One Musical down, two more to go, and Matt Repka.

I have to apologize to my readership–the posts have been few and far between!

In this moment, part of that is due to the business of music, and the business of life–I have gigs and lessons in the evening, and during the day, I raise my son, and teach classes, ie, I live the dream!  In between time, my wife and I have sold our house (!), and are working on our dream–presented in detail at our (mostly Emily’s) blog.

Back to this post, though.  I have to say that while I am always excited about great music to perform–I’m currently working on the book for Once on this Island, which I’ve been hired to perform with the St Henry District High School, (plus Beauty and the Beast with BBHS in April) as well as my stuff with Bob Ross, who is gearing up for a new CD –I’m especially thankful and grateful at the moment to work with a certain great student.

As all of you who teach know, truly exceptional students are few and far between, and are a real joy to teach.  I want to send a shout out to my student Matthew Repka–of whom I couldn’t be more proud.  He’s most recently been receiving scholarship offers from several schools, but he’s also shown that he is a great performer, musician, a beginning teacher, and a beginning businessman.  While preparing for college auditions (and after winning a spot in CSYO), Matt also worked up two marimba solos, and won a bunch of money by winning the Instrumental Category of the Cincinnati Overture Awards.  Though this is spectacular in and of itself, what is truly amazing, is that the same day he competed in the finals, he had two other performances, one of which was a paid gig.  And that’s not even the half of it–a few weeks before, Matt brought in a flyer for me to look at, marketed himself, and started his own lesson studio!  As well, the week after the big win, he performed with me in the pit orchestra of a musical…with two rehearsals, no dress rehearsal, and all that entails!

To be completely clear, as Matt would tell you I try to be, I want to say that this post is not intended to brag about my teaching–while Matt is a student of mine, I have merely pointed the way.  His strength lies in the trust, talent, and diligence with which he went forward on the path.  My post today is about the fact that while this website isn’t huge, it does have a following, it does get regular views, and Matt could use a little bit of publicity as he begins his journey as a working musician.  Of course, it’s not really the beginning–he’s been getting paid gigs for a couple of years now!

In short, for those of you who read this, and know who Matt Repka is, I couldn’t give him a higher recommendation–I’ve hired him, my friends have hired him, he’s a great performer, he’s been a great student, and he won’t let you down.

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New Marimba Music!

I have new Marimba Music posted on!!  Please take a minute to check it out, and if you’re interested, support me by purchasing a copy.  What’s really cool about the link posted is that these titles are available instantly!  Download them, and begin work on your next Marimba piece TODAY!


Thanks for reading, and as always, if you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong!



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Music Tour Opportunity for Young Musicians!

As many of you know, not only do I teach percussion at Mount Saint Joseph University, but I have also taken over the role (small though it is at present) of Band Director.  As such, I am subjected constantly to a stream of direct mail advertisement, most of which is complete trash!

Until now.

I recently received an advertisement for the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.

This is open to all musicians (with some limits) within the ages of 16-19.  The audition material is pretty standard fare, and the Orchestra, in the summer of 2015, will be touring China!

As if that’s not enough, there’s a $30 application fee, the cost of getting to New York, and…the rest is free.

Yeah.  FREE.  As in, $30, a successful application, and a round trip plane ticket to New York gets you an intensive summer experience–did I mention 2 weeks of rehearsals with some of the best artists in the country?–and a tour to China!

In other words, anyone reading this that plays reasonably well, and is between the ages of 16 and 19 needs to go to that link and figure out how to win a spot!

Here’s the link again:

National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America

Get out there!

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Slice the Pie!

It’s been a while, and I know everyone is missing me!  Here’s a little of what’s kept me away from the site for a bit:


-We’re getting our hardwood floors refinished (YAY!)

-My son is now cruising on everything (He climbed several stairs un-aided today!)

-Emily and I are performing with the C.A.S.T. production of the Addams Family at Highlands High School

-I’ve been checking into various opportunities to work online, including Freelancer, Odesk, and Slice the Pie (full disclosure, the slice the pie link is a referral link–which could help me out!)


Currently, I’ve bid on a project on Freelancer, but haven’t heard back yet.  I haven’t bid on anything at Odesk yet, as that site seems a little more complicated, and my time has been limited!


On the other hand, Slice the Pie lets you basically jump right in and get started reviewing songs.  The site pays a little for each song that you review.  By a little, the most I’ve made on a review yet is less than a quarter.  The good thing is that each review can be completed as the song plays, and you are only required to listen to 90 seconds of the song.


I have yet to figure out what the criteria is that will make for a more lucrative review, but rest assured I’m working on it!


More than that, I figured everyone would like to know, YES, I have been paid!  I have put in some time over at Slice the Pie, and I have been paid for it!  Now, let’s see if I can make minimum wage with it…which I haven’t yet, but each review you complete raises your rank, and I guess you can get friend referrals.


It also works on my iPhone, which means that the majority of time I spent on Slice the Pie was actually time that I would have spent on Facebook…


Regardless, it’s kind of fun to write stuff about people’s music, and get paid.  I’ve heard some really great tracks, though I’ve also heard some terrible ones!  Take a look–it might be worth your time, it might not, but they do actually pay money, even if it’s not much.

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Blue Wisp

Recently, I’ve been playing at the Wisp fairly often. It’s been a great experience, and neat to perform on such a well known stage, but it looks like that’s over. Follow the link to find out more.

The Blue Wisp Closes

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Yeah, we all already know this, but for the rest of you, enjoy!

Smart Drummers

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Here are some great opportunities from PAS!!

Please take a moment and look through the opportunities that PAS has sent out this month!

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Percussion Gigs!!

I love the NFL trend of hiring drumlines for their games! Check out this posting by the Bluecoats and the Cleveland Browns!

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May 30th, your two favorite bands together!!

Those of you who check my website often should notice that RHO and the Bob Ross Quartet are performing TOGETHER on May 30, at 8pm, at the York Street Cafe!!  By together, I of course mean that we’re splitting the gig that night–RHO is on first, and performs until 10 or so, and then the Bob Ross Quartet comes on to finish the night.

You don’t want to miss this great night of music!  I’ll see you there!

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RIP Steve Weiss

Over the years, most of my new percussion gear came from this man’s company. I met him a couple of times at his PASIC booth–interesting to speak with. RIP Steve!

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