A Tribute to William Adam, Teachings and Routines (Davis)

Bill Adam.jpg
Bill Adam.jpg

A Tribute to William Adam, Teachings and Routines (Davis)


Like a Rocket

Venturing off to college can be a perilous undertaking. It is usually a time of great promise, a chance to show ourselves and our family what we can really do. But there is something also about it that is like falling out of an airplane.

Yes, look at me go – I can fall out of an airplane and spread my arms and ………. Well, hope for the best sometimes – but commonly we are so pre-occupied with all the new requirements that we don’t have time to consider the dangers or consequences. And oddly enough, that’s probably a good thing.  If you could really perceive of all the things that could go wrong, you’d be paralyzed.  

An incredible amount of growth can happen in those short years – it’s practically as mind-blowing as the growth an infant makes in the first three years of life.  And it’s really important that as many people as possible can go to college and get the benefit of the mind-stretching and new-experience-laden sauce that it provides. That’s where the real critical faculties are nurtured and independent thinking and analysis is begun.

All of this is potential. But the best result can only come from the inspired teacher who you may have the good fortune to come across. For as confident as we seem, as worldly as we would like think of ourselves, and as bravura as we pretend to be, the early college student is a fragile piece of material.  When the student in this situation comes across a teacher who not only knows what they are teaching but also really cares about getting through to the student and helping them understand themselves and their world – then you have an extraordinary experience that shapes a lifetime.

These students then form a relationship of real trust and admiration with the (possibly) first person outside their own family. They literally fall into a second family and this one seemingly much more of their choice and not by “chance”. (Of course neither family was just “chance” but we don’t need to labor the point).

Any group of musicians can easily come up with names of teachers they feel very special about. Thank Heavens!! And for any given instrument practically everyone knows of the most often-cited names.

William Adam is one of those names in the trumpet world. His list of successful students is only surpassed by the list of his admirable qualities as a teacher and human being. He was a guy who truly inspired his students in many different ways and all of those who studied with him have a unique shared experience that they honor for life.

It is especially to be appreciated by both his past students and those of us who may not have studied directly with him, that Charley Davis has published A Tribute to William Adam, his Teachings and his Routines.

In this extensive book, Charley has gathered and presents, not only Bill Adams’ brew of musical materials, but specific instructions on playing them and a great deal of biographical and anecdotal reports that flesh out the atmosphere in which Adams did his teaching. This book could only be written by Adams’ own students and their contributions to this work are a fitting tribute to their admiration for the man.

For the rest of us too, having this source material made available is invaluable.

100 pages, coil bound, with contributions by Robert J. Baca, Gary Cordell, Diane Davis-Deckard, John Harbaugh, Larry Hall, Jerry Hey, Phil Jordan, James O’Banion, Dr. Karl Sievers, Robert Slack, Dr. George Tsoutsouris, and Gregory Wing.

Published by Charles Davis Music and available now through Balquhidder Music for $29.95.  The profits from the sale of this book will go to the support of the annual William Adam Trumpet Festival.  (CDM1)


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