Following on the heels of last week's virtual master class covering the Gatti etude, here's the Bohme etude for this year's ATSSB tenor trombone auditions. As always, leave your questions in the comments!
Filtering by Tag: Trombone
After I said, "practice", I asked him if he listens to a lot of music. He said, "not really."
Now, I will admit that I wasn't surprised to find a young player that doesn't listen to a lot of trombone recordings. However, I was surprised that someone who doesn't listen much did have the curiosity to ask the question in the first place.
It is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL that you, as an aspiring musician, listen to as muc music as your ears and brain can stand. Preferably music that is directly related to the styles in which you want to be fluent. If you play the trombone, and you tell me you've never heard a recording by Joe Alessi, Christian Lindberg, or JJ Johnson, then you have some serious work to do! I discussed with the young man where he might go to hear great performers: YouTube, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc., and most of it for free!
The fact of the matter is, you will play the sounds you have in your head. If you can hear it, then you can proceed towards reproducing that sound.
Second, you should be listening to music that you might think doesn't interest you. Over the past two weeks, I did two things that were eye openers for me: I toured the Moog synthesizer factory in Asheville, NC, and I heard the Blind Boys of Alabama while we were in Birmingham. The Moog tour was interesting because our tour guide, besides giving us a great overview of the history of Moog, pointed me towards some fantastic musicians and bands whose work I discovered I really enjoy, such as Deltron 3030 and Dan the Automator. Those are bands and music styles I would have NEVER discovered on my own! Likewise, the Blind Boys of Alabama do play a style of music that I already enjoy, gospel, but their live show was so much more than that. Backed by an absolutely fantastic 4-piece band, they played gospel, soul, country, rock, and put on a live show that was as entertaining as it was musically amazing!
So, listen, listen, listen. No excuses! That is, IF you want to improve and broaden your horizons.... :)
Ahhhhh, August... The end of summer, kids headed back to school.... And, some years, Marine Band tour rehearsals beginning soon (tomorrow!).... Summer has been great, and we've had a very mild one here in the Washington, DC area. That has meant less suffering than normal out in the heat and my regular job. Kyle and I began his new vlog, "Beaches with Kyle" this summer, inspired by a tour of NPR back in May, and I've gained a lot of practice learning some new software for both video and music production.
Another tried and true tradition this time of year is the marine band fall tour. Sousa began the tour during his tenure as the bands director from 1880-1892. We will head out mid-September for 30 days and will play about 28 concerts while we're on the road.
I've been working hard to get in shape to start rehearsals tomorrow.... We will have 9 rehearsals on 3 complete programs before leaving town September 15. This year, I've been spending a lot of time doing easy long tones, working on keeping the pitch center down, and on fundamental articulation via Arban and some other stuff. I find that hyper focus on fundamentals serves me well when the fatigue of travel and being away from home start to grind on me, not to mention the physical stress of playing a 2 hour band concert every night!
Tour is just one more thing this time of year that makes the end of August feel like back-to-school. Getting the kids ready for their new year and starting fall sports for our oldest son also contribute. This also kind of feels like New Years for me, creatively. I start to look forward to things I have planned or will participate in this year. Valor Brass has some recitals in the DC area coming up this winter, and I'm going to continue some fun projects in the home recording studio. Virtual Trombonist podcasts will surface from time to time as I'm able to interview some more folks I want my listeners to meet.
Many of you have heard me sing the praises of it before, but I just subscribed to the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall, and I plan to make good use of my upcoming bus travel time to watch plenty of concerts. I am especially interested in some of the many interviews and films that are available as well. Last night, I watched a fantastic concert from the Waldbuhne in June of this year, with Lang Lang playing the Grieg Piano Concerto... just fantastic...
OK, while I'm on tour, I plan to keep you posted through this blog, but also at Instagram with the tag #chrisontour...
Thanks for reading and have a great fall!
In the summer of 1993, I had the great fun and opportunity to work at Disney World as part of the All-American College Orchestra, performing at Epcot. One of my colleague was a bass trombonist named John Ohnstad. John was an interesting guy. He was a fantastic musician, but wasn't a music major in college at all! John has continued his parallel paths in both business and music, and we recently caught up at a reunion of our College Orchestra pals in Orlando. I sat down to talk a bit with John about how he arrived at his musical career, and to also hear about his unique experiences studying with the late George Roberts. [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/220684998" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
John performs with a number of groups in and around Portland, here are some links to a few of them:
So today I find myself on a bus for a better part of the day, and with lots of time on my hands, children at daycare, and an electrical outlet for my phone charger, I'm doing what any technology junkie would do: spending the entire drive catching up on articles and video that I've bookmarked! One thing I keep coming back to is the Digital Concert Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic. The folks in Berlin have done something very smart by outfitting the Philharmonie with a professional television studio and rigging their setup to broadcast all of their concerts live in HD. Another brilliant thing they've done is to feature the talents of Sarah Willis, fourth horn in the orchestra. Besides being a fabulous musician and having her own very successful "horn hangouts" online, Sarah has done a number of interviews that are accessible on the digital concert hall. The Philharmonic recently performed a program featuring a new work for trumpet and orchestra by HK Gruber called Aerial. The soloist was Hakan Hardenburger, for whom the piece was written. I got sucked in to watching an interview that Ms. Willis conducted with Hakan and the program's conductor, Andris Nelsons. I'll just get right to the point, the interview, and Mr. Hardenburger's insight into the process of playing and learning the piece was so fascinating, that I immediately bought a 7-day pass for the digital concert hall and watched the program on my long bus ride. What an amazing concert, soloist, and orchestra!
It's no surprise to anyone that an online digital presence is the future of classical music. Berlin has done it right. Not only can you watch live concerts in HD with fantastic audio quality, but they have an amazing back catalog of concerts, interviews with soloists and conductors, and documentaries about the orchestra. Know I will be binge-watching quite a lot of Berlin Philharmonic concerts over the next 7-days!
As we enter fully the era of constant connectivity and faster internet connections, this type of experience is only going to become more prevalent for all musicians. People fret that the Internet and mobile technology is going to make everyone more detached from their audience. Using the talents of Ms. Willis as an example, I don't think this could be further from the truth! What is now clearly critical is having the ability and desire to speak to an audience, conduct an interview, and otherwise engage people in a personal and informative way. Oh! It's those people skills my parents used to always talk to me about!
I feel fortunate the U.S. Marine Band has begun to live stream many of our own concerts. The band also has some very cool projects on line now, with my favorite being the recording and release of free PDF parts and scores for every March John Philip Sousa ever wrote! Their adding enough that the band is hiring a third full time audio engineer as well.
Ok, back to my looong bus ride and my digital concert hall ticket! If it seems I'm being secretive about where I'm headed, then well, I am! The Marines don't do anything the easy way, and today is no exception. More about our trip later when the cat is out of the bag!