Today we had a Wind Ensemble workshop at Vincent Massey Collegiate. I came into it expecting the usual - work on repertoire, learn some tricks about playing trumpet, stuff like that. I came out of the workshop with much more than I expected.
At the beginning of the workshop, Jackie Dawson (our conductor) gave us a talk on "Music: What's in it for me?". She talked about how music is a gift that we give, and how this gift is best when we give it away. She also talked about the passion that is in music, and about remembering that we love what we do. I was really inspired by this , and by the rest of the workshop.
The trumpets went off and had a sectional with Jeff Johnson, and he was a fantastic clinician. We actually didn't do a ton of playing, but he talked to us about music and teaching and making music. I probably got a lot more long-term valuable stuff out of this than I would have if we would have spent more time playing.
After this, we had a brass sectional with Steve Dyer - who is fantastic as well, but this was mostly "work on your parts" - but Steve is great as well.
And lastly, I had lunch (graciously provided by the U of M...I think), and then I had a repertoire test with Jackie Dawson. This is the part of the day that I will remember most, because I actually got to spend some time one-on-one with Jackie. And I was thoroughly impressed and humbled by her - somewhat by the fact that she is an amazing conductor and director, and knows her stuff through and through, and how to get her musicians to improve, but mostly because I could totally tell that she cares about me, and that she is genuinely happy to have me as a part of her ensemble. Even though she really only talked with me today, I was blown away by the fact that she knew who I was, and even knew some stuff about me, even though I had never told her.
This is what being a musician and a teacher is all about. Because of Jackie taking the time to find out a bit about me, I am now inspired to be the best I can be, and I genuinely feel like I belong in the ensemble.
Jackie Dawson has officially been added to my list of "People I Admire". You're probably not reading this, but, thank you, Jackie Dawson, for making me feel like I am important. I hope I can do the same for everyone else.