On the Right Track
Please allow me to introduce myself; my name is Ron Castonguay. I am originally from Massachusetts, but now reside in South Florida. I am the Department Chair for the Performing Arts and the Music Director for a prestigious college preparatory school in Miami. I graduated in 1993 from the University of Miami with a bachelor degree in Music Theory and Composition. For the past eleven years, I have been the director of five nationally recognized performing high school ensembles within a music program of 120 students (there are only 800 students in the upper school) - Concert Band, Vocal Ensemble, String Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and Full Orchestra. One of the greatest honors and conducting experiences that I have had occurred on April 24, 2005, when all five of our ensembles were invited to perform at the music world epicenter - Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center Plaza in New York City. In addition to these five ensembles, I also sponsor Music Club, which is a community service based extra-curricular organization dedicated to raising funds and purchasing instruments for underprivileged music programs in our community and abroad. In 2004, the Music Club donated $14,400 to a high school in New Orleans after it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. I also direct Leadership Forums, a committee of student Section Leaders, Vice Presidents, Presidents, and Music Club officers to discuss and enhance student leadership within the music program. Lastly, I also teach AP Music Theory, offered only to advanced music students. Well, that's the jist of the teaching gig. In 1998 I released my debut jazz CD, "Subtle Touch." It was a self-produced, self-released CD and was recorded entirely in my home studio from a Roland VS-880 Digital recorder (with, of course, the use of some other pertinent recording equipment). And now, a decade later, I am very excited for the release of this, my second CD, "On The Right Track." This one is also a self-produced, self-released album and was also recorded entirely in my home studio. The difference, however, from my debut CD is many; an amazing drummer and percussionist - John Snider, Jr., the use of much more sophisticated recording equipment, and a more classic jazz composition and style base. The first CD was more of a "smooth" jazz release. This CD is compositionally more complex and consists of melodic, mostly relaxed, and mood-inspired jazz. There are not a lot of fireworks in the improvisation as I tried to maintain that feel throughout. My primary instrument is saxophone, although I play clarinet, flute, trumpet, piano and keyboard, electric bass, and guitar as well on this CD. My main influences include such artists as Michael Brecker, John Coltrane, Harry Connick, Jr., Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Steve Vai, and too many more too list. Thank you in advance for listening to my music with an open mind and an open ear! I hope you enjoy it!