What’s Next?

A photo of Jeff Conner.

“The West Wing” is one of my favorite TV dramas. The show features the lives of staffers in the White House with fictional President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet played brilliantly by Martin Sheen. One of Bartlet’s characteristic lines was: “What’s next?” Once a goal or task was accomplished, he wanted to keep moving forward.

Back in March 2020, Boston Brass’s accomplishments throughout the past 34 years all of a sudden felt unimportant. We had absolutely no control over the coronavirus’s effects on live music. All we could do is say, “What’s next?” How do we keep the wheels turning, stay creative, and continue to leave a musical footprint? That was our challenge, and we had to persevere.

To stay creative, Boston Brass created Flex Arrangements for high school and college bands. These arrangements give music programs the opportunity to rehearse and perform as small ensembles.

Take Stock

2020 is done. As we get into 2021, we are crossing our fingers that all of us are able to share the stage and begin performing live together again.

No matter the circumstances, we can all say, “What’s next?” We must look back and take inventory of our successes and failures from the past year and start focusing on the future. Create short- and long-term goals to stay on track.

If you’re not sure where to start, think about your answers to the following questions:

  • Why are you still playing your instrument?
  • What do your music and your ensembles mean to you?
  • What’s your favorite kind of music and why?
  • What would life be like if you couldn’t play anymore?

These general questions will hopefully bring you to your next chapter.

Leave Your Mark

I challenge each and every one of you to be creative, be positive, be resilient, and make the world a better place. No matter your ability level, you can create a positive musical footprint. Perhaps create a short video or offer a live musical performance, try a new arrangement or write a new composition, or just encourage younger musicians. The world needs you now!

Let’s all think about what’s next and bring smiles to our audiences—no matter the size.

About author

Jeff Conner

Jeff Conner is the only original member of Boston Brass. He has more than 30 years of experience building and branding the Boston Brass name in the world of chamber music. As a Yamaha Performing Group, Boston Brass has performed in 49 states and 30 countries, is a featured participant in conferences and conventions, and leads master classes and artist residencies around the world.

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