In addition to our careers as professional players, the BT/ALC Big Band are also dedicated educators with extensive experience teaching among them at every level, as public school band directors and as college professors. At a BT/ALC clinic, we break down the wall between student and professional by placing band members in each section to model and encourage, providing an experience that is normally reserved for the professional bandstand. While we do work with every school to customize each clinic to best serve the group’s ability level and musical goals, below you’ll find more detailed descriptions to find what will work best for your program.
Big Band / Jazz Ensemble Workshop (6th Grade – College)
We will furnish you with a one of our big band charts for your band to prepare, edited if necessary to facilitate each band’s ability level. The day of our clinic/performance, we workshop based on your students’ strengths and weaknesses, and include all students’ in how we improvise as a group to express that musical moment. Students will be invited onstage during our performance to play with the BT/ALC Big Band, both as soloists, and within each section.
Improvisation in today’s musical landscape (6th Grade – College)
While we all play Jazz standards at gigs and at jam sessions, in our experience, there is also a whole new songbook that is prevalent today that emphasizes different improvisational skills. We introduce students to new tunes, new places to find tunes they’d like to play, and create a musical learning environment that equally beneficial and comfortable for experienced and first-time improvisers.
Composition / Arranging (College)
The BT/ALC Big Band has always been an outlet for Brian, Alex, and others in the band to compose and arrange original music. We present composition clinics that include deal the nuts and bolts of harmony and orchestration, writing for specific players, writing practically in the professional world, and much more. Individual composition lessons for students are also available.
Professional Musicianship (9th Grade – College)
It has always been true that there is not one kind of professional musician, but in the 21st century, a professional musician can and does wear many other hats: entrepreneur, promoter, contractor, teacher, web designer, and many more. In the BT/ALC Big Band, we have members making music careers in a variety of ways, including teaching (both freelance and more permanently at institutions), instrument maintenance, playing as a contracted musician for functions and events, and much more. We share our experiences both to prepare students for what they come across in a music career, and also to show them what is possible, how real people are making a real living in their chosen field, and how they got there.