Spring 2021 Newsletter

BLUEBONNET SEASON     APRIL 2021

It’s the Blowcomotion Newsletter! 

Announcements and Class Updates – JOIN US!!

Good News!!! We are so happy to tell you that several of our sections are starting to meet in person! The sectionals are being held outside, socially distanced, and with masks on when not playing. Each sectional is deciding for itself when they want to meet in person – typically that decision is based on vaccination status. Percussion is meeting on Monday evenings and low brass is meeting Tuesday evenings. Woodwinds are meeting sometimes in person, sometimes via Zoom. High brass is still meeting via Zoom. We’re not trying to be secretive about the locations, but since the locations and times can change at the last minute, please email blowcomotion@gmail.com for further details.

What’s new in the sectionals? 

We’ve asked a member from each section – high brass, low brass, woodwinds and percussion – for an update on what is happening in their respective sections:

WOODWINDS by Ken Hallenberg

Woodwinds are continuing our one-on-one Zoom mini-lessons during sectional time each week, focused on technique and improv. We have added a couple of new members recently and we are looking forward to resuming in-person sectionals when we are all fully-vaccinated in May.

PERCUSSION by Bev Larkin

Percussion started meeting in person on Monday nights at First Unitarian Universal Church since the beginning of April. Our section has had the chance to see members who’ve not been able to join us by Zoom since last year and welcoming a new member. We are masked, outside in a parking lot six feet apart and all participants are vaccinated. It’s been very productive to be able to see techniques, get live feedback and play and hear each other – currently we are practicing rudiments and the rhythms for “La Murga”.

LOW BRASS by Debbie Fehrenkamp

Low brass started meeting in person on Tuesday, April 20. What a great day! We practiced Ave Maris Stella, a trombone quartet. We also started practicing “Guess What! Chickenbutt!” written by Blowcomotion’s bari sax player, Elliot Pena. It was fun to play with everyone.  Our first in-person practice was in Shipe Park, but please email blowcomotion@gmail.com for future location details, since the location may change.

HIGH BRASS by Brian Miller

High brass have been meeting in weekly Zoom sessions on Tuesdays. We’re planning to meet in person starting the last week of April at Mueller for socially-distanced-yet-syncopated practice. Omar has been leading us in an exploration of chord progressions, including rhythm changes, while helping us increase our improvisational and reading skills. Looking forward to seeing more trumpets and horns join us! 

Instrument Lending Library

Want to join in, but don’t have an instrument?

Our available instruments include: 2 cornets, 4 trombones, 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, a french horn and a trumpet.  

To borrow one of Blowcomotion’s instruments, please email us at blowcomotion@gmail.com.

City of Austin Community Initiative Grant

We are so thrilled to announce that Blowcomotion has been awarded a Community Initiative Grant by the City of Austin!! The third time was the charm! Thanks to Michael Nelson and Niko Druzhinin for their hard work.

Blowcomotion is planning to hold a couple shows in September as part of our grant from the City. One of the shows will be a song share collaboration with Moontower Brass Band. We would LOVE for you to participate with us! There is plenty of time to find that perfect purple and black attire.  

Stay tuned for all the details!

HONK!TX – this year and next year!

HONK!TX will be virtual again this year and will be held on Saturday, May 29. Follow the HONK!TX Facebook page for more updates. Our new video for “Rhino Run” will premier at the festival. “Rhino Run” was written by one of our members, Francesco Petrogalli, and is based on a song his son was humming. Francesco turned that humming into “Rhino Run,” a brass band composition. Blowcomotion members recorded their parts in Bandlab and sent in videos of themselves performing. Thom Proctor edited the video and Matt Mossman provided audio engineering for the track. Thank you, Thom, Matt, and all the Blowco members who participated!

HONK!TX will be holding a silent auction as part of the virtual festival. If you have a gift card or service you would like to donate, please email blowcomotion@gmail.com and we will let you know where to send the item.

AND… no joke, the date has been set for next year – April 1, 2 and 3, 2022. We’ll be ready.

Fundraising

ADAPT of Texas Fun Run 

The ADAPT of Texas Fun Run is virtual again this year and will be held on Saturday, May 1, 2021. There’s still time to register.

To participate as a fundraiser/virtual runner, you can register at https://www.adaptfunrun.net/ and then select Blowcomotion under the “Organization I am Supporting” menu to ensure your donations go to our group.  

Once you are registered, you will receive a “Runner Registration” email with a personalized link that you can share with family and friends via email or social media. Donations can be made via credit card, PayPal, or check.  If you need it, they even offer a physical sign up sheet – but  their online registration and donation process is so simple that likely it will not be needed.

If you have any questions, please contact Beverly Larkin at beejcctx@gmail.com.  

Patreon

Our Patreon page has been really successful and we greatly appreciate those who have joined.  As we’ve mentioned before, almost all of the money we raise is used to pay our instructors (the remainder goes toward things like our website, insurance, and instruments). To access our Patreon account, you can go to https://www.patreon.com/blowcomotion.  Patreon levels begin at $5 per month.

Amazon Smile

Blowcomotion is listed as a charity on Amazon Smile. If you use Amazon and don’t already have a designated charity, would you please consider designating Blowcomotion?  Just go to Amazon Smile, and search for Blowcomotion.  

Car Donations

We are participating with Car Easy for vehicle – car, truck, boat – donations.  Have a used vehicle, donate it to us! Go to https://careasy.org/nonprofit/blowcomotion to have your donation support Blowcomotion’s music education programming. 

Volunteer with Us

The group that keeps Blowcomotion moving is composed of volunteers and we need help.  The Board has created the following committees:  Fundraising (includes grant writing), Marketing, Community Outreach, Curriculum, and the City of Austin Community Initiative Grant Show.  Most of these committees only have two members so if you are interested in helping Blowcomotion grow, email us at blowcomotion@gmail.com.

OUR INFORMATION

Reach us at blowcomotion@gmail.com

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/blowcomotion

On the web at www.blowcomotion.org

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Blowcomotion is a nonprofit corporation and has received a 501(c)(3) tax exemption from the Internal Revenue Service.  All donations are tax-exempt. Blowcomotion greatly appreciates your financial and instrument donations.

Blowcomotion is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.

Cultural Arts City of Austin Economic Development Logo