Guest Artists for 2015

Lance LaDuke, Euphonium | Rex Martin, Tuba | Brian Balmages, Composer

Lance LaDuke, Euphonium

LaDukeLANCE LADUKE is internationally known as an educator, performer, and creator. He teaches at Carnegie Mellon University as Artist Lecturer in Euphonium, Freshman Advisor, and Coordinator of Special and Creative Projects. Lance teaches business, marketing and communications as part of the CMU Music Entrepreneurship Program, coaches and mentors a variety of chamber ensembles, and is also Adjunct Professor of Euphonium at Duquesne University.

Lance is a former member of the international touring quintet Boston Brass, the United States Air Force Band in Washington DC (where he was co-founder of Top Brass, the official brass quartet of the USAF), and the River City Brass Band, the only full time professional brass band in the country.

Lance has performed with some of the finest ensembles in the country, from the Brass Band of Battle Creek to the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has taught and/or given master classes at some of the world’s finest universities and conservatories, including Juilliard, the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and the Tatui Conservatory in Brazil. He has appeared on over thirty recordings, has produced ten others and has toured extensively throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Lance’s performances have been seen and heard on countless television and radio programs and he has appeared onstage with such artists as Henry Mancini, Doc Severinsen, Morton Gould, Morgan Freeman, and Frederick Fennell.

Lance co-wrote and produced Band Blast Off, a highly successful band recruiting DVD, and maintains an active speaking career, sharing his thoughts on practice, leadership, and self-development. Through his website he shares tips, videos, downloads, and articles on subjects including motivation, attitude, and goal setting, and provides online coaching session. Comedy lyrics, poems, and pieces can also be read there.

His book, Music Practice Coach, Five Workouts to Get the Most Out of Your Practice Time! is available through his website and his (almost) daily practice tips on twitter can be found by following @lalaladuke. Lance is an Educational Ambassador for Jupiter Band Instruments.

Rex Martin, Tuba

MartinREX MARTIN, professor of music at Northwestern University, is one of the world's finest tuba players and brass pedagogues. He currently serves as Principal Tuba of the Chicago Philharmonic. He has performed and given master classes in Australia, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and throughout the United States and is on the faculty of Ticino (Switzerland) Musica International Classic.

As part of his busy freelance career, he is a member of the Chicago Sinfonietta, The Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Symphony II, The Ars Viva Orchestra, Fulcrum Point, Tower Brass, and the Chicago Brass Ensemble. Rex has performed on more than 3,000 television and radio commercials and more than 75 recordings by the Chicago Symphony and other noted orchestras. He has also performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, OFUNAM Orchestra of Mexico City, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra.

A versatile musician, he has performed with such artists as Dave Brubeck, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Luciano Pavarotti, Sarah Vaughan, and Wynton Marsalis, and groups including Earth Wind and Fire, Mannheim Steamroller, and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Before joining the faculty at Northwestern University, Rex had been a faculty member at the Oberlin Conservatory, Illinois State University, DePaul University, the University of Notre Dame, the Vandercook College of Music, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

There was always music in our household, both parents were good singers, and my father was one of the best whistlers I’ve ever heard. Both brothers played tuba and two sisters and my mother played the clarinet. Since the age of nine I have played, and loved playing, the tuba and as a teenager I decided that this is what I wanted to do with my life. Both of my teachers, Edward Livingston and Arnold Jacobs, were great inspirations to me, as were my junior high and high school band directors.

His solo CD Rex Martin: Live in Japan was recorded live, unedited, from a single concert; it was released on the WAKO label in 2008.

Brian Balmages, Composer

BalmagesBRIAN BALMAGES is an active composer, conductor, producer, and performer. His fresh compositional ideas have resulted in a high demand for his wind, brass, and orchestral music throughout the world. He received his bachelor's degree in music from James Madison University and his master's degree from the University of Miami in Florida.

Brian’s compositions have been performed worldwide at conferences including the College Band Directors National and Regional Conferences, the Midwest Clinic, the International Tuba/Euphonium Conference, the International Trombone Festival, and the International Trumpet Guild Conference. His active schedule of commissions and premieres has incorporated groups ranging from elementary schools to professional ensembles, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Miami Symphony Orchestra, the University of Miami Wind Ensemble, James Madison University's School of Music, Boston Brass, members of the United States Marine Band, and the Dominion Brass Ensemble. His music has been performed by members of leading orchestras including the St. Louis Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, and others. He has also had world premieres in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and performances at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and abroad.

As a conductor, Brian enjoys engagements with numerous state and regional bands and orchestras, as well as university and professional groups. Notable guest conducting appearances have included the Midwest Clinic, Western International Band Clinic, College Band Directors Eastern Regional Conference, Mid-Atlantic Wind Conductors Conference, the Atlantic Classical Orchestra Brass Ensemble, and an appearance at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore. He has also served as an adjunct professor of instrumental conducting and Acting Symphonic Band Director at Towson University in Maryland.

Currently, he is Director of Instrumental Publications for The FJH Music Company Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Brian regularly accepts commissions for a variety of performing mediums ranging from orchestra to wind ensemble and smaller chamber groups.He resides in Baltimore.

CrossroadsProgram Notes from the composer:

Crossroads for solo Euphonium and wind ensemble seeks to explore the various personalities of the euphonium. The first movement, “High Road”, focuses on the more artistic side of the instrument. The harmonies and textures are more contemporary and the melodic lines are more angular. The entire movement is based on the opening three-note motif presented by the soloist. The second movement, “Low Road”, explores the carefree and boisterous side of the instrument. It is highly rhythmical and covers a wide range of styles, including bebop. The 10/8 meter mixes with 5/4 (and conductors may find it appropriate to occasionally switch between the two meters when it helps with rhythmic accuracy).


World Premiere Performance
Commissioned in celebration of 30 years of Falcone Festivals


March 31...Application Deadline
May 1...Semi-Finalists Notified
August 10-13...Festival Competition 

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