Day 7 – Friday:
We had a fairly relaxing day in Galesburg. We had a great lunch with our wonderful host, Nikki Malley at the Landmark Restaurant. Then we gave a clinic at Knox College. This was one of our best clinics. The guys in the band are really contributing to the clinics and letting me relax a bit. After the clinic we hung around Galesburg, got haircuts (for $11!). Then we drove to Macomb where Mike Stryker and John Cooper from Western Illinois University hosted us for the weekend. Mike is an old buddy and it was great to spend a couple of days with him.
Day 8 – Macomb
We went out to breakfast before our very early masterclass at WIU. It was a true masterclass in the classical sense where we critiqued set ensembles. We heard some very talented students and found a very receptive audience. Then we taught a few private lessons. One last meal with Stryker and we hit the road for St. Louis.
Day 9 – St. Louis
Sunday, Laundry day. We drove into town. The cats dropped me off to do a saxophone workshop at Saxquest, one of the finest saxophone shops in the world, with a huge selection of vintage and modern saxophones and a saxophone museum on the second floor! Mark, the proprietor was extremely kind accommodating. He packed the place with 50 saxophonists. It was a little intimidating because they were all so intent on learning and packed in very close. But I played a little, talked A LOT (what else is new?) and ended up making some new friends.
After a quick stop back at the hotel we were back to work at the Highway 61 Road House where Kevin Cole and the Webster Groves High School Jazz Ensembles hosted us in an evening of music. Kevin has run one of the great programs in the country churning out lots of award winning, very talented, very bright, curious students. Many of them I had met before at Birch Creek Music Center, where I teach in the summers. The student ensembles interspersed their sets with ours and we had a ton of fun.
Day 10 St. Louis – Iowa City
We checked out of the hotel and headed to Webster Grove High School. We gave a few private lessons then workshopped with a couple of the combos. We got to see the report between Kevin and the students and started to see why there is such a strong love of jazz at the school.
Then we loaded back up and drove 4 hours to Coralville and checked into the hotel at midnight. Big day ahead at West High School in Iowa City.