Josiah Williams is a first year master’s trombone performance student. He is from Downers Grove, IL and holds a graduate assistantship in the Jazz area. We asked him about his time so far at Ball State:
In a word: stimulating. I’m experiencing many forms and styles of hands-on teaching and playing. I teach Jazz III and play in Jazz I, Ball State Symphony Orchestra, Cardinal Trombone Choir, and a trombone quartet. Ball State is an exciting place to study music and an active market for arts and music.
Having the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis on campus this past weekend was a huge opportunity and a great experience. I’m grateful for the chance to have heard and worked with such hard-working musicians, accomplished performers, and seasoned historians of American music. The clinic with Wynton Marsalis, Victor Goines, and Paul Nedzela was incredibly helpful and eye-opening. I learned several great tidbits, including a rhythmic independence exercise from Mr. Marsalis I plan to use in teaching jazz. I also learned from Mr. Goines that Benny Goodman would rehearse his band without the rhythm section to make sure the horns were rhythmically tight and accurate. How cool is that! Our band sounded much better at the end of the class, and I know I will be thinking over lessons Mr. Marsalis, Mr. Goines, and Mr. Nedzela shared with us for a long time.