This week marks the fourth week of our long Christmas Winter Break at the University of Iowa. This year, for a change, we decided to stay in Iowa. We have enjoyed our time here relaxing, catching up on movies and tv that we have been too busy to watch, practicing the trombone, hanging out with friends, reading things we have been to busy to read, and so on. I can honestly say that I am ready to go back to school, but this has been a fruitful and enjoyable break!


Semester Update

I was doing so well with updating somewhat regularly until I started a little website for fun: That little site has had over 50,000 visitors, had a spread in the student newspaper at the University of Iowa, and I have had numerous submissions from students. It has been a funny experience.

Since my last post, Celebration Bridal has closed. Kate has applied to Kirkwood College and has had her transcripts moved over there; she will start in January. She is excited to move forward.

I have had the opportunity to gig quite a bit lately, including playing back-up with The Temptations, playing a Schwantner piece with the Quad City Symphony, and a couple of other local things. We are grateful for every opportunity to perform and it means even more when they are close enough that Kate can come see me play!

In addition to these things, I have been preparing my first DMA recital. It will be December 17th at 5:00 in the UCC Recital Hall. On the program will be the Albrechstberger Concerto, John La Montaine’s Conversations, and Bert Appermont’s Colors for Trombone. It’s quite a varied program and I am very excited for it.

We are currently in the middle of a blizzard and we are very excited for it to look like Christmas!

Week 6, Un-FIN

Mid-week post. Today the UISO will play Stravinsky’s Firebird and Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Piano Concerto with UofIowa faculty member Ksenia Nosikova. She sounds amazing!

This week we had some unfortunate news. Celebration Bridal, the store Kate has been working at for several years, will be closing on October 31st. We are exploring all of our options at this point and we are hopeful that something will come to fruition in a timely manner.

Week 5 FIN

I can’t believe that are already five weeks deep in the semester. I have been keeping up with all my work, classes, and practice, and it seems like I haven’t accomplished anything yet. That is very frustrating.

At any rate, this weekend promises some fun! Way back in March Kate and I purchased tickets to Dave Matthews Band in Des Moines for tonight as her Birthday present. This will be my first “big” rock concert; I am quite looking forward to it. Tomorrow – homework, paper, and practice, and go Iowa! Beat Penn State!


“Carn”. It’s how many mid-westerners pronounce “corn”. Why? I have no idea. All I know is that corn is both delicious and non-nutritious as you don’t really digest it. Not to mention the fact that we cover it in butter and salt. Alas…..

The point of this post is thusly:

You know you are in Iowa when the “weed” in the freeway median is corn. Yes, I saw several stalks of corn-weed today and it was awesome.

Live from UISO Rehearsal

Where Did it All Go?

I was looking in my iTunes for a recording of a piece that he is working on and I couldn’t find anything. I know that I have four or five versions of it, but there was nothing in iTunes. Where did it go?!?

Week 3 FIN

The third week of school has come and gone. It was a short, four day week due to Labor Day. Significant events from week three:

    nothing. Wow. I guess not that excited and not really warranting a blog post… Ok…
    Performed Bert Appermont’s Colors for Trombone in Trombone Seminar Class. I received some good feedback, mostly about differentiating between different accent types. This is something that I have been struggling with for a while. I wonder if the dual-bore slide hinders my ability to do this? Especially more delicate, quite accents?
    There was only one meeting for theory, so that is a highlight…
    Upgraded my MacBook to 10.6.1 and my iPhone to 3.1. I am such an upgrade freak. I love it.
    Spent a significant amount of time at the Medical Loop bus stop as I somehow missed the Oakdale bus every day by about five minutes and had to wait fifty minutes for the next bus to come.
    I got sick with a cold that has been going around.
    I found some pictures that I thought I lost! I will post some of them below.
    Updated my blog with a new template, as you can already see.
    Kate grandfather passed away, so she will be going to Salt Lake City next week for the funeral. Thanks to Chris Ellsworth, who works for United Airlines, for allowing us to use a “Buddy-Pass” for Kate to get to the service.

The following pictures were taken about ten months ago here in Coralville, Iowa. I went down to one of the areas hit hardest by the flood of last year and there was an upright piano that has obviously received significant damage. The sun was starting to set, so the colors were optimal. Enjoy.

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Ligget Hopkins Passes

We just received news that Ligget Hopkins, Kate’s grandfather has passed. He now returns to Him that gave him life, to spend eternity with Ruth Hopkins. Below is a picture of the two of them with Kate and I at our wedding reception.

From left to right: Ruth Hopkins, Jonathan and Kate Allen, Ligget Hopkins

From left to right: Ruth Hopkins, Jonathan and Kate Allen, Ligget Hopkins

Labor Day Weekend

We had a great three day weekend. We grilled on both Saturday and today (Monday). We had a good time with good friends.

I have been doing the Alessi Routine found here for the past week and my chops feel great. I figured it was a good time to do some major changes to my practice situation since I just finished with the three orchestra auditions. I have never incorporated much mouthpiece buzzing into my routine, but this has been pretty effective for me.

We also did some hanging with the Whiteheads, our neighbors across the hall. We always have a good time, especially with the twins! Here they are in super-cute Superman pajamas!

Noah - Up, Up and Away!

Noah - Up, Up and Away!

Noah and Ethan Whitehead in Superman jammies!

Noah and Ethan Whitehead in Superman jammies!