David Bowie Tribute Concert!

12670338_242109489469387_3358644400611880339_nThe Calypso Group hired a bunch of us musicians to learn two sets worth of David Bowie music, and we did it! It was a great experience to be part in a band with some of my favorite musicians:

  • Rob San Agustin – Drums
  • Bert Delgado – Bass
  • Mike Hartendorp – Guitar/Vocals
  • Rich Borja – Guitar/Vocals
  • …and myself on Keys/Sax/Flute

We also had a couple guest singers come on stage for a few sings: John Leon Guerrero and Edgar Flores.

Many of us weren’t really Bowie fans getting into this. I think Mike was the only one who listened to Bowie extensively. The rest of us are definitely big fans now after putting on the show. Some videos will be coming up soon with footage from the event. Stay tuned!

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Guam Symphony Society Presents Dvorak’s New World Symphony

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Probably one of the most rewarding concerts I’ve had the honor of playing for! I got called in last minute to fill in for 2nd oboe (thanks to my student Jia Jia for letting me borrow her nice oboe). We’re going to be playing Liszt’s Preludes, Dvorak’s New World Symphony, and Rodrigo’s Guitar Concerto (performed by Guam’s own Dave Duenas).

I think my favorite part about this concert though is playing alongside Kendra Johnson. She got her master’s degree in Oboe performance, and I’ve never played with anyone with such a beautiful tone. She’s also super friendly and full of great information and loves to share advice, so it’s been just a great experience overall. Check out her website at http://www.kendrajohnsonmusic.com!

Performance dates are February 27 at 7:30pm and February 28 at 3:00pm at Lotte Hotel Guam.

Concert Band Recording at Cars Plus!

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I, alongside PBS, spent my Sunday recording the Guam Territorial Band and Guam Honor Band at the Cars Plus showroom in Maite. I used about 10 mics this time instead of the usual 2-4 that I use.

I mic’ed the front with two condensers as well as two floor mics. I then mic’ed the entire percussion section for added clarity. I brought my 24 channel mixer though, so if the space permitted, I would have used more mics…especially since the trumpets weren’t really coming into the mix.

It was a new and fun learning experience for me regardless :) The recording was for a telethon to be aired on PBS Guam (Channel 12) Thursday night, April 30, from 7pm to midnight. Enjoy!

Guam Symphony Society Presents The Music of Amadeus

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Catch the Guam Symphony Society at Southern High School Auditorium (GATE Theater) this weekend!

  • Saturday, April 11, 7pm
  • Sunday, April 12, 3pm

I’m playing 1st trombone on a couple of the pieces, and honestly, it’s giving me a real run for my money, because well, I can’t read tenor clef all that well (getting better though), and also because the notes are insanely high! I’m usually hovering between High F and double High Bb, sometimes going lower, and rarely even going higher. Coming from a sax player, it’s quite challenging, but I’m always down for a challenge >:)

See you there!

Student Recital A Success!

10863894_10202922090925476_8354611684756712762_oThe student recital was a major success! All of Dr. Stephen Bednarzyk’s and my students did a wonderful job.

It was also the first time I had my recital in a bigger venue (in the UOG Theater rather than the FA127 classroom). I think it made some of my students more nervous, but overall they took it really well! There wasn’t too much of an audience, so there wasn’t too much pressure on them.

I love putting recitals on for my students because it makes them work and practice towards a goal, but at the same time, I am really glad it’s over. Time to enjoy my break!

Merry Christmas everyone :)

GTB 38th Anniversary Concert

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This was probably one of the greatest musical events held on Guam by a local non-profit. It started out with a small VIP cocktail party with drinks and food. There was also a pretty cool photobooth that gave away frames with your pictures.

You know, it’s actually been a while since the event, and I wish I had blogged about it right away. The truth of the matter is, though, that I was busy doing sound during the event that I missed most of it.

The sum up, it was a very classy and well attended event. The music by the GTB was some of the hardest we’ve ever played, and we managed to pull it off. In between GTB’s set, Cantate came up to do a few Chicago tunes from their concert not too long ago.

We also had major support from big names on the island, and we spread the word that GTB has one main mission: to ensure that music education keeps growing on Guam.

Personally, it was one of the most musically rewarding concerts I have ever played for. It was probably mostly because I played some really hard pieces on trombone, an instrument I picked up not too long ago, and did a pretty good job if I do say so myself!

Anyway, to the future of music education!

GATE Theater – Grease Cancelled

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I am so mad. There was air conditioning issues with the Southern High School auditorium which is home to GATE Theater. The parts are there, but they aren’t able to make the repairs until next week. Because of this, they had to cancel the last couple nights of Grease.

There are no words. Hundreds and hundreds of cumulative hours of work had gone into putting together this show, but now they had to cut the run short all on a count that GovGuam and DOE can’t get their act straight.

They had better not run the auditorium into the ground again. It was closed for almost 10 years in the past because they didn’t know how to upkeep it. This is the best auditorium that Guam has, and it would be a shame for it to go away again.

Beyond The Box – Guam

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I’ve been buying my Macs and other Apple Products on eBay for years now. Sometimes, I’ll even buy straight from the Apple online store.

Neither has been ideal for me though. With eBay, sometimes, you never know what you’re going to get. Luckily, I haven’t had a problem with that yet. With the Apple online store, they don’t ship to Guam. So, not only do you have to pay tax (which hurts, by the way), you have to pay extra shipping to use a forwarding company (I use Aloha Forwarding, which runs on the expensive side).

So you can imagine my excitement when I heard there was an official Apple reseller chain opening on Guam.

I visited the store twice this weekend. It’s beautiful, just like an original Apple Store. There were plenty of things to play with, and they had everything on display. The staff was very helpful and friendly too, greeting you as you enter and answering any questions you might have.

You’d think the pricing would be high, especially for Guam, right? Nope! The prices are PHENOMINAL! They pretty much charge the same price as the the Apple Store, adding 4% GRT. This is way cheaper than what you would spend buying a new item anywhere in the United States (except for maybe New Hampshire, which doesn’t have sales tax).

Ok ok, everything good so far, right? Well, here’s the catch… They don’t carry stock of Apple’s newest items. My wallet is ready to purchase a Retina iMac. I was actually going to, too, but they didn’t have any in stock. Honestly, I’ve been wanting an iMac so bad to start on iOS development that I would have settled for a 2013 iMac if they had a Fusion Drive option, but mostly everything they carried in stock was base model or a step up.

On a similar note, they also don’t carry the iPad Mini 3 or the iPad Air 2 (yet). To be fair, they said they would be expecting the Retina iMac sometime next month, so it seems that maybe it’s just that Apple isn’t giving priority of newer releases to their authorized resellers.

So it’s back to ordering online for me.

Creatures of the Night

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Sorcerer/Magician Mickey and Zombie/Sexy Minnie

Late post! Happy late halloween :)

My baby and I decided to check our Creatures of the Night 2, a big Halloween party on Guam held at the Hyatt Regency Guam. We decided to go as another couple outfit with some dark/zombie-ish Mickey and Minnie Mouse costumes.

Sabrina did a great job with her big, scary teeth, didn’t she?! She was supposed to do the same thing to my face, but my mustache was in the way. With less than an hour left to do makeup, she decided to just give me long sideburns to go with my facial hair. It wasn’t as cool as hers, but I liked it.

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Post by Mid Pac (Host of COTN)

Guam Territorial Band Anniversary Concert

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The Guam Territorial Band will be playing a concert at the Lotte Hotel Guam banquet room in the bottom floor. I’ll be participating as Trombone! We’re going to be playing a pretty great set of songs in their amazing new facility, and on top of that, it’s FREE! Come check it out if you have time.

There will also be a nice, short encore of Chicago (the band) tunes from a band that we put together for a concert last month :)