How do you find new music?

For most college students, it is the beginning of the Spring semester. (Only 4 months until summer!!!) It is also time for a lot of recitals. One question I get a lot during this time is “where do I find a solo/chamber piece for my recital?” Check out my resources below and then add a comment and let me know if I missed anything.

1) Colleagues and Teachers – Whenever I am looking for new repertoire, I ask my colleagues. A quick message on Twitter or FaceBook is a great way to ask people from all over the world. There may be new, unpublished pieces that I would never know about unless I ask my friends and colleagues.

2) Attend Concerts and Recitals – I try to attend as many local concerts and recitals as possible. When I attend concerts, I make sure I bring a pencil and get a copy of the program. As I am listening to the concert, I make notes in the program and then when I get home, I do some research. I have started a Word document with pieces I am interested in playing or pieces I want to avoid.

3) Conventions and DOPs – See #2. Also, if you go to PASIC, make sure you go to the Listening Resource Center. They have scores and sound samples of all of the past winners of the composition competitions. It is an incredible resource and I usually spend 4-6 hours listening to music whenever I go to PASIC.

4) Festival Repertoire Lists – (SCPEF, Geneva Competition, International Marimba Competition Paris) – These lists are a great resource, even if you don’t plan on attending the competition. I always make a copy of the list and when I have some free time, I go through the list and check out the pieces I am not familiar with. (As a side note, I also do this with Symphony audition lists, just so I know what is being asked).

5) Internet – YouTube,, iTunes, Composers Web Sites/Societies, Blogs (Percussion Axiom TV), Publishers (Tapspace, C. Alan Publishing, HoneyRock, Bachovich Music Publishers). I am always looking for composer and publisher websites that have score and sound samples.

6) Composer Resources – The The American Music Center and American Composers Forum are, in my opinion, some of the most under utilized resources for any musician. They both have a huge collection of scores and audio files of their member’s works. I have found many pieces through both of these websites and if there were no samples, a quick email to the composer was all it took to get a score and a MP3.

What am I forgetting? Where do you find new music? Please leave your thoughts below.

Originally posted on on January 24, 2011 by Dave Gerhart

Tud McGrearunchth’s “Louder Faster Better” • Drum Instruction

Happy Sunday everyone! We thought it would be a good idea to lighten things up with some classic drummer humor. This video speaks to the tried and true drummer stereotype that louder, faster equals better. All kidding aside, why do you think this stereotype exists? Name ONE factor that you think contributes most to this frustrating but humorous stereotype. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Thanks to Payton MacDonald for the tip.

Originally posted on on January 23, 2011.

Maintaining Balance

How do you maintain balance between being a full-time musician/student and living life? We can never be “done” preparing music, and there is literally always something more to be done, to learn, to study, or to listen to. That being said, how do you keep your life balanced? Accountants, Engineers, laborers, and other professions clock out, finish projects, and simply go home. But, as musicians, nothing is ever finished. I think that makes it one of the toughest professions to balance, especially those musicians who have families too. I highly respect those who maintain life balance and still excel in the arts, and would love to hear how they manage their time and their lives.

How do you handle this struggle? Do you have any “tricks” or regular practices that help? Share your thoughts, struggles, and questions in the comments.

Originally posted on on January 23, 2011 by Shane Griffin.

The photo in this post is used under the Creative Commons License: Attribution – NonCommercial – No Derivs 2.0 by SonnyandSandy on

Renegades play “Pan in A Minor”

Panorama, the National Steel Drum Festival in Trinidad and Tobago, is in full swing. The panorama groups have been preparing for the competition which happens every year on the Saturday before Lent. The groups are made up of 100 performers. For full coverage of the 2011 Panorama Festival, visit Pan on the Net’s website.

One of my all time favorite tunes from Panorama is Lord Kitchener’s Pan in A Minor. This award winning 1987 performance is by the Renegades Steel Drum Orchestra directed by Jit Samaroo. The Renegades, and Jit’s arrangements, are know for there tight engine room (rhythm section) and use of unison hits throughout the arrangement.

Is this the first Panorama video you have ever watched? What is your favorite Panorama tune or arranger? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Originally posted on DrumChattr on January 21, 2011 by Dave Gerhart.

Pin It on Pinterest