lead pan with the PASIC mass steel band new literature session.
  • Presented 3 different sessions at LMEA, all on the same day.  One was a panel discussion on percussion pedagogy, one on student teaching, and the last one on surviving your first year of teaching.
  • Recruited at 3 different music education conferences (FMEA, TMEA, LMEA) and at the LMCGPC Championships
  • Had a successful second percussion ensemble tour with 8 of my students.  We visited the Houston area.
  • Rebecca and I bought our first house!
  • Became godparents to Baby Sofia. 🙂

Low points:

  • On January 15, our beautiful lake house rental caught on fire and we lost pretty much everything.  I plan to write another post on the anniversary of this tragedy but it has been a slow rebuilding process since then.
  • This summer I started to experience tendonitis in my right elbow. I think it was from working out too hard but it has affected my playing and my ability to practice.  I am seeking out options to get it fixed but it has been a persistent problem since.
  • Lastly, on November 30 we found out that our baby girl, Annabelle, had widespread cancer in her stomach and surrounding areas.  To save her from the pain we decided to put her down.  It was the worst day ever!   She was the sweetest puppy ever and she was so young and had a long life yet to live.  Time has been the best healer but there are still days when things are hard.

So that was my 2017 in a nutshell, lots of good bullet points that I am grateful for but life is a rollercoaster, full of its ups and downs.  I am definitely glad 2017 is over and that 2018 has started.  Hopefully, this year will bring about more high points and no, or few, low points.




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