Sunday, October 18, 2015


Welcome to October. Or, if you are a band director, student, parent, enthusiast or perhaps more importantly, spouse of band director, this month is not October. It's Bandtober.

Yes, we started in August; perhaps earlier. Summer band came and went. Then the start of school and also this thing called September. But, if I'm being honest, I don't really remember September anymore. That might as well have been five years ago, not less than 30 days ago.

Bandtober is the culmination of almost countless hours of preparation and rehearsal. It is, as I like to think of it, the dessert you earn after having put in all of the effort to get through your vegetables. While it is a particularly stressful month, you still get to enjoy the fruition of your work. You get to reap what you have sewn. Bandtober -- and oh, how I wish I had coined this term -- is what we preach to our kids: "I'm not telling you it's going to be easy - I'm telling you it's going to be worth it."

Has it been easy? Has it been worth it?

Last night before our competition performance, I told my front ensemble students: "You have put in the work. You've had great attitudes. You keep showing up, wanting to improve. You've done everything I've asked. Now, you get to go perform. You get to enjoy what you've put into it. So tonight, I want you to enjoy it and I want you to look up at that audience and enjoy their feedback. Make eye contact with someone -- it'll freak them out! But, most importantly, enjoy what you get to bring them: a performance you have spent so much time to craft."

Let us give ourselves the same advice: we've put in the work, now we get to see our students perform. Let's enjoy what they bring to our audiences. And, let our passion for music be renewed by their passion for music.

Happy Bandtober!

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Trip to Tokyo for the IDRS Duo Recital Performance

The trip of a lifetime has come and gone and it did not disappoint. To recap, my father Richard Rath -- a professional oboist, Yamaha Performing Artist and founding member of the International Double Reed Society -- and I applied and were invited to perform at the IDRS Convention held this past August in Tokyo.

Not only was it an awesome chance to go overseas and experience a country I might not ever be able to visit, but it was also an opportunity to put together a Duo Recital of works for Oboe and Percussion (primarily marimba and vibraphone).

This first album features pics from our layover in Honolulu up to and including the recital performance.

IDRS Photos, Album #1

The second album features our trip to Hamamatsu, Japan to tour the Yamaha Factory, and also includes some of the sight-seeing we experienced after the convention concluded.

IDRS Photos, Album #2

If you want to read more about how the recital came to be, you can click this LINK and read a blog post from this past spring.