Monday, January 26, 2009

The Renegades just finished up a successful camp, where were able to play through almost nine minutes of music!!

The full musical ensemble put together our opening production, Funeral for a Friend. Written by Elton John and arranged by Key Poulen, Thom Shearer and Fred Smith, it gives a solemn and intense opening to the show.

Faces, by Earth Wind and Fire, was performed by the Brass, Percussion and Guard (work by Mark Metzger and Vince Velasquez). This up-tempo tune will put a smile on everyone’s face with its combination of virtuoso playing, hot solos and Latin flavoring.

The brass, pit and Guard, fronted by soloist Larrie Dastrup, put together the haunting and beautiful Death March, based on a traditional Mexican Funeral tune. The Brass line also got through Heat of the Day, a fast paced, multi-meter Pat Metheny tune as well as working on In the Stone in preparation for Chinese New Year, coming up in two weeks. All in all, a busy week putting together another great show for our many fans.

There are still a few spots left, but everyone should know that we are closing things down early this year. Everyone should step forward and claim their place in what promises to be a spectacular season for the Renegades.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

An Exciting New Project

I am talking to some of my SCV (and BD) Horn buddies about a cool recording project. Details to follow.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


One of the great benefits of working at Symantec is our access to a site called Books 24x7, which offers books online. I found a number of great reads on team building, marketing and personal improvement. Today I was stopped in my tracks by a passage in one of them that talked about willpower.

You see, I have always thought that I lack willpower. But the excerpt below makes a lot of sense and will help me change the way I look at my own sense of discipline. Now we'll see if I am able to put it into practice on some of my ingrained and difficult to change habits!

From "100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever"
by Steve Chandler

I can't tell you how many people have told me that they have no willpower. Do you think the same thing? If you think you have no willpower, you are undermining your own success. Everyone has willpower. To be reading this sentence, you must have willpower.

The first step in developing your willpower, therefore, is to accept its existence. You have willpower just as surely as you have life.

If someone were to put a large barbell weight on the floor in front of you and ask you to lift it and you knew you could not, you would not say "I have no strength." You'd say, "I'm not strong enough."

Not strong "enough" is more truthful language, because it implies that you could be strong enough if you worked at it. It also implies that you do have strength.

It is the same with willpower. Of course you have willpower. When you accept that little piece of chocolate cake, it is not because you have no willpower. It is only because you choose not to exercise it in that instance.

The first step toward building willpower is to celebrate the fact that you've got it. You've got willpower, just like that muscle in your arm. It might not be a very strong muscle, but you do have that muscle.

The second step is to know that your willpower, like a muscle in your arm, is yours to develop. You are in charge of making it strong or letting it atrophy. It is not grown by random external circumstances. Willpower is a deliberate volitional process.

When I left college to join the army, one of the reasons I decided to sign up was because I thought it might help teach me to develop my self-discipline. But somehow I had not been aware of the "self" in self-discipline. I wanted discipline to be given to me by someone else. I found out in boot camp that others do not give willpower and self-discipline. The drill sergeant might have been persuasive and inspiring (or at times terrifying), but he couldn't make me do anything until I decided to do it. Nothing happened until I generated the will to make it happen.

Make a promise to yourself to be clear and truthful about your own willpower. It is always there.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009