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James Austin


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Have you heard of Jim Austin?
yes
43%
 43%  [ 26 ]
no
56%
 56%  [ 34 ]
Total Votes : 60

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dbacon
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like Mr. Austin was a fine professional trumpet player, teacher and person.....something we all should strive for!
Perhaps a good way to end this thread.
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baysidepete
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ed,

With all due respect, I believe it was Lloyd Benson, not Warren, who made the famous "You're no John...." statement, but your point is well made.
peter
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dasloan
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dbacon wrote:
Sounds like Mr. Austin was a fine professional trumpet player, teacher and person.....something we all should strive for!
Perhaps a good way to end this thread.


Sorry Dave, just my OCD-pet peeve but he "is" a fine professional trumpet player and so on. I know that's what you meant but... what can I say, I'm not perfect.

In case anyone wants to hear Mr. Austin play, I believe he is on an Eschenbach recording of the New World Symphony where he READ 2nd trumpet during the session (that might have already been mentioned) but also if one has access to the UH Music Library there are old faculty brass quintet recitals that can be checked out. I just listened to one today and was floored with how much came out of those old unedited cassettes.

Thank you all for your input regarding Mr. Austin, it was very interesting and very worth reading.
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razeontherock
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just reading about his teaching style is an education
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ecarroll
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter,

Yes, the Texan, not the composer. Good catch and my bad

Best,
EC
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dbacon
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dasloan wrote:
dbacon wrote:
Sounds like Mr. Austin was a fine professional trumpet player, teacher and person.....something we all should strive for!
Perhaps a good way to end this thread.


Sorry Dave, just my OCD-pet peeve but he "is" a fine professional trumpet player and so on. I know that's what you meant but... what can I say, I'm not perfect.

In case anyone wants to hear Mr. Austin play, I believe he is on an Eschenbach recording of the New World Symphony where he READ 2nd trumpet during the session (that might have already been mentioned) but also if one has access to the UH Music Library there are old faculty brass quintet recitals that can be checked out. I just listened to one today and was floored with how much came out of those old unedited cassettes.

Thank you all for your input regarding Mr. Austin, it was very interesting and very worth reading.



"IS"......you are correct, my mistake!

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ghudson
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:00 pm    Post subject: James Austin Reply with quote

Joe Camel's post sent me into flashback mode for a while with the quotable quotes! One of my favorite Austinisms was the compliment you got if you did something particularly well in a lesson, class, etc.....
"Boy, that's good stuff."

Thanks also for adding Don Burks to the list. I haven't seen Don in over ten years. It's good to know that he is still playing.
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Joe Camel
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who DO you see outside of Lubbock?
You might be surprised to find there are guys hiding out in major metropolitan areas.

Go Big Red there stretch...

We had a nice Austinism session on Stephen Ave. last night in Calgary with a few of the collective.

Howard reminded us how the longer speeches would start with calling you by name...
"Now Skip..."

Another of the Yoda reverse speak was when he was talking about various guys in the brass world that a student may bring up as an influence...
"...great player...not without a great deal of ego"

JC

PS
An Austin student and an Austin grandstudent (by way of Willie) in the semis to replace the Austin student last night.
Just to throw gas on the fire...(and why not really...)

PPS
And also the other finalist was obviously an Austin grandstudent by way of Inkstrom. (3 of the final 8 I guess I'm sayin...)


Last edited by Joe Camel on Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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Joe Camel
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worth mentioning one of his pet peeves...
He could not STAND it when someone failed to carry the accidental through a bar. ESPECIALLY in trumpet class.

"You're better than that..."

I still feel self-hate when I slip up on that...

I remember that "boy - that's good stuff"

Also when he would describe his younger days:
"I was hot as pistol then."
"I was wet behind the ears."
"The conductor said 'sink or swim Jimmy'"

On attaining goals:
"You gotta walk through that door."
"You gotta get in that room. Not many guys get in that room."
"The Lord's a mover."

All gold...

JC
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ghudson
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh man, the room analogy.

Another thing that would bring on a lecture was anyone in masterclass who would just knee jerk respond "needs more center" when Mr. Austin asked what we thought might need to be addressed in what was just played. Everyone would just sink in their chair.

Unfortunately, it's hard to keep up with lots of the guys from my era. I still hear from Mr. Austin's son, Mark (loaded with talent) and Eddie Martinez was in my class (also loaded with talent). Also a few who went on to be band directors down in Houston. Just heard from Mike Samford the other day. Sadly, as time goes on, those connections are hard to maintain if we don't talk regularly. On the other hand, when we do communicate, it's like we're back in the old Fine Arts bldg. One of the other big benefits I suppose from being in the studio is this old Austinism: "esprit du corps."

Oh....this is a good one. In the studio in the old building, there was a mirror near where he would sit during your lesson. If you were observant, you could catch him checking out his hair (and what a good head of hair it is) while you were playing.
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ghudson
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's add Jeremy McBain to the list. Currently finishing doctorate at Illinois U-C. Freelance, some college positions.

Samantha Whelan Kotkas (sp?). Creator of Storyfair, orchestral education program in Canada.

JC-Who was the Austin grandstudent? Rich Harris?
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Joe Camel
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Rich by way of Willie and I think the runner-up studied with Howard so another one there by extension.

"You gonna sell that horn? Keep it in the family."

Checking out his hair? You mean helmet right? JK

Sam is doing well up in Calgary. Just saw her.
I think she plays still in the kids' programs that she does.

JC
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ghudson
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to know, JC.

Oops.....sorry. I mean

"Joe Camel...man about town."
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wseago
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jvand678,

Thanks for starting this thread. I am a former student of Mr. Austin’s and attended UH from 1990-95. I have been teaching band for the past 8 years and have spent the last two as a head director at one of the feeder middle schools to Spring HS in Spring ISD. There are two men in my life, outside of my Papa, that have made me the man I am today: Mr. Green and Mr. Austin. Mr. Austin’s deep Christian faith and commitment to integrity were character traits that he not only instilled in me as a young student at UH, but I think to all of his former students that cherished the time shared under his tutelage.

I am getting slightly older (and I know 36 is young by all standards) and I have forgotten many of the details from my youth. The one thing I still remember to this day is May 13th, 1989. That was my first lesson with Mr. Austin. I was not some hand picked up-start. I was a very rough and wet-behind-the-ears player from a rural 3A band program. I can remember Mr. Austin asking me to walk him through my typical practice – what did I warm-up on, etc. After admitting I really didn’t, he asked me to play a scale and at which point I said in a puzzled and probably scared voice “scales?” Well, that lesson I learned about whole steps, half steps, how to build Major and minor scales, key signatures, and the circle of fifths. And, he let me come back the following week and after. To this day, when a student has a lesson with me for the first time I’ll ask them to walk me through a typical practice session before I start the teaching part of the lesson. Mr. Austin just had a way of knowing what information his students needed and when was the precise best time to for his students to hear that information.

I never “made it” as a player, but if it wasn’t for Mr. Austin I would have never been able to move on and study with Will Strieder for my Masters or with Tom Booth after my Masters. It was the concepts of sound and musicianship I learned from Mr. Austin that allowed me to become the best player I could be. I dreamed big dreams of playing, but I learned something else from Mr. Austin. The Lord works in our lives in ways we cannot always understand at that moment. My stubbornness to become a player, despite my lack of talent and poor public school training, allowed me to gather a lot of knowledge that has made me a good teacher. I often think upon something Mr. Austin told me after my first semester in college. I had a lesson with him over the Christmas break and was all happy that I had earned all A’s and one B (18 hours and one class was Calculus!). Knowing the answer, Mr. Austin asks about my grades, I tell him (all smiles, of course) and he says – “so you got a B from me. Funny you make A’s in everything except that which is going to put money in your wallet.” Well, I made an A my second semester in lessons!! So my point is, that Mr. Austin and the Lord knew that even though I wanted to play, I needed to work harder because years later teaching would put money in my wallet and provide a life for me and my family.

Austinisms I remember:
“Are you loose?”
“Blow a few notes” or the variation – “Blow a few notes while I go to the boys room”
The phones rings in a lesson – “that’s the boss” meaning his wife
“That sounds brittle”
“Are your ears burning?”
“He’s got a fire burning”
“Rubbing elbows”
I have visions of the circle with a dot in the middle, which by the way doesn’t mean the same thing to a bunch of Jr. High boys – if you get my meaning.
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wseago
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remembered another Austinism:
"cracker jack player"
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Joe Camel
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Warren,

You are the best.

Also, those were golden quotes. I remembered "Keep the Fire Burning." as his sign-off the other day.

I use to use "are you loose?" all the time, but had forgotten it.

I told a kid the other day that he had a "case of the dwas". I remember Jim diagnosing me with this in my Freshman year. I wouldn't learn FULLY what caused the dreaded "dwas" until many years later.
This was in a masterclass yesterday that I said this. I was having major Austin flashbacks, because I knew this kid wasn't buying anything that I said. Austin had a way of reading your mind and KNEW when something was getting hung up in your filter.
You had to believe, or it couldn't be fixed. He loved finding ways to make you believe. I told this kid to do the exact same thing that Austin told me to do, which was to record himself (in analog) on one speed and play it back at half speed. Nothing like THAT to reveal the truth about the start of notes!
I never really believed in the dwas until I heard them played back at me at half speed and I knew this kid wouldn't either.

So right about the integrity thing.
"There's no integrity in that" was a quote that I remembered hearing often.
He also cautioned against putting your entire self-esteem into your trumpet playing. (something I'm still working on)
"When you take away the trumpet, there has to be a person there."

This guy was a giant...the kind you wish more people would have gotten to know, even though a GREAT many people got to know him.
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O00Joe
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know well of James Austin. My first teacher was one of his faithful students who studied alongside Vassallo under Austin. I've also had a couple of lessons and long talks with him.

Austin is a straight forward guy who is a bit old-school. When I had to choose which school to study at, it was between Austin at UH and Wiff Rudd at Baylor. I chose Baylor mostly because of extreme personal issues that I had to escape. I do find that Austin is definitly more my style however, being a strictly orchestral player. I felt honored to be invited to Austin's studio, but the school UH school of music has some major problems for me. This was the other factor that pushed me to Baylor.

In high school, I was subjected to the UH torture band regimin that, to be frank, kills music. To suffer this for another four years wouldn't be feasable. (Yes, Tom Bennet has chased many musicians off.) Along with that, I always got the feeling UH was simply mediocre as a music school. (Hearing a music professor or two at UH proclaim this themselves doesn't help.)

Nevermind all that, James Austin is the Godfather of trumpet. He's the man. I hope I get to study with him during the summers or something. Not a day goes by where I reconsider and analyze the decisions I have made about college. I still can't believe I said no to him. It has been tearing me up for months.

That list of best trumpet schools on the first page I find to be a bit warped.. where's Rice?
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MrClean
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

O00Joe wrote:

That list of best trumpet schools on the first page I find to be a bit warped.. where's Rice?


You're kidding, right?
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wseago
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OOOJoe,

The list of best trumpet schools is from 1998. A lot has changed in 10 years, but I think the point was that by 1998 the years of teaching Mr. Austin had put togehter had accumulated into recognition from a source other than those who knew him personally through performance or study.

I think the comments about the UH band rehearsal techiniques are best saved for another thread/forum. Of course, that dead horse has been beaten so many times that its bones are probably a fine powder by now.

I'm sorry you passed on the opportunity to study with Mr. Austin. Lessons are a very personal experience and most productive when there is a healthy chemistry between student and teacher. That is the problem with a few of the post by some that complained about Mr. Austin. They fault him instead of just realizing they needed to move on and study with someone they matched with.

Best of luck and I hope you get the opportunity to study with Mr. Austin in the future.
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O00Joe
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrClean wrote:
O00Joe wrote:

That list of best trumpet schools on the first page I find to be a bit warped.. where's Rice?


You're kidding, right?


OK sorry I didn't see it's from 1998, smartass.
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