Concerto for Jazz Violin and Orchestra by Scott Routenberg. Christian Howes, violin and Douglas Droste, conductor. Muncie Symphony Orchestra.
With the vocabularies of Jazz, Americana, and classical impressionist music delicately balanced, my biggest challenge was to integrate improvisation throughout the piece, paying attention to (and sometimes ignoring) the written notes and “intentions” of the composer, while reflecting an authentic understanding of the nuances of all three genres. Some trial runs, and lots of conversations with Scott Routenberg, helped me to fine tune this performance with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra.
It was personally fulfilling to work on this project with my childhood friend and Suzuki violin buddy, conductor Douglas Droste. Doug’s background as a classical violinist combined with years of playing trumpet in band (not to mention the influence of his father Paul Droste, a longtime, highly respected band director at Ohio State University), helped him steer the groove of this piece, and I think the Muncie Symphony Orchestra pulled it off beautifully under his direction. I love the moment in the video where Doug catches me in a last minute switch to bring in the orchestra on the downbeat just in time following the solo in the second movement!
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