Rants and Ramblings – Allen’s Blog

Opinions are like …………….. noses.  Everybody has one.  This is where I’ll be sounding off on the things I feel to be important and I hope you’ll read and respond as time goes by.

March 30, 2018


Easter break here which means I’m grading and preparing for the last laps of the school year. It also means I’m making decisions about what to do with my summer and the future. So many options! I’ve made some decisions.

I’ve been writing an arrangement or 2 (or 3 or 4) for my student combo which is a three-horn group. It’s helped me decide to put together a two-horn book of my own this summer; just harmonized heads and changes with intros and endings so it can sound polished and “arranged” (the way I like ’em!). What “may” make this group of tunes different is that I’m going to do a lot of contrafacts on common changes so that I can make them available to YOU ALL. On top of that, I’m going to write them in a way that makes it possible for the top part to be played by a trumpet (soprano, clarinet) or an alto and the second part to be playable by several instruments (trumpet/flugel, alto, tenor, trombone, MAYBE even bari, we’ll see). I’m going to shoot for 20-30 charts ready for your combos by July. You’ll see them here!

It looks like I’m getting my conducting baton back out to direct the pit for a summer production of the Broadway classic, “Guys and Dolls”. One is still down, correct?

I’m trying like crazy to find someone who can turn “Interactive Arranging” along with my traditional and jazz/commercial theory materials into either iBooks/eBooks or apps at a price that I can afford. What I’ve discovered in trying to price some things out is that I got into the wrong business to make a lot of money. Holy cow these developers are expensive!

I received a retirement offer from the university this spring. It was, as all such offers are, laughable and insulting, but it did get me into an introspective mood regarding how I truly feel about education in the arts. I’m discovering feelings and opinions that are/will be, at the minimum, controversial, so I will, of course, print them here so you can take issue with them.

Hope all is well with all of you. Be in touch.