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September 10, 2019

JAZZ CONDUCTING

Jazz Conducting by Todd Stoll  As the new school year begins and aspiring musicians head back to the classroom, the air is full of the anticipation and enthusiasm one would expect. Directors have programmed their year full of great music to be heard at concert performances, festivals and competitions. My mind goes to the part […]

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August 14, 2019

WHY DON’T WE TEACH LOUIS ARMSTRONG?

WHY DON’T WE TEACH LOUIS ARMSTRONG? by Todd Stoll Why don’t we teach Louis Armstrong? Nearly 20 years ago, after attending a lecture commemorating the centennial of the birth of Louis Armstrong, I asked a very well-regarded trumpet player and a renowned scholar, why don’t we teach Louis Armstrong? “Well..” he stammered, “it’s just too […]

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July 18, 2019

DIVERSITY

DIVERSITY by Todd Stoll A year ago, my second President’s letter addressed a topic I feel is vital to the future of our music and our country; diversity. Unlike my eleven other messages, it was met with a deafening silence; I received only two communications from colleagues in support of (or against) my position. Part […]

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June 7, 2019

TAKE YOURSELF TO SUMMER CAMP!

TAKE YOURSELF TO SUMMER CAMP! by Todd Stoll Ahhhh…warmer weather, sunshine, languid days, kids heading off — all signs that summer is just about here! While perusing a popular jazz magazine, I noticed there were almost 25 pages of summer camps for students.  That’s an amazing resource for musicians with a desire to improve their […]

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May 7, 2019

SOME THOUGHTS ON JAZZ COMPETITIONS

SOME THOUGHTS ON JAZZ COMPETITIONS by Todd Stoll It feels a little odd to be discussing competitions in the days right before I host one of the most competitive and perhaps well-known events in the country, Essentially Ellington. Or maybe it’s perfect.  I’ve experienced almost every level of participation at our jazz competitions, from “loser” […]

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