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Denson Paul Pollard Masterclass and Recital

On February 25, 2010 Denson Paul Pollard, Bass Trombone of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra visited the University of Iowa for masterclasses and a recital. The recital program is reprinted here:

    Where? – Alyssa Wright
    Variations on a melody from Rossini’s Moses – Niccolo Pagannini
    Final Scene from Aida – Giuseppe Verdi
    Senza Mama from Sour Angelica – Giacomo Puccini
    Bass Aria from Iolanta – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Sonatine for Bass Trombone and Piano – Troy Thompson


    Song for Latka – Jan Sandstrom


New Addition to my Office

This beauty was given to me from Kate at Christmas. It’s amazing!! Thanks to Josh Thompson to helping me hang it up!

Change of Plans

The post just below this one states that this, Spring 2010, will be our last semester here. We have decided to slow things down a bit and spread out the recitals in order to get really great recordings (hopefully). Kate and I will be living in Iowa City for at least one more year. We love it here and we are excited for the possibilities of another year! Kate is back in school and is doing very well. She is scoring top in most of her classes. I couldn’t be more proud!

Due to a situation in the school of music, my teaching load will be a little more than it has been. In addition, I am currently teaching the Instrumental Techniques class for music education majors. It is being quite the ride! I am loving every minute of it!

Last Semester

I just started my last semester at the University of Iowa. I am done with coursework at this point and I am primarily preparing two separate recitals. In addition, I am teaching ten students right now, so those things are going to keep me pretty busy!


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