Friday, July 04, 2008

Have I been away that long?

It's Independence Day, July 4th. But it's now 2008.
I had put aside this blog briefly because I was busy at the time... I realized that I left this one orphaned because I started another blog on a completely different topic. I became active with music again after not playing my trumpet for about 20 years. I've now been playing again for over 2 years so I think it will stick for now - regular practice is a big deal, especially if you play a brass instrument. Currently I'm in both the Ithaca Community Orchestra and the Ithaca Concert Band.

Instrumental music programs in elementary school in Pearl City, Hawaii were just starting when I was in 6th grade in 1965. That's very late compared to now - kids are learning to play violins at age 5 or so. If you don't start in elementary school, you are way behind - only relatively few students start playing an instrument in middle school. Although my high school band was excellent (I went to Iolani, a private college-preparatory school), there's no comparison in quality to the Ithaca High School Band playing here today. Students are just more experienced and better trained musically.

My daughter picked up both violin and oboe in elementary school, She played both well, but after playing in both band and orchestra in her first year of middle school (plus being interested in sports) she had to make a choice. She picked oboe and still continues playing this instrument in high school band. Because of her playing, my interest in playing rekindled so I pulled my trumpet out and got my lip back in shape. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't that hard either. If nothing else, my attitude has changed - I've even taken up learning other instruments that I think would be neat to play - French horn, clarinet, and soon, bass guitar.

More details about my music comeback can be found at Brasscomeback's Weblog.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Volleyball over for this season

As they did last year, both the Cornell and University of Hawaii volleyball teams made the NCAA Division I Tournament. Cornell won the Ivy League title for the third time in three years. Hawaii won the Pac 10 Division again as it usually does and made its 9th straight NCAA regional appearance.

Unfortunately, Cornell was eliminated in the first match again - but this time they won 2 games and it got real close in the fifth game of the match before Hoftra won 15-11. Hawaii hosted the regional, but had to play both USC and UCLA, both nationally ranked higher than Hawaii. Hawaii edged out USC, but lost in the final to UCLA. So again both teams made the NCAA but didn't get through. It would be real neat to see Cornell play Hawaii, even if not in a title match.