Sunday, April 18, 2010

Holy Awesome Weekend Batman!!!

Hello everyone!

I hope things are well out there in BloggingLand. I know I keep saying that I will update with more regularity, but unfortunately time is not allowing it. Life here in Fairbanks is still fantastic. School is going well (I cannot believe there is only 4 weeks left) and the weather has been fantastic. It had to be in the 60's today!! I went out and shot some disc golf at UAF and had a good time reading in the sun.

This weekend was the 22nd annual Jazz Fest at the University of Alaska Fairbanks(UAF) and it was awesome! There were moments of extreme frustration and I cannot remember longer work days...but it was worth it because it is really all about the kids - and the kids LOVED it! Jazz fest started Thursday. The kids showed up this first day and attended jazz workshops and listened to various performances. When not at workshops or concerts, several kids found places to hang out and just jam on their instruments. There was some frustration when the middle school kids showed up for an afternoon session and nothing was planned. There were 100 middle school kids (give or take) with no planned activity and no structure...this is a VERY bad situation waiting to happen. Luckily Dr. Vince Cee (the professor I work with at the Alaska Summer Research Academy)took a group of kids and created an improv workshop and I demanded a drum set, a keyboard, and an amp and helped set up a huge jam session. It was rough...but it worked. That evening, there was a concert were several guest artists from around the country (who helped give some of the workshops during the day) performed and it was AMAZING.
On Friday, Randy Smith MS had the opportunity to play in front of two of the guest artists for an adjudication/master class. They played VERY well. The adjudicators had very positive things to say about the kids...and about me. It was very nice to hear. The kids finished the day by going to workshops and or performances. Friday evening, there was a mass concert where all of the schools attending Jazz Fest played two or three pieces. Randy Smith NAILED their performance. They received the first standing ovation of the night and possibly the loudest applause all evening. After they played, I was stopped SO many times by people congratulating me on how amazing the kids sounded. People could not believe how in tune, balanced and FULL the band sounded. The kids earned every bit of praise they received because they truly were amazing. I am so proud of them all!! Another amazing thing that happened at Jazz Fest was the announcement of honor jazz band members. During the adjudications earlier in the day, the guest artists got together and selected students from all of the school to play in the honor group on Saturday. The students they selected were the best of the best on their instruments. There were a total of 17 students (out of about 150 middle school kids) chosen to perform...Randy Smith had SEVEN students make the band!!!!! Last year, I felt great that three of the RS kids made it...when I heard that RS had SEVEN kids in the band this year, I was blown away! WOW!

Saturday was the honor bands and they were great. I also performed in a last minute director's combo playing some jazz guitar. It was a lot of fun, but I need a lot of practice. It has been a while since I've played in any jazz ensemble and my jazz chops are very rusty. It is kind of sad how little a music teacher actually get to play!

Ok...I gatta get going to bed here pretty soon. Jazz Fest was amazing, but it was SOOOO long. I was at the university on Thursday from 7:30am - 10:00pm, on Friday from 7:00am - 12:00am (yes...that is 7 in the morning to midnight), and on Saturday for another 5 I am beat. I hope this blog post makes sense, I feel like my head is a little foggy from lack of sleep and to many dominant 7 chords.

Take care everyone!
~Mr. Lockwood

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Hello everyone out there in Blogging Land. It is a beautiful day here in Fairbanks, Alaska: 5 degrees above zero (20 degrees in the hills) and SUPER sunny. In about 9 hours I will be turning 30 years crazy is that? I am actually looking forward to 30. There have been so many changes in my life during the last two years that the addition of a digit in the tens place of my age seems pretty minor in comparison. The first decade of my existence here on Earth was full of learning how to experience life. The second decade was all about finding my place in life and learning who I am while the third decade was taking who I am and trying to make something out if it. Now that I have reached the fourth decade of my life, I feel like I get to sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labors. I have discovered who I am and I am making something of the life that I have been given.

Ok, enough of the sentimental ramblings...time to get to the good stuff - SPRING BREAK!! Jen is up here visiting again, like last year. So far we have been just hanging out and relaxing. It has been SO nice to sleep in and not have anywhere I need to be. We are house sitting during the break, so we have running water and the entertaining company of Molly and Su-Su. OH!!! I also have a new this blog post comes with pictures! Here is one of Su-Su (cat) and Molly (not cat)


Su-Su is a little sweetie. Shy and a little skittish, but adorable. Molly is a nut! She is so sweet and loving, but the whiniest/neediest dog I have ever seen. It's all good though. Like I said earlier, Jen is up here...


We have been having a good time taking it easy. Jen is not feeling the best and the change in daylight hours has been messing with my energy levels, so relaxing and uneventful days have been kinda nice. We have had some great dinners out and saw the new Alice in Wonderland movie. I LOVE Alice in Wonderland; the books, the 1951 animated version by Disney, the computer game "American McGee's Alice", and the Tom Waits album, Alice. I am not sure how I felt about the new movie. I will just leave it at that so I do not spend the next four hours writing about it. If you want to discus the new movie, send me an email at =)

Anyways...I get off track easily. My new Camera. I bought a new Canon 50d. This is a huge upgrade from my ancient Canon 300d (one of the first dSLR's on the market) So far, I love it. I have been having a blast taking pictures of my favorite model, Foot Foot! I am guessing that there will be LOTS of pictures of Foots to come. He is the person I see most and he is just so photogenic. Here are a few:




Well, I really should get going. It is a beautiful day and Jen and I will be going to Ice Alaska to look at the ice sculptures...if not today, we'll probably go tomorrow.

Take care everyone. I know I have not updated the blog much, but hopefully with the new camera and the slightly diminished work load at school, I'll post more. Until next time!

Rock on,
~Mr. Lockwood

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hello All!

Hello everyone. Long time no see. I have been finding very little motivation to post on my blog ever since my camera broke. The good news is that I am buying a new one!!! Hopefully (fingers crossed) I will have it the second week in March when Jen comes up to visit! I am buying a new Canon 50D! This is a HUGE upgrade from my old dSLR that I had. Also, Jen and my Dad bought be a new 50mm f/1.4 lens that I cannot wait to shoot on!

The second semester is off to a GREAT start at Randy Smith. I am still teaching that one class that was giving me a lot of troubles (World Drumming), but the student roster has changed and it has made ALL the difference. Last semester, I was very stressed out and completely drained at the by of the week. This semester, I am still pretty wiped out on Fridays, but my stress level has dropped significantly. I received my review from the principal the other day, and it was very positive. I feel like I know more of what I am doing than I did last year (which should be the case)but there is always room for improvement.

Something that is new and exciting is that I wrote a Randy Smith school song. It has been very well received so far. I am trying to find a way to post it here on the blog...but I am failing at the moment. Sometime this week I will put it in a video and post that (I can post video clips but not songs apparently.) The song is a little cheesy, but I like it. I wrote it originally for piano and choir...but then arranged a full band version that is very fun! My goal is to have the band play the song at assemblies while the school sings along. I wrote the lyrics based on a few things that Randy Smith is proud of. Our kids voted on 5 words that they feel represent our school. Pride, respect, integrity, citizenship, and excellence (P.R.I.C.E.) are the words they picked. Also, the Black Bear is our school mascot. Here are the lyrics I wrote:

With Pride, Respect, and Integrity, we show off our achievements.
We embrace our love of Citizenship and strive for Excellence.
And those who challenge the Black Bears den, are sure to pay the P.R.I.C.E.
For Randy Smith is always victorious in sports, in school, in life.

Ok...I'm off to have some lunch, hit then gym, and then get some work done at school. I hope to post a bit more often. If not before March, I should start finding my motivation after I get my new Camera!!!