THE J. W. PEPPER BLOG | DELIVERING MUSIC SINCE 1876

THE J. W. PEPPER BLOG | DELIVERING MUSIC SINCE 1876

THE J. W. PEPPER BLOG | DELIVERING MUSIC SINCE 1876

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Instrumental

Sight-Reading Exercises for At-Home Music Practice

Sight Reading Music Practice Now is the perfect time to work on sight-reading skills. Students can use their moments at home to strengthen their ability...

Adding Orff Instruments to the Music Classroom

For nearly a century, the Orff approach has been used to help children explore the world of music. This experience usually includes opportunities for...

Composing for the Student Ensemble: A Composer Forum, Part II

Composers have many considerations when creating pieces for student ensembles. Among other things, they have to ensure their works have the right balance of...

The Women in the Brass Section: How They Found Success

Trombonist Amanda Stewart compares it to a slow-moving glacier – the gradual acceptance of talented women playing brass instruments in the United States’ most...

John Mackey’s Unusual Path to Composing Success

Originally from Columbus, Ohio, composer John Mackey grew up without formal music lessons. Though his mother played the flute and the family owned a piano,...

Roll Out the Accordion – Polka Music and Oktoberfest

Alex Meixner’s hands fly across his accordion when he plays crowd favorites at Oktoberfest celebrations across the country. The talented musician, who is known...

Managing Your Music Ensembles with Cut Time

There are many moving parts involved in managing music ensembles. Between keeping track of inventory, communicating with students and parents, coordinating volunteers, planning trips,...

Louis Armstrong Continues to Shape Contemporary Music

Throughout the year, Pepper has been celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first jazz recording by sharing interviews with modern jazz legends, descriptions of...

Something New and Exciting – Affordable Steel Drums for the Classroom!

One of the staples for any general music classroom, regardless of level, is instruments: barred instruments, recorders, rhythm instruments, percussion instruments, piano or electronic...

Jazz 100: Eddie Palmieri – Keeper of the Flame

Eddie Palmieri is a pioneer of Latin and Afro-Cuban jazz music. One of the greats, alongside contemporaries Paquito D’Rivera and Arturo Sandoval, Palmieri has...

Jazz 100: The Influence of Jazz

Stylistically and culturally, jazz music has had an enormous impact on American music, influencing many of the most beloved musical minds of our time....

Meeting the Minds Behind the Music

Listening to a master speak about their craft is one of the most enlightening experiences one can have. That was the thinking behind Pepper’s...

The Inside Voice: An Interview with Brian Balmages

Composer Brian Balmages’ sheet music can be found in music rooms across the nation. He has written music for every skill level from very easy to advanced....

The Inside Voice: The U.S. Army Brass Quintet

With the nation’s birthday approaching, it is appropriate to celebrate the men and women of the United States military, without whom we would not...

The Inside Voice: An Interview with Wynn-Anne Rossi

Wynn-Anne Rossi is known to the music world as a talented pianist, dynamic composer, and dedicated music educator. Throughout her life, she has combined...

Jazz With Pepper Hosts David Liebman

On September 10, 2015, Pepper welcomed world-renowned saxophonist David Liebman, the latest music legend to take part in our Jazz with Pepper master class...

Music in the Air: Outdoor Classical Concerts

If there’s any time during the year that’s best for introducing classical music to the uninitiated listener, it’s summer. Thanks to seasonal changes in...

Jazz With Pepper Hosts Pat Martino

On Wednesday, February 11th, the Jazz With Pepper series continued with a visit from guitar legend Pat Martino.  Eager musicians of all ages filled the...

Meet Debra Reilly: Grammy Music Educator Award Finalist

Recently, Pepper had the privilege to speak with Debra Reilly, a 2015 Grammy nominee for the Music Educator Award.  Ms. Reilly teaches and directs the string programs for Springhouse and Orefield...

5 Unexpected Items to Bring to Midwest

By now, you are definitely getting excited about the upcoming Midwest Clinic.  Sure, you have plenty to get ready for with winter concerts nearing,...

An Evening with Roger Ingram

They came to hear one of the masters.  High School musicians, old-school jazz players and everything in between from all over the Philadelphia area. ...

Three Marching Band Horror Stories

Trying to keep a rehearsal running smoothly with a collection of musicians is difficult enough as it is.  Add to that the unpredictable outdoors,...

Necessities for Marching Band Maintenance

With limited resources for many music programs these days, proper instrument upkeep has never been more important.  While you need to handle major repairs...

Band Composer Series: Frank Ticheli

I recently had the honor of interviewing composer and teacher Frank Ticheli. In addition to composing, he joined the faculty of the University of...

Band Composer Series: Garwood Whaley

Looking back on my high school and college percussion studies, I recall working through many of Garwood Whaley’s books.  I particularly liked working with Recital...

In Memoriam: W. Francis McBeth

We were all deeply saddened to hear the news that Francis McBeth passed away Friday, January 6th.  Dr. McBeth was a very well respected...

Band Composer Series: Sean O’Loughlin

Sean O’Loughlin is a rising name in the music world.  His music is characterized by vibrant rhythms, passionate melodies, and colorful scoring. Commissions and conducting...

Band Composer Series: Larry Clark

Larry Clark's pieces have been performed internationally and appear on numerous contest/festival lists.  He  is an ASCAP award-winning composer with over 200 titles in...

Band Composer Series: Michael Sweeney

A graduate of Indiana University (Bloomington), and Director of Band Publications for Hal Leonard Corporation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Michael Sweeney has over 500 publications...

Band Composer Series: Brian Balmages

An active composer, conductor and performer, Brian Balmages' fresh style of composition has put him in high demand for his wind, brass and orchestral...

Band Composer Series: Robert Sheldon

Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing Robert Sheldon, Concert Band Editor for Alfred Music Publishing, and was able to gain some insight into the...

‘Tis A Gift

I recently enjoyed a Ballston Spa Community Band concert while attending the New York State School Music Conference in Albany, New York. Prior to...