The second of two visits to GRADIENTS Commissioning ensembles today was to Leslie High School, under the superb direction of Jake Greenwood. Jake is a fellow Spartan (dang if MSU doesn't churn out the exceptional music educators...) and has been at Leslie for 8 years. I was honestly blown away by their execution of this piece today. The Leslie HS Band was a joy to conduct, we spent the entire clinic working on advanced musical concepts, playing with the musical interpretation of 'Gradient', which we were able to do because their performance was nearly flawless (and I'm picky). Not only did they nail the piece, they were SILENT and focused throughout warmup and during our work together. This group is disciplined, talented and well-coached. Nothing but positive things going on in Leslie and there is a lot to be proud of. Congrats to Jake and the ensemble, and THANK YOU for supporting the production of this work!
(Bonus: Jake emailed last week asking if there was anything I needed for today's clinic, to which I sarcastically replied "nothing beyond the requisite bottle of Möet on ice, a selection of silk robes from which I will choose one to wear during the clinic, and a small chorus of sycophants to nod in agreement with my every word." They called my bluff. I love Band kids.)