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jwgilmore
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Posted - Feb 20 2008 :  08:32:18 AM  Link directly to this topic  Show Profile  Visit jwgilmore's Homepage  Send jwgilmore a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hey gang... I've been covered up in campaign work and other projects, so I haven't had the time to hang out here or think up new topics as I have in the past.

Just a quick note and I'm taking my youngest son and some friends to see Chris Vadala at Lone Star North Harris College (a community college) a week from Monday on 3/3. I'll write a review afterwards. Not sure all the details yet of what his schedule is like that day or if he'll have any time to visit... waiting to hear back from the dept. head with details.

Jimmy... anything you want me to pass along to him from you? Or anyone else for that matter? Let me know what you'd like me to ask him if we get a chance to visit.

To any Forum visitors or casual web surfers... I think I've shared this somewhere here before, but I'm amazed at how accessible Chris is to the public. He's devoted his life to jazz education and raising up the next generation of jazz artists. Selmer and Rico pay him to travel all over the US, several weekends a month, to do jazz clinics and concerts... primarily junior colleges and universities... what a great guy!

I'll share my thoughts in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned!

John W. Gilmore
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www.modulationband.com

'Music is one of God's greatest gifts.' - Chuck Mangione
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Posted - Feb 20 2008 :  5:38:52 PM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit jimmyjazz's Homepage  Send jimmyjazz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You can tell him James Ingenito from NY says hi..If you're in Texas, you'll probably catch him off gaurd with that hello!

James Ingenito
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Posted - Feb 21 2008 :  01:34:45 AM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit VinylGuy69's Homepage  Send VinylGuy69 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Would be good to know if he's planning on making a record.

Jazz Vibraphonist/Drummer/Composer

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Posted - Feb 21 2008 :  08:33:09 AM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit jwgilmore's Homepage  Send jwgilmore a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Quote quote:
Would be good to know if he's planning on making a record.

Art of Life Records has just re-released Out of the Shadows. I have never heard it but intend to order it this week. Anyone else familiar with this CD?

John W. Gilmore
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'Music is one of God's greatest gifts.' - Chuck Mangione

Edited by - jwgilmore on Feb 21 2008 08:33:41 AM
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Posted - Feb 21 2008 :  10:51:21 AM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit Leatherlips's Homepage  Send Leatherlips a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You can order the cd Out Of The Shadows from the Mangione Magic store if you are interested. Here is the link.

"When music is honest and full of love, labels aren't important, and people listen with an open mind"
-Chuck Mangione
Check my profile to find out how to enter the hidden VIP Lounge of the Mangione Magic Forum.
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Posted - Feb 21 2008 :  10:58:36 AM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit jwgilmore's Homepage  Send jwgilmore a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Quote quote:
You can order the cd Out Of The Shadows from the Mangione Magic store if you are interested.

Yes, by all means, guys... support the mm site and buy from Leather! Glad I haven't ordered it yet.

(Leather... not sure how I keep missing these links on the mm store site... sorry! In addition to the index of links on the left by category, maybe you could post every CD on one page where you scroll down for slow guys like me who are more visually oriented and often don't take time to read! ) My bad!

John W. Gilmore
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'Music is one of God's greatest gifts.' - Chuck Mangione
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jimmyjazz
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Posted - Feb 21 2008 :  2:21:21 PM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit jimmyjazz's Homepage  Send jimmyjazz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
He gave me a copy a few years ago--it had a different cover..
Highly enjoyed it! Great version of Little Sunflower AND Sentimental Mood!
2 words---> GET IT!

James Ingenito
www.jamesingenito.com
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Posted - Mar 04 2008 :  4:18:23 PM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit jwgilmore's Homepage  Send jwgilmore a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Chris was AMAZING!... intoxicating!... got to spend about 25 minutes with him after the concert. I'll write more later today or tomorrow, complete with pix links.

Jimmy... Chris says hi... says you have a fantastic band program at your school!

John W. Gilmore
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'Music is one of God's greatest gifts.' - Chuck Mangione
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Posted - Mar 05 2008 :  02:19:20 AM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit jwgilmore's Homepage  Send jwgilmore a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sorry for the delay in posting my review of Monday's concert. Where do I start?

Let me first say that I met one of the nicest, humble, friendly, generous and passionate musicians ever... Chris Vadala. The man is amazing in so many ways. Anyone who has an opportunity to hear him play must take advantage of it.

Before getting into the details of the concert, some context is very appropriate... this concert was at Lone Star North Harris College, a community college located in a suburb of Houston. As such, it was in an academic setting, not a gig set up by a professional promoter. The atmosphere invited a very intimate setting and less formal than a typical concert. The venue was the auditorium in the fine arts building... seating about 200 with it about half full. We sat third row center stage with no one in front of us.

This was an exhibition concert of high school students, college students and continuing education band members with Chris as guest artist. As a result, some latitude has to be extended in terms of evaluating the quality of the music... these are amateurs playing with a quintessential professional.

Having stated all the necessary disclaimers up front, I felt I got $100 worth of music for the humble $10 general admission ticket price. Chris was absolutely amazing. I have the highest respect and appreciation for Gerry Niewood, but Chris is simply a different style that captures my imagination. He has a certain edge where he cuts it when he lays it down, while Gerry spreads it smooth. Does that make sense? The only analogy that comes to mind is Gerry uses a butter knife and Chris uses a steak knife. They're both great and I loved every second of Gerry in San Antonio. IMO Chris is just a more aggressive player and simply tears it up.

Three bands accompanied Chris. The first was the Region 9 & 27 Jazz Ensemble composed of area high school students. In my opinion they played more like a college band... very talented. 14 horns + rhythm. Their song list...
Bag's Blues
I Mean You
Children of Sanchez
Lady Bird
Samba De Los Gatos

Chris accompanied them on Children of Sanchez (arr. Tyzik) and perhaps one more (tho I don't recall). He often played without a mic... wow he has some lungs! He tore it up as usual. My friend, our sax player from our church praise band, was in awe... he just sat mesmerized while trying to follow the finger movements through the rifts. It sounded as if I was hearing COS for the first time.

The next band was Gale Force, the Lone Star College jazz band. They were impressive as well. 14 horns + rhythm. They are short a drummer this year, so the Music Dean (I believe that's how he was introduced) fills in on drums. They only played three songs...
Engine No. 9
My One and Only Love
El Gato Triste

Chris accompanied on My One and Only Love and El Gato. What surprised me was when he introduced El Gato, he said he'd never played it before. The scary moment of the night was when they started the song, the drummer (the dean) started off the song way too fast... almost double-time. It threw off the trumpet soloist and everyone else. The director was trying desperately to slow him down, but he was reading the charts and it never happened until the song got to the up tempo. Since the audience was comprised mainly of students' parents and friends, I doubt they recognized the song and probably didn't notice, but it was painful to watch... Chris kept his cool, but I could tell he was a little uptight about it, and rightfully so! The song finished strong though, and Chris knocked it out of the park on his solos. Not bad for a first time on a song whose wheels almost fell off early on.

The third band was the Hurricane Jazz Orchestra, which is a continuing education community band made up of all ages of players. 15 horns + rhythm. Their song list (I don't recall the order exactly as they didn't quite follow the printed program)...
To Be or Not to Bop
Feels So Good
Self Help Is Needed
A Night in Tunisia
Snakes
Quintessance
Oliver

Highlights of this set was Feels So Good and Oliver. On FSG, the flugel player did a decent job... not perfect, but decent. I cannot imagine a more imposing situation than to have to play that song with Chris looking on. That takes cojones. Chris was very gracious (of course) and shook his hand at the end to express his approval. His solos were fabulous... fresh and inventive, not straight off the record. Oliver was the finale... where Chris came down off the stage and played at audience level. Wow... that was sweet!

There was an open reception in the band hall after the concert for autographs and pics.

We spent about 25 minutes with Chris. He asked if we could stick around because he had something special for me. He brought out a special autographed Selmer poster for me (we had traded emails a few times over the past year since I found out he was coming to town). What a gracious guy... he had as much time for us as we wanted. We stuck around to visit and were among the last to leave. He also autographed the back of my FSG LP above his pic. My friend, Dennis, is from PA and had attended UMD, so they had some good laughs about the Terps.

Click here for pics.

I told him Jimmy Ingenito (JimmyJazz) said hi and he got a big laugh out of that... Jimmy, he had great things to say about your program. You should be proud.

So now I close... I didn't mean to ramble so much. The band was a student and community band... give them a little leeway... they were good, but Chris was amazing... outstanding... Dennis was literally speechless trying to articulate what he had just witnessed.

One final thought... Please... buy Chris's CD... an outstanding collection with a wide variety of styles... and go see him any chance you get. Selmer and Rico send him out to do clinics and concerts in schools and community colleges all over the country. He told us he works at UM three days a week and then travels the rest of the time. He has committed the remainder of his career to raise up the next generation of jazz musicians. What a wonderful guy. You can check out his tour schedule here.

Thanks for taking the time to read!

John W. Gilmore
www.gilmoremarketing.com
www.modulationband.com

'Music is one of God's greatest gifts.' - Chuck Mangione

Edited by - jwgilmore on Mar 05 2008 10:17:49 AM
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satchmo67
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Posted - Mar 05 2008 :  03:46:56 AM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit satchmo67's Homepage  Send satchmo67 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
John, thanks so much for this fantastic post!

An excellent review, in conjunction with some great pics. Wish I could have been there. He doesn't look all that old either.

I've always been a Vadala fan, and can't think of a sax solo or line which wasn't special in some way.

Thanks again!

Cheers,
Gary
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Posted - Mar 05 2008 :  12:00:47 PM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit Leatherlips's Homepage  Send Leatherlips a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What a knockout review! Very fun to read! I almost felt like I was there! I thought it was also great that each band played a Mangione tune. Was this planned because Chris was going to be there?

"When music is honest and full of love, labels aren't important, and people listen with an open mind"
-Chuck Mangione
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jwgilmore
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Posted - Mar 05 2008 :  8:48:49 PM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit jwgilmore's Homepage  Send jwgilmore a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the kind feedback. I did not intend to be so longwinded!

Quote quote:
He doesn't look all that old either.

Not at all... he's probably in his late fifties, and full of life. I can't find his birthdate or graduation date in any online bios, but I was guessing that if he was Chuck's student at Eastman in '70 when F&L was recorded, then he was probably 20 or 21 at the time, making him around 58 now.
Quote quote:
I thought it was also great that each band played a Mangione tune. Was this planned because Chris was going to be there?

Undoubtedly. In fact, I cannot remember exactly what (or when) he said this, but Chris made some mention of the Mangione tunes selected... something to the effect of some he planned on playing and some he had not, but that they got through it ok... perhaps in reference to El Gato that he had never played before. The Mangione tunes were of course my favorites of the evening, but there wasn't a bad song in any of the three sets. Highly entertaining throughout.

John W. Gilmore
www.gilmoremarketing.com
www.modulationband.com

'Music is one of God's greatest gifts.' - Chuck Mangione
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stephenj
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Posted - Jun 26 2008 :  1:40:35 PM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Send stephenj a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In Jan 1990 I sent a letter to Chris Vadala via Chuck's mailing address, and a few weeks later he sent me a letter back. This was before the Internet was around, and he wrote almost 2 full pages of handwritten script! My goodness, I can't even write an entire paragraph without my hand aching nowadays.....

Chris was very gracious in his letter, explaining about his abrupt parting with Chuck and his plans for the future. He at the time was just working part time at a junior college and writing articles for The Saxophone Journal.

He enclosed a b/w flyer outlining his offerings and asked that I use it "in the event you have any contct with any schools or festival situations". My how times have changed for Chris!

Thanks for reminding me of that letter. I haven't thought about it for several years, and it was right where I thought I left it!

STeve

Stephen Jones
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Posted - Jun 26 2008 :  1:51:29 PM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit jimmyjazz's Homepage  Send jimmyjazz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Next year, Chris and I are planning something at my High School where I teach... He is not only a brilliant player and educator--but one of the best guys around!

James Ingenito
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Posted - Jun 26 2008 :  5:35:15 PM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit jwgilmore's Homepage  Send jwgilmore a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Quote quote:
Thanks for reminding me of that letter. I haven't thought about it for several years, and it was right where I thought I left it!

GREAT story, Steve... thanks for sharing!
Quote quote:
He is not only a brilliant player and educator--but one of the best guys around!

Ditto! And he said he would come to our high school if I'm successful in resurrecting our jazz band program.

John W. Gilmore
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'Music is one of God's greatest gifts.' - Chuck Mangione
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Posted - Jun 26 2008 :  6:10:08 PM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit jimmyjazz's Homepage  Send jimmyjazz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
John--are you a teacher? You are trying to get the jazz program back up? Details please!!!

James Ingenito
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Posted - Jun 26 2008 :  10:47:06 PM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit jwgilmore's Homepage  Send jwgilmore a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Quote quote:
John--are you a teacher? You are trying to get the jazz program back up? Details please!!!

No, not a teacher... just a hopelessly addicted amateur musician and band parent.

What got this all started (the rest of you can take a nap if you wish...) was when I took my youngest son, Connor (who wants to start sax in two years) and the sax player from our praise band to see Chris's concert in Houston back in March (see earlier part of thread). The first of the three bands that night was the high school all-region jazz band performing with Chris as guest artist. They were tearing it up and all the memories of my high school days in jazz band came flooding back. I went to school in the northern part of the state and loved jazz band as much as marching band. My next thought was, "Why doesn't our high school here have a jazz band!?!? Our kids are missing out on this huge part of a music education." Driving home from that memorable evening, I resolved to do whatever I can to get a jazz band program going at our high school. My third son, Blake, is a trumpet player in the marching band, but has no interest in jazz (sorry, Chuck... I tried!). I didn't care... I still wanted to do it... Connor listens to Chuck's music with me all the time. So after some checking, I found out from some old timers (my age!) that our kids' high school used to have a jazz band, but discontinued it at some point 10-20 years ago. I also found out they even still have the Fender Rhodes sitting in a corner of a storage area gathering dust somewhere! (Keep napping, guys... almost done!)

Anyway, I sent an email to our band director (the week of concert contest... bad timing!) expressing my interest in helping revive a jazz band program... I'd help promote it, recruit, help with fundraising, volunteer to help round up music, direct, tutor, appear before school board... whatever it takes. I didn't get a reply and wondered why, only to find out less that two weeks later that our band director is resigning to go to another school... which explained why he didn't respond.

Fast forward to today... the new high school band director was hired two weeks ago, and I haven't had a chance to meet him yet or present my jazz band revival idea to him. We have parent meetings the last week of July, the week before band camp starts, but we don't get back from vacation until the day before camp starts, so I'll have to wait even longer. I went to the website of his previous high school and didn't see anything about jazz band, so I don't know yet if he has an interest or not. I'm to the point I'd even be willing to make it an after-school activity if the school doesn't want to officially add it to the curriculum... I just think the kids should have the opportunity to participate in the jazz experience and develop that passion at an early age.

In a way, I feel a little like Jake and Elwood Blues..."We're getting the band back together!..." I'll keep you posted on the progress!

John W. Gilmore
www.gilmoremarketing.com
www.modulationband.com

'Music is one of God's greatest gifts.' - Chuck Mangione

Edited by - jwgilmore on Jun 26 2008 10:49:45 PM
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Posted - Jun 26 2008 :  11:25:20 PM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit jimmyjazz's Homepage  Send jimmyjazz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have found that many instrumental and choral teachers don't "start" jazz programs because they are Un-familiar with the music as most are classically trained and didn't veer into the realm of jazz. I was not an education major. I did my undergrad and grad in jazz studies (though classically trained as well). After a few years of playing for a living, I did a post-grad in ed. Point is, I was familiar with jazz and concert band rep. I have been active at the county and state level bringing awareness to jazz ed and it's importance (hell-ANY music is important in the schools!) Anyway, I wonder if the new band teacher has jazz experience of any kind? If not, there could be a reluctance to start a new group-especially in the first year. I think it's great that you are trying to get it going. In my district, I am proud to say that we have jazz bands-a 5th and 6th jazz band--a 7th-8th -a 9th 10th-and an 11th-12th band. This year, I started a jazz combo as well. I am doing my best to expose these kids to this music-straight ahead, fusion, latin...It also has an effect on me-i think it makes me a better musician.

Keep up the fight..maybe I should come out there!!!!!!!

James Ingenito
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Posted - Jun 27 2008 :  08:52:04 AM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit jwgilmore's Homepage  Send jwgilmore a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Jimmy... I'll keep you posted. I don't know of his familiarity with jazz, but you're right, his familiarity will be directly related to his level of interest. And I don't expect anything to happen his first year, other than hopefully showing an interest so that we can spend this year planning for next year or the year after that.

I don't know much else about him, other than he has a Bachelor's and two Master's, but don't know in what fields... I'm assuming performance and education. And he plays trombone... not sure if instruments have a bearing on his jazz interest...? ? ?

Regardless, I'll keep you posted on developments... and yes, we could surely use your passion down here!! I've already visited with a few other parents who think it's a wonderful idea and say their kids would love to be involved. It will be fun to see how it turns out. It may take a while, but I can't wait to post our first concert on this website!

John W. Gilmore
www.gilmoremarketing.com
www.modulationband.com

'Music is one of God's greatest gifts.' - Chuck Mangione

Edited by - jwgilmore on Jun 27 2008 08:53:30 AM
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Posted - Jun 27 2008 :  10:49:58 AM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit jimmyjazz's Homepage  Send jimmyjazz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll pack my bags!!!!!!

James Ingenito
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Posted - Jun 27 2008 :  5:38:37 PM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit satchmo67's Homepage  Send satchmo67 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Quote quote:
Originally posted by stephenj

Chris was very gracious in his letter, explaining about his abrupt parting with Chuck and his plans for the future.

Wow! Are you able to share the part about his abrupt departure please? This is something that I've always wondered about, notwithstanding Jimmy's previous comments about there NOT being any kind of fall-out between the two.

If only Chris had been on the Cannes DVD.....
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Posted - Jun 27 2008 :  7:46:16 PM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit jimmyjazz's Homepage  Send jimmyjazz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If there was a MAJOR falling out, Chris would not still sit in with him..I'm sure there was some stuff, but nothing major... Chris played with Chuck til he took some time to chill out in the early 90's..Then Chuck did a Feels so Good reunion tour in 93--Chris was on the tour, then the Chesky stuff--Niewood is not a dominant force on the 1st Chesky recordng..

James Ingenito
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Posted - Jun 27 2008 :  8:02:09 PM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit satchmo67's Homepage  Send satchmo67 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
All makes good sense. But would be good to know what Chris wrote in the letter about it.
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Posted - Jun 27 2008 :  8:18:36 PM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit jwgilmore's Homepage  Send jwgilmore a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree, Gary, it would be nice to know... but whatever it was, seems to be water under the bridge. Chris mentioned a while back that he'd play more with Chuck if he were able, but between UMD and the Selmer/Ricco clinics, he rarely has time in his schedule. He was hoping to play with Chuck at South Point at Vegas again this year (last week), but this time he was already booked elsewhere.

John W. Gilmore
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'Music is one of God's greatest gifts.' - Chuck Mangione
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Posted - Jul 25 2008 :  12:01:19 AM  Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Visit jwgilmore's Homepage  Send jwgilmore a Private Message  Reply with Quote
While this thread has veered from the original topic a little, I wanted to update Jimmy and others on getting the jazz band program resurrected at my boys' high school... I finally had a chance to visit with our new band director this evening. He said he'd be glad to do jazz band, but it would require hiring a third assistant director, so he didn't know if or when that would happen. I told him in the meantime I might try to organize an unofficial group for the kids to play in outside of school if there's an interest. There are in fact several kids that audition for the Region Jazz Band, but they do it on their own. Perhaps they could form the basis for the group. In the meantime, I guess Chris will have to wait to come down until we can add it to the curriculum.

John W. Gilmore
www.gilmoremarketing.com
www.modulationband.com

'Music is one of God's greatest gifts.' - Chuck Mangione
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