by Sammy Johnson
Musicians can’t improve their skills without practice, but sometimes we are so burnt out or we do not physically have enough hours in the day to ensure we practice everything we need to. We have 2 members in the middle of their doctoral studies, teaching, and gigging; 1 member working on a dissertation, teaching, and gigging; and 1 member playing full time with the United States Army Field Band. You can bet all four of us have felt guilty for not practicing when we know we should be! Here are 4 things we try to keep in mind when the inevitable guilt begins to boil.
by Keith Northover
Greetings, and happy 2nd Anniversary to the Novacane Quartet!
As we move into our third full year, I’d like to document and celebrate our past adventures of the 2015-2016 year and look ahead to what this year has in store for the group.
by Kylie Stultz-Dessent
When Erik first approached me about becoming a member of the Novacane Quartet in the summer of 2014, I will admit, I was hesitant. At the time I was living in Cincinnati, Ohio, and had just graduated with my master’s degree from CCM. Sammy, Erik, and Keith were all living in Bloomington, Indiana, minutes away from each other and the music school. I was living almost three hours away.
How was this ever going to work??? Would they get sick of me not being around all of the time to rehearse? Would I get tired of driving 110 miles from Cincinnati to Bloomington for every rehearsal? What about gigs and concerts? LOGISTICS.
by Erik Franklin
One of our chief missions as a quartet is to create and perform new works for our ensemble. So far, we have been fortunate enough to work with several of our composer-colleagues and have premiered their works. Collaborating on this music has challenged us as players and taught us many things about performing as a group. Many of the pieces have proven that today's composers (and clarinet quartets, for that matter!) can create wonderful, serious music for audiences to enjoy.
by Sammy Johnson
Each year, the world receives a brand new class of highly skilled and trained musicians. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the world said, “Hey, music college graduates! Let me hand you 27 different musical job opportunities and let you choose!”? Yes. That would be lovely. Reality usually hits sometime during the middle of your senior year of college and you realize, “I haven’t won any auditions, and I have no idea how I am going to make money.” Well, there is always the fast food option, but there are plenty of other mentally challenging jobs that musicians tend to overlook because they simply aren’t musical jobs. Musicians think a non-musical job is a step down or somewhat less. However, musicians can learn quite a bit from being employees in these types of positions. I had a wonderful opportunity to work at a biopharmaceutical company for two years in their Operational Excellence department prior to beginning my doctorate at Indiana University. Here is a sample of some of the skills I was able to develop and how they have helped me as a musician and benefited The Novacane Quartet.
by Erik Franklin
Every time we play a concert, someone comes up to us and asks "What is up with your name?!" While the similarity with Novocain - the drug dentists use to numb your mouth - is obvious (yes, we know we spell it "wrong"), the origin of our name actually is more complicated than that.