Join our mailing list for the latest news

Latest News

Sir Wick is No. 1 on UK Soul Music!!

Ellis Marsalis -In Memoriam 

This album changed my life. 

This album made me shed the C Blues. It made me think about different ensembles for jazz. I was first introduced to "The Patriarch" on this album, Joe Cool Blues, which I bought because Khalil Jackson and Benjamin Pruitt told me to buy it.
I shedded his solos, trying to swing like him. It was the first time I heard Delfeayo Marsalis on Trombone. I learned that it was possible to switch to from Latin to Swing (if I you wondered where I got it from...although he did in parts where I tend to do it in form). It was then when I said, maybe I can learn how to play jazz on piano. I learned from listening the ever-important left voicing of Eb-A-D for a F7 chord. AdditionallyI wanted to swing like Martin Butler and Herlin Riley on drums. The pocket is killing. It when reinforced what I learned from Buster Marbury. Still, it led me to listening to uber-amounts of Ellis Marsalis. About 13 years ago, I finally got to tell him how much I appreciated him and how he influenced me both in jazz and classical composition. He smiled. I am thankful to Lord God that I got the opportunity to do so. RIP to the Patriarch, Ellis Marsalis. 

PhD/EdD/DMA: which to get and how it goes 

Many people have asked about which terminal degree to get; they want to teach music in college, and asked about funding.  Here are some FAQs that I hope to answer for anyone who is interested.  Hope this helps!


Musically Yours,
Chad "Sir Wick" Hughes, PhD.

Should I get a PhD or EdD (for those in Education)?


At the end of the day, they are both terminal degrees.  You aren’t going to get $20,000 more if you get a PhD over the EdD.


So what is the difference?


The difference is the coursework you take.  In general, you will have more applicable pedagogical classes in the EdD than the PhD.  You will have way more, research, theoretical and philosophical in your PhD study, hence it being a Doctor of Philosophy.  In most cases, PhD also has a foreign language requirement.


Let’s look at two programs so you can see the difference.

Here’s a PhD and EdD program at Kansas State University



As you see, there are more PSYCH classes in the PhD course.  There are, of course, class overlap.  So which one to get?  Your decision.


So which one do I get if I want to be a superintendent?


Once again, I have yet to see a job listing that said PhD only.  Just get ONE of them. One could argue the PhD is more “prestigious.”  That’s just like saying UCBerk is more prestigious than San Jose State. Maybe it is.  Maybe Harvard is more prestigious than said State University.  At the end of the day, did you graduate? Did you get the terminal degree?   Make sure your vita/resume impeccable, completed degree, and be ready with your printed vision in this interview so you can get your dream job. 


So I want to be a band director in college?


So the underlying rule to get a college job is a least a Masters including 18 graduate credits in the subject area.  Translation = you have a Masters in Education as long as somehow you have 18 graduate hours in music.  This actually goes for ALL disciplines.  Events like Midwest Music Conference one can earn two credits. You can earn grad credits by even taking lessons. As long as that course number is 500 (some schools use 5000) and above, it’s a GRAD class.  Most places though still want the terminal degree in subject area.


But (enter name here) doesn’t have a master in music and he’s teaching college?


There are exceptions but exceptions are few and far between (and I do mean FEW).

More than likely, that person is considered staff and not FACULTY.  Plus, don’t try to get in through the back; get your credentials and you can keep you head up high. Also, said person, I promise you a) won’t get a job as a DOB and b) couldn’t get a job anywhere else and even c) is probably getting paid pennies because of lack of credentials.


But I have PhD in Higher Ed?

You still need 18 credits


But I have twenty years experience teaching band?

You still need 18 credits


But …..?

Aren’t you a teacher? Stop complaining and get your 18 credits


Okay, that makes sense.  What about scholarships so I can get this PhD/DMA/EdD in music


If you go full time, there are plenty of assistantships/fellowships for this.


Fulltime? I want to; however, I need to keep my job.

 Boston University and Teachers College at Columbia University are the ONLY online doctorate programs in Music. BOTH in Music Education.  BU is a DMA in Music Education: http://www.bu.edu/online/programs/graduate-programs/doctor-of-musical-arts-music-education/


Columbia University is a EdD in Music Education
https://www.tc.columbia.edu/arts-and-humanities/music-and-music-education/#degree-modal-degree-28

It is true Kansas State and Auburn University have PhD Music Ed programs; HOWVER, only parts of them are online.  It is NOT a fully online program.  They require a residency there.  Also, as a K-State alum, I can tell you the Music Ed PhD program there is through the College of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. It lies HEAVY on the non-music side. Excellent teachers, just heavy non-music. (Fred Burrack is one of the best teachers on the planet)

I don’t want it in Education.  I want it in conducting, composition, or performance.


You are going to have to go full-time.


I can’t go full-time.  I have a job, mortgage, car note….


I understand; however, these specialty programs aren’t made to cater to you.  If you want it in conducting, composition, or performance, you are going to have to go full-time if you want funding.  That’s the sacrifice of getting in to those programs.  And even if you can pay for it yourself, most places want you in residency at least for a year.  Therefore, you may be able to take a sabbatical to accomplish this dream.


Residency? Why do I have to go full-time?


Because they are specialty degrees, they don’t offer them “after-hours” like your education programs.  Therefore, there is no practical way for you to get the degree while working.  How are you going to get to theory at 11:00am and you have band at the same time? Music History at 1pm, applied at 3? And you’re a marching band director! Not going to happen!


So then you might ask why don’t they offer them after hours?  Because school is from 8-5. J  A lot of those programs are thought by adjuncts who are making extra money.   Not so much in music.  Final note: it is really hard to fulfill this degree in seven years part-time.  That’s the timeline for a doctorate. (your clock starts as soon as you start your first class as an accepted-enrolled student)

 

 

 
I really want this conducting degree.  This is crazy.



Welcome to adulthood, again!



So...what is this DMA?
The Doctorate of Musical Arts (A.MusD or D.M.A/some schools have DM) is a terminal degree that typical is awarded in performance areas i.e. Composition, music performance, and conducting.  They might not have as much stringent research as PhD but encompass a huge amount of work in said areas.  If there is a research side, it isn't typically as arduous as the PhD (but still difficult).  For example, you may have to do a 40 page monograph/dissertation along side three huge conducting/performance recitals.

My masters degree in music.  It's just easier if I get a PhD degree in Education. Can I still be a band director on the college level.

The short answer is "yes."  It is usually preferred that the terminal degree is in said discipline; however, you still have the "credential" to teach on the college level.   Just know that you'll be competing with people with Music Ed or Conducting doctorates who probably have some FIRE conducting tapes.

So why did you get yours in Music?

A degree is to help you grow.  I wanted to grow musically.  The time I spent in master's and doctorate program, I practiced and wrote more music than anytime I was working.  Those four years were some of the best in my life musically.  I wouldn't have had that experience being in an Education Leadership program.  It's not my M.O.  I promise you in an Ed Leadership program, you're not going to be talking about Maurice Ravel.  Because I was in composition and conducting, I learned the Ring Cycle, Beethoven symphonies (3,4,5,7,8,9), Dvorak 8 and 9, Daphnis and Chloe, Mother Goose, Danzon No. 2 and countless others as a CONDUCTOR.  This wasn't going to happen otherwise.
It was the first time in my life I could really focus on orchestra. Specifically as a composer, I wrote more (classical pieces) in school than NOT in school.


So let's say I do go ahead and quit my job and get this DMA in conducting.  Why do I have to go two
hours away to get to school?  Why doesn't "enter any school here" have the doctorate program in music?
In order for a university to offer a DMA/PhD, you have to have a large constituency that needs it. This is usually already served by the flagship or designated schools of the state. In order to have said program, the university 
  1. has to offer a Masters program in music 
  2. provide research funding for students and faculty
  3. provide assistantship funding and/or fellowships
  4. have a fully-supported staff, faculty, and ensembles.
Also, most states have rules that say you can't have certain programs next to an adjacent school. OR like I said earlier, certain schools have designations.  UNC-Chapel Hill is the flagship school of North Carolina but it doesn't even offer a PhD/DMA in Music.  That designation belongs to UNCG!  Same with UT-Knoxville.  They don't even have PhD music programs. The TN designation belongs to the University of Memphis.

Now coincidently, some these programs are not fully comprehensive, meaning they don't offer everything. Once again, Auburn's doctorate program is Music Education only.  They don't offer Performance.   T-Town Alabama is the state-designated comprehensive music program.  You can't even major in music at Texas A&M University; you can at UT-Austin.  Some states don't even have doctorate programs in music.   

So that goes back to why you generally have to go full-time to said music program.  If you live in Wilmington, NC, you have to drive three hours to get to Greensboro.   

You gave me a lot to think about!
You're so welcome! Just trying to help!  Now to play angels advocate, if you're trying to be a principal/music supervisor, get it in Education or apply to the online programs at Columbia/Boston.  You can keep your job while you get those letters!


How to Write a Composition/Story Full 




How to write a composition or story

Many people have asked me, "How do you write a story?" or "How do you write a piece of music?"

To answer the question directly, one must storyboard.

Traditionally, storyboard is defined as a sequence of drawings, typically with some directions and dialogue, representing the shots planned for a movie or television production.
In literature, you write out your main points or events.   In music, you may write out what melodic ideas you may have.

Typically in literature, you have three main events (like in music's sonata form, we have three events also): introduction, conflict, and resolution (exposition, development, recapitulation in sonata.)

Now here's the catch: you can write any part at anytime.

You may have at first, the resolution.  Let's say your resolution is "he's reunited with his father."  THAT'S OKAY.  Now that the time to write the rest of the book.
You may have the conflict first.  It could be "Johnny finds out his mom is not his mom."  So now, you have to write the introduction and how is this going be resolved.
Finally, you may have a beginning such "a cellist who wants to over his stage fright." Okay, now come up with the conflict and the resolution.

You can write any part you want first.   If you are unsure of how to connect the two, have people who are readers help you sort it all out.  I was lucky.  I had LaKindra Parker, Althea Hughes Willis, and Earl Brooks making sure I connected the dots.


The same goes in symphonic music.  You must have all three in sonata form.  It's funny how the correlation with art, music, and literature go hand and hand!


Whatever you do, just make sure you put it all together in the end!

Length
When writing your story, one thing to perhaps keep in mind is how long will your story be.  I was CONVINCED when I first wrote my upcoming book that it was going to be a novelette.

Novelette?  Okay, let me explain.

In the whole fiction genre, there are generally four categories as it regards to length.   The Science Fiction Writers of America uses these measurements as their standards:

  • Short fiction: under 7,500 words
  • Novelette: 7,500-17,500 words
  • Novella: 17,500-40,000 words
  • Novel: 40,000 words and up

I wanted to write a smaller story in length (novelette) to tell my story.  Now if I were not self-publishing, this would pose a serious problem.  Why?

Most publishers stay away from the short stories and novelettes because of cost.  Too small to print and too small to make money.  Therefore, if you have a collection of short stories or novelette, it makes it more attractive to the publisher.  Since this is my first book, I don't qualify for that!

What about e-publishing?
There is a market for this, a great market actually; however, the upper-echelon awards require hard copies.  Depends on what you want out of it.   If think your book is Pulitzer-worthy, then get it printed. If not, Kindle it is!

So What did I choose?
Because of my word length, my upcoming project would be classified as a novella.  Contrary to popular belief, there has been MANY of novellas that have been erroneously labeled as novels:


·  "The Body" (Stand By Me, 1986) by Stephen King

·  "Rita Hayworth & "The Shawshank Redemption" (The Shawshank Redemption, 1994) by Stephen King

·  "Apt Pupil" by Stephen King

·  "A River Runs Through It" by Thomas Maclean

·  "The Bicentennial Man" by Isaac Asimov

·  "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Truman Capote

·  "Heart of Darkness" (Apocalypse Now, 1976) by Joseph Conrad

·  "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck

·  "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 1941) by Robert Louis Stevenson,

·  "The War of the Worlds" by H.G. Wells ·   "Call of the Wild"  by Jack London 
 ·   "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens
·   "Animal Farm" by George Orwell

Mind you , I didn't say "I want to write 30,000 words."  What I did say was that I wanted to make sure I clearly defined the plots and subplots in my story and I knew it would probably take that amount of words.

Construction
As in music, a lot of people miss out on a major thing: character development.   It's important that your protagonist and antagonist have development which captivates the readers.   In almost every great piece of music, literature, and film, these are developed.  (I can only think of one movie where the antagonist wasn't developed and that was Dark Knight.  The Joker's character wasn't really developed if you really think about it.  He was just villainously raw.  However, he gets a pass because a) the Joker is as old as our grandparents and most people already knew what to expect  b) because of Heath Ledger's passing, we came to understand that he was going to return in the third movie which was going to answer if this Joker was Jack Napier, Jack White, Joseph Kerr or neither.  So unless you've writing a character that we've known for eighty years, get to developing!)

In my case, at first, I did not develop one of my characters enough.  My beloved sister Althea (who is a better writer than I and one of the most talented in the family) told me I needed to give this character an out.  If I didn't, this character would be too vile.  Something as small as one sentence gave a hint into the character.

Enter Earl Brooks. 
Earl was like a professor the whole time in my process asking me questions with a stern literary critique.  Although he did not ghost write, his questions provoked a lot of thought which were invaluable to my authorship.  He made sure I understood the ramifications of using certain colloquialisms.  Because of this, Earl made me see what my target audience was.  Another key point we had major discourse on was how deep we needed to go in character development.  Back to Althea's point, I went back and devoted a whole chapter to that character which answered everything Earl asked.  This is what happens when you get a bibliophile English PhD student to critique!


Why do I share all this?
The reason is to show that everyone needs help.  When you write, you don't have to show the whole world.  Just get a selected group of people just make sure you dotted "I's" and crossed your "T's".   Don't surround yourself with yesmen.  Surround yourself with people who can amplify your goals.


The Passes
Really, this should be called,"Don't have an ego"

Preface:
I'm an emotional artist.  I put some much into every note I compose, every phrase I arrange, and every word I write.  Therefore, I become attached to everything.


Blog:
With that being said, GET AN EDITOR.  Better yet, get an editor THAT WILL
1) Tell you the truth
2) Change words around i.e. reword a phrase THAT BETTER suits the audience
3) has an eagle eye!


Pass is everytime the editor goes through it.  You'll need MANY passes.  AT LEAST FIVE!
That's right, FIVE.    I've lost count.  I've had to add backstory (Thank you, Althea - Shonell) and more backstory (Thank you, Earl) and even MORE back story (Thank you, Dr. Amber V!)

I prayed for my editor.  She was in my lap the whole time, my cousin Jasmine. She uses so much red ink we have to go to three different stores to keep it in stock.  But guess what? She's GREAT at what she does.

Truth be told, I had people look it before Jasmine.  Kanika, LaKindra, Earl, Shiron, and MANY others.  DO THE SAME!! (If the Avengers, which earned a BILLION dollars [and they thought it would have made $500,000,000] can go through a rewrite, your manuscript can do the same!)
Then guess what!?!?! SHE TOLD ME TO GET AN EDITOR!!!

So I found Shonell to do the final edits.  Boy, she put me through the ringer.  And it was WORTH IT!!  She's amazing.  I call her a Lexicologist.


Conclusion
Take your time. WOO-SAH and don't Let anyone tell you that you can't write a book!



Marcus Belgrave 





I've been trying to hold back from saying something but I can't. I've been fighting tears. Marcus Belgrave was so meaningful in my life. One day he gave me and Omar Lateef the biggest whooping ever on the blues at Cass, it lasted with me my whole life. I have many more stories to share. I'll share this other one. He came over to my house and recorded two songs for me with Damon Warmack. He was always helping me out. It's hard for me to listen to this now without being sad. I'll miss you forever Mr. Belgrave.



https://youtu.be/fWsr4gH9Ec

Michael Jackson: The Quincy Years 

Michael Jackson: The Quincy Years
My brother Brad asked me,"What was MJ's best album?" This is a hard question and almost impossible to answer. My cousin Teshenia says I need to answer things better; however, this is still a trick question. WHY? All three Q-produced albums invoke a special flavor in musical history and importance. So here's my break down:

Off the Wall
This is MJ's most SOULFUL album. Powered by Louis Johnson (bassist, and of the Brothers Johnson), John Robinson on Drums (from Chaka Khan and Rufus), Greg Phillinganes (MJ's Musical Director, Stevie Wonder, Toto, Amp's Cousin, and a DETROITER!!!), Larry Carlton, Marlo Henderson, and David Williams on guitars, Paulinho Da Costa on Percussion, that money making horn section of Jerry Hey, Gary Grant, William Reichenbach, Larry Williams, and Kim Hutchcroft, and many others, THIS ALBUMS HAS FLAVOR!!!!!!!!!!!

Why it Could be called the GREATEST: Don't Stop, Working, Rock with You, Off the Wall...man. This songs will inspire anybody to write music and PRACTICE. Try solo in B major on "Don't Stop." Heck, arrange Off the Wall..Eb minor! SMh..too much funk!

One MAJOR note about this album. It is the only one out of the three to have Strings and Full Horn Section on a song. This orchestral sound is not found on Bad or Thriller.

Why it can't be call the GREATEST: two reasons, "It's the Falling in Love" and "Burn this Disco Out." If that wasn't enough, even Michael said he needed to make an album that would be talked about after he was disappointed at the American Music Awards


Thriller
OK OK OK!!!! It's hard to talk about arguably the greatest album ever produced. But does this make it his BEST album? More Keyboard effects here via Greg Phillinganes and David Paich to give it the new defined "pop" sound instead of "soul." Let's get to the point. The only flaw, and I mean, THE ONLY flaw with this album (from an instrumentalist point of view) is that it makes you want to produce on a higher level. This album doesn't send you to the practice room. It makes you want to get an SM57 mic for your snare drum and a NEVE console to record on, but doesn't make you practice your horn. However, it does make you think about when you make an album, is it sonically flawless? Best PRODUCED album EVER!

Why it Could be called the GREATEST: best produced album ever. 

Why it can't be call the GREATEST: .....well...........just nitpicking, but doesn't make me practice (only diehard instrumentalists will get a kick out of that point!). 


Bad
Here's the deal with Bad. You get deeper in MJ's mind. With him writing more songs on this one, you get to hear his creativity. Creativity that was stirring in his mind for years that he couldn't unless at Motown. yeah, he was young at motown, but that doesn't mean he didn't have idea's. The Jackson Five had no artistic control, the Jacksons had a lil more, but on BAD, MJ had total control whereas Q made sure it was tight!

Why it Could be called the GREATEST: MJ's most creative. Some might argue, Dangerous, but....nope. Seven No. 1's!?!? This album also changed the game with subsequent video releases. AWESOME!!!

Why it can't be call the GREATEST: Musically not as invigorating as "Off the Wall." More entertaining (and some darn good videos, even though, "Leave Me Alone" was a lil' esoteric.)



So that is my take! I just thought I'd write some mind-stirring stuff!

Most Musical



 Best produced MJ album
 
His most self-artistic, strategically-planned album Let's Dialogue!!!

Bessie Lee Henderson 

My mother passed on September 9, 6:00am CST.  I miss her dearly.

I'm so grateful for the concert we had at the funeral.  There wasn't much crying.  Why?  I wanted to celebrate her life.  We had glorious singing by Kisma Jordan, awesome playing by John Douglas, Maurice Draughn, Nate Winn, and the Gabriel Brass Band.  All my aunts said they had never been to a funeral like that before.


I'm ready to get back to blogging regularly now.  She always said "I talked all day!" hahahah!  Love you too, Ma!





Dream Come True: Maurica 

I haven't blogged in a while.  My mother has been sick.  She's been situated. AMEN!!!


I recently recorded a great singer last month.  She nailed the part of Pearl to a science on a song I wrote with Marcus and Steve called "Dream Come True" as if it was written just for her.  You'll love her! Her name is Maurica Roland and SHE IS A BEAST!!!!!

I guess you'll want this blog to be a little longer.
Well, I needed a singer, I gave her a FB message.  She said she''ll do the song.  I drove to Nashville from Detroit (8 hours via Cinci).  Recorded at 11:00am and we were done at 1:30pm.
That was it.

Love ya girl! I look forward to working with you in the future!!

Special shot-out to my brother, Dr. Bradford Mallory, for helping me pick the awesome takes on that song "Dream Come True"!


How to write a composition or story Part Three 

Really, this should be called,"Don't have an ego"

Preface:
I'm an emotional artist.  I put some much into every note I compose, every phrase I arrange, and every word I write.  Therefore, I become attached to everything.


Blog:
With that being said, GET AN EDITOR.  Better yet, get an editor THAT WILL
1) Tell you the truth
2) Change words around i.e. reword a phrase THAT BETTER suits the audience
3) has an eagle eye!


A Pass is everytime the editor goes through it.  You'll need MANY passes.  AT LEAST FIVE!
That's right, FIVE.    I've lost count.  I've had to add backstory (Thank you, Althea) and more backstory (Thank you, Earl) and even MORE back story (Thank you, Dr. Amber V!)

I prayed for my editor.  She was in my lap the whole time, my cousin Jasmine. She uses so much red ink we have to go to three different stores to keep it in stock.  But guess what? She's GREAT at what she does.

Truth be told, I had people look it before Jasmine.  Kanika, LaKindra, Earl, Shiron, and MANY others.  DO THE SAME!! (If the Avengers, which earned a BILLION dollars [and they thought it would have made $500,000,000] can go through a rewrite, your manuscript can do the same!)

With this all being said, set a deadline.  I've set a deadline for my birthday.  No more rewrites.  That's it.
But guess what, I had an ensemble of EXCELLENT previewers that caught things that made Jasmine's job a lot easier.

Remember, leave the Ego at the door.

Production 101: Rhythm Section 

The most influential album in my life is arguably Quincy Jones' Sounds and Stuff Like That.  In the liner notes (written by Alex Haley) Q calls Anthony Jackson, Eric Tee, Phil Upchurch, and Grady Tate the greatest rhythm section in the world.

As a youth, this was the first time I had ever heard the term "rhythm section".  And truth be told, this was an amazing rhythm section.  I even learned how rhy. sections would record first in EVERY studio section.  This means they have to be tight.

Things to remember:
1) Pick your rhythm section wisely.  They MUST gel.  If they don't, your recordings will reflect.
2) If you aren't rehearsing, make SURE they can READ!!!!!
3) Make sure they can play with a click track.  Yes, I have played with some that can't.  AARGH!
4) Make sure they can play the style you want to record.  (Yes, some people try to get a church              
           drummer to play afro-cuban and songo and they've never heard of it..)


I have recorded my rhythm section with NO rehearsals.  They came in a sight-read the charts to highest degree.  I believe I have been blessed with the greatest in the world!  Time for shout-outs:

I was blessed to have keyboardists Demetrius Nabors and Al McKenzie appear on four songs on "A Tale of Two Fools."   Man, they are phenomenal!!!

Guitarists Duane Collins, Sandy Love, Wayne Goins added that flavor that every album needs!  My wife's cousin, Don Vappie, will be recording soon.

Bassists Ibrahim Jones, Marcus Belgrave Jr, Bobby Scharmann, and Freeman Spills laid the groove done HARD.  People will be copying your licks forever!

The last two people were crucial to this projects:
Damon Warmarck aka Basso Profundo:  My friend since 1992.  My brother, thank you for your musical expertise.   You coming by to the house to record while I was taking care of my mom was priceless.

Last far from least, my friend forever, I thank you Nate Winn.  Out of eighteen songs with drums, you are on fifteen.  There is no way this project would be done with you.  You are a complete drummer. No style is out of your league.  You came in when it was just a piano, you, and a click track. We even came up with songs on the spot!  Superb musicianship.  The pocket is amazing.  The fills were immaculate!  This is why you'll forever be "Tightus Pocketus!"

Latest Track