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The Official Get to Know the Staff Thread!

Discussion in 'Introducing Yourself' started by pete, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    I get to completely step out of character and introduce myself first and try to make everyone feel a bit welcome.

    ============

    I'm Pete. I'm one of the founders of this forum. I generally take care of forum technical issues and brainstorm new stuff with the other WF staff.

    About me:

    You probably know me as the guy that created saxpics.com and ran it from approximately 1997 to 2007, when I sold it. I've also served as an administrator, moderator and columnist for Sax-on-the-Web. I neglect my new blog and picture gallery.

    Interestingly, this is my first musical foray into a forum that is NOT SOTW. Yes, I've written a couple articles for a couple other websites, but I've never posted on another forum.

    Here's my professional music resume, in brief:

    * Assistant to the director at an extremely large church in Western NY for about 8 years.
    * Director at two different churches in Tucson, AZ for about a year each. The bankruptcy of one was NOT my fault.
    * In addition to directing, I arranged music and taught beginning sax and clarinet lessons.
    * I studied saxophone at the State University of NY College at Fredonia under Dr. Wyman for a year -- he's a first generation student of Sigurd Rascher -- and I studied for eight more years, both sax and (sometimes) clarinet, with one of Dr. Wyman's former students (a pro player) both before and after that. I play mainly classical, but I've played in more than one jazz ensemble.
    * I took voice lessons from a former Miss Arizona.

    Let's see. Oh. What do I play 'n' stuff.

    I've played, in college and high school, a variety of pitches of saxophones and clarinets, but mainly bass clarinet and baritone sax, although I played Bb contrabass clarinet (Leblanc paperclip) for awhile and Bb bass sax (Conn New Wonder). I find that the bass clarinet and bari sax are closer to "my voice" than anything else.

    I've recorded two CDs with my various church choirs. Oddly enough, singing (bass), not playing. I more-or-less retired from both singing and playing, due to medical issues, around 2010.

    I'm a full-time computer tech and live with wife, kids, dog and cat outside Phoenix, AZ. I've attended a few "get together"-type events, before, and if you're payin', count me in!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2014
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  2. Ed

    Ed Founder Staff Member Administrator

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    Re: The Official Unofficial Get to Know the Staff Thread!

    I'm Ed. Technology guy by day. The Woodwind Forum Community creator by night. I started out playing the alto sax in fifth grade although I really wanted to play tenor. A few years ago I converted into a tenor player and then this year I converted back to E-Flat but to the Bari. I'm still out of breath! I also have been known to get noises and sometimes nice sounding notes out of the clarinet and even the oboe. Flute appears to be the hardest instrument I've ever tried to play.

    In my spare time, I am working on various writing projects. Some of which will be featured at the main Woodwindforum.com page. Thanks to Pete Hales I have become known as one of the experts on vintage Yanagisawa saxophones. I believe that I single handily made these horn increase in value and I'm looking for a commission!

    I have also spent a lot of time creating a line of saxophone mouthpieces and doing refacing work. These days that project has moved to the back burner so that I can concentrate more time on writing and creating.

    Some of you will know me by my "handle" at Sax On The Web as Hurling Frootmig. I served with pride as a moderator and admin on that forum since sometime in 2004. We trying something a little different here and I hope everyone enjoys it.
     
  3. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Gandalfe's Bio

    Hi, I'm Jim Glass representing the hobbyists and musicians who are returning to performance music after a long break. I created the Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra, the Dissonance Jazz xTet, and the Professor Gadget Sax Quartet. My wife and I enjoy making music with the Woodinville Community Band where I am the sax section leader. I sub for a number of big bands around the Seattle area. I also play soprano, alto, tenor, bari sax, sop and bass clarinet in some theater pit orchestras.

    You can hear some cuts from the first MJJO CD that we created in 2015 here: https://www.reverbnation.com/microsoftjumpinjiveorchestra

    As a recovering GAS addict, I used to collect musical instruments. Recently I have been selling off my vintage instruments that I never made much progress on. You can see the instruments I use all the time here. I also have been building a big band and sax quartet chart library. I have somewhere north of 10,000 charts including some Frank Foster charts that have never been heard.

    I played alto sax from 5th grade to my first year of college. Then I took a break... a long break.


    [​IMG]
    That's me on the left in the hat and my wife Suzy on the right at a Dec '07 holiday gig.

    SaxPeeps.JPG 299866_10151518631180520_909281613_n.jpg
    This is my current big band and some of my fav sax players.

    Some of you in the virtual world may know me from my three-year stint as an admin and columnist at the Sax on the Web (SOTW) forums. Other might know me from 20 years at a major software company were I was considered, among other things, a community guru. I hope to get to know everyone who signs up for this forum and look forward to participating in many interesting conversations.
     

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  4. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Sometimes I feel like a frog playing a saxophone
    Re: The Official Unofficial Get to Know the Staff Thread!

    Hi, I’m Stephen Sklar

    I Like Pies (I was told to say that)

    I’m one of the CE’s, or Content Experts. I’m a tech guy during the day, a dad to four great little kids and a musician and clarinet repair technician in between all the chaos.

    I have been playing saxophone since 1974 and clarinet since 1978, plus a slew of other instruments (cello, French horn, flute, xylophone, percussion, and others that I no longer play anymore including the ones I just mentioned). I may not know everything but I’m willing to learn more all the time.

    I am primarily a saxophone player but don't let that fool you, my clarinet playing is pretty good too.

    I grew up on Couf-land so I’m pretty well dedicated to Couf saxophones. Though, I happen to play Selmers. I also love Buffets, and early Yamahas, early Yanis ?. Well, you get the picture.

    I had quite a growing sax performance looking career including Wayne State School of music; University of Michigan (aka Sinta ?you?ll never get past the first measure? School ) but I decided that due to health issues that Music Performance wasn’t the way to go. But I never stopped loving playing my sax and clarinet. You can catch me locally in college bands; college trios, quartets; local Big Bands and any place I can play.

    I started learning how to tech (we have to start somewhere) back when Mr Couf handed me a Buescher spring hook after I asked about how to connect and disconnect the springs back when I was a small lad. Since then I?ve been on and off in repairing as I?ve increased my abilities through the years.

    About 8 years ago I joined up with a buddy of mine and started http://www.SaxManiax.com. Since then I stopped working on flutes (my fingers got too big), and stopped saxes (too many kids and not enough time for everything) and now strictly work on clarinets and clarinet mouthpieces. Of course that required a name change to http://www.ClarinetPerfection.com

    Welcome aboard and have fun, I know I will :)
     
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Re: The Official Unofficial Get to Know the Staff Thread!

    Hi All,

    Merlin Williams, CE. That either means compact edition or content expert.

    I'm a woodwind doubler in Toronto, Canada. My main calls are for big band and theatre work, and people seem to have gotten in their heads that I'm a bari specialist.

    I actually play saxes from sopranino to bass, clarinets from Eb down to EEb contra, flute & picc and bassoon. I've worked in the past on oboe and english horn, but sold them just to make sure I wouldn't actually have to keep my chops up on them.

    Over the years I've also taught middle school band classes and worked in music retail.

    My designated area of interest here on The Woodwind Forum is doubling.

    Some time, just for a laugh, I'm going to have someone post a pic of me carry all of the horns I have in my avatar pic.
     
  6. Heckelphone

    Heckelphone Double Reed CE Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Hi, Staff! bio-time...

    I'm Grant Green -- not the famous jazz guitarist, nor even his son (although I have an anecdote that I'll no doubt bore you all with at some point).

    I started with clarinet in 4th grade. Years later, I realized that what I had really wanted to play then was oboe, but I hadn't been able to remember the name when my parents took me to the store, and from my description I ended up with a Conn Bb soprano. In junior high school, I discovered the bass clarinet, and after a year on BCl, the director talked me into switching to bassoon. After a couple of years, I was invited to play with the Kansas City Youth Symphony on contrabassoon, which I greatly enjoyed. I played bassoon in the high school band and orchestra, and bari sax in the marching band and jazz ensemble. Plus a few stints in clarinet choirs, woodwind quintets, and a number of musicals.

    In college, I minored in music composition (and continued playing bassoon in the Pomona College orchestra, and bari in the jazz ensemble, plus several musicals). Took oboe in grad school (while still playing bari in the jazz ensemble at UT Austin).

    These days, I play mainly bass/contra-alto/contrabass clarinets with the San Jose Wind Symphony (and sometimes contrabassoon parts on Eb contra sarrusophone, or bass sax parts on Bb bass sarrusophone). I spent last spring playing Early Music with the Camerata California (recorders, shawms, rackett, crumhorns, rauschpfieffe, bass cornamuse, and guitar). I've also performed here and there on sarrusophone and heckelphone, and try to pull out the sarrusophone each year for the San Jose Saxophone Xmas (playing the bari part an octave lower). One of my favorites was for an encore at a friend's Composer's Recital at UCLA last year -- a quartet for 4 contrabass saxophones called Dragon's First Flight. (In the video, I'm second from the left, playing Jay Easton's Bb Tubax; the other players are Adam Gilberti, the composer, on Blaise Garza's Eb tubax; Jay Easton, on his Eppelsheim contrabass sax; and Blaise on an Orsi contrabass sax.)

    I set up the website Contrabass.com to talk about sarrusophones, heckelphones, and other low-pitched wind instruments (which ultimately led to opportunities to buy a few). It has an email list with about 300 subscribers, ranging from student to professional worldwide. The past few years, though, I haven't had much time for updating the website or keeping the list going (although it is still sporadically active), as my job has been more demanding.

    By day, I'm a patent attorney. I work in-house at the Palo Alto research facility of an international drug company, and about annually get to travel to Switzerland :D, and sometimes Munich (I've had the good fortune to meet Benedikt Eppelsheim and visit his shop, and to tour the old Orsi factory in Milan, Italy.) I can explain general questions about patent law (and some copyright), but (a) I cannot take outside clients (part of my employment agreement), and (b) don't have experience particular to musical instruments, so don't expect specific legal advice ;-) When I'm not working or making music, you can usually find me hiking or reading (I like science fiction, cosmology, and neuroscience these days).

    Enjoy!

    Grant
     
  7. Helen

    Helen Content Expert Saxophones Staff Member Administrator

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    I'm Helen Kahlke. After being a Content Expert on saxophones since nearly the WF's inception, I just recently got promoted to an Admin. (Still waiting for that raise in pay though.) ;)

    Like many of you here, I started band in elementary school. I began playing saxophone in grade 6. I continued on with sax all through high school, university, and beyond, but did take a few years off after a rather nasty accident. Then in 1997 I started playing again, and soon started working full time again as a musician, in addition to my career in the health charities sector.

    Over the years I've played pretty much every kind of music there is from classical to rock. In the beginning of this year (2014) my life came full circle when I joined my first symphonic orchestra in nearly 30 years. I am also currently subbing in a Big Band.

    In 2000 I started my Bassic Sax website--which is currently in its 5th incarnation. Since my medically-forced retirement due a neurological problem in 2007, I have tried to keep my brain from atrophying, and have endeavoured to build new neuro-pathways. To that end I've started studying the history of certain saxophone manufacturers, specializing in the European--especially German--ones that have not been written about in English yet.

    I do have a predilection for vintage saxophones, and over the years my personal set of horns has grown. Although I am primarily a baritone/tenor player, I also play bass, alto, soprano, and C melody. (Yes, those are listed in order of preference.) :D

    Unfortunately my neuro problem leaves me with extreme neurological fatigue and pain, that while managed to a degree, zap my energy. This also impacts my ability to practice like I once did. Sadly my days of playing 5+ hours a day are over. Nowadays I have to rest all day just to get through a band rehearsal in the evening. But hey, at least I can still do some playing, and really, as a musician, isn't that the most important thing!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2014
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Update:

    I'm still a woodwind doubler. I've resigned myself to the fact that people still want to hire me on oboe & EH, so I reacquired them last year. I've been trying to keep busy making bassoon and oboe reeds as well.

    My contract for this year is playing bari/bass clar/bassoon on Crazy for You at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

    I'm also busy teaching guitar and woodwinds, and playing guitar and bass on whatever other gigs I can.
     
  9. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    I'm happy to say that we've just added Saxhound as the first official moderator. He's generally been the first person to report spam, so the WF staff thought it'd be nice to give him some tools to actually do something with that spam.
     
  10. saxhound

    saxhound Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Cue the Monty Python music. I'm honored to be asked, and happy to be part of the merry little band. I'll post a little bit about my background tomorrow. Right now, I need to get the boat gassed up for a Memorial Day cruise on the Tennessee River.
     
  11. saxhound

    saxhound Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    I’m Bob. I’ve been a member of the WWF from very early on, and am also saxhound on SOTW since the late 90’s. I grew up in Pittsburgh, went to college in Bethlehem, PA, and lived in Cortland, NY and Reading, PA before moving to Chicago in 1981, where I met my lovely wife of 28 years. No kids, but we have two crazy golden retrievers (pics here somewhere). I spent 35 years working a day gig, first in finance, and then later in IT.

    In 2014, we decided it was time to retire and get the heck out of Illinois and move somewhere warmer. We have always wanted to live on the water and have a boat, so we went on a mission to find our dream. We ended up in a little town outside of Knoxville, TN on the Tennessee River, and it is just perfect. As someone who grew up in the north, I had this stereotype about the south (banjos, no teeth – the whole Deliverance thing), but I have to say that the people here are some of the nicest I have ever met. Couple that with some really beautiful country, a huge river, and great weather, and I would say that we found that dream.

    Musically, I started playing clarinet in 3rd grade, sax in 8th grade, and took lessons in flute and piano in high school (that didn’t take). I cut my public performance teeth in Pittsburgh with a country rock band. That was an interesting exercise in playing in F#, B and C#. Our “horn section” was sax, fiddle, and pedal steel guitar. While I kept playing throughout college and beyond, it wasn’t till I got to Chicago, that I really got serious. I was quite the weekend warrior, playing in wedding bands, big bands, rock ‘n’ roll, zydeco, Dixieland – whatever.

    While I really like the big band genre, my real passion has been horn based rock – Chicago, BS&T, Tower of Power, Memphis Soul, etc. While I play alto, tenor and bari, the tenor is the horn I always want to play. As a result of the horn band thing, I got heavily into arranging using Sibelius. At first, I was just doing three part horn arrangements, but as I got better at it, I started to tackle big band arrangements as well.

    I also found it necessary to learn and understand about professional sound reinforcement. Let me tell you, mouthpiece and horn GAS pales in comparison to PA GAS. I’ve scaled back over the past few years, but I still have enough equipment to provide sound for a medium sized rock concert. While I’m not officially a content expert, feel free to PM me with questions about microphones, speakers, mixers, amps, etc.

    In addition to my spam killing duties, I’m looking forward to learning more about all of you, and helping to keep the WWF a special place to hang out.
     
  12. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    tumblr_o7jq8iCV1X1uajdeoo1_500.jpg

    (This is extremely funny for the 4 or 5 of us on the forum that'll get the joke.)
     
  13. saxhound

    saxhound Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    OK, that went right over my head. The only connection that I know of between baseball and BOB is the Phoenix ballpark.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
  14. Helen

    Helen Content Expert Saxophones Staff Member Administrator

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    Nice to know a bit more about you saxhound, AKA Bob.

    So you and I have been around SOTW for probably around the same length of time. I think I first joined the site in early 1999. That's where I met Paul Coats, from whom I bought my bass saxophone in 2000. I don't know if you're familiar with the story or not, but I flew down to New Orleans to pick the horn up. While there I was treated to famous New Orleans hospitality by not only Paul, but also Steve Goodson. Both men were incredibly gracious, and generous with their time. All in all my trip to N.O. was a great deal of fun, but a whirlwind of activity.

    It's great to hear of your area of expertise with regards to electronic equipment. I spent 20+ years working in rock and blues bands, and still have a small amount of electronic gear that I still use on occasion for some jobs, and for my own personal amusement when the mood strikes me.

    Thank you for all your efforts on the WF to date, and going forward. We may be smaller than some forums, but our content is what makes us different from the herd.

    Take care on the water, and we'll see you around here... :) .... helen
     
  15. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    It hasn't been BOB for over 10 years. It's Chase Field. This week, at least. I can see it from the building where I work.

    I can explain the joke, but it kills the funny.
     
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