contact ME

Use the form on the right to send me an email and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

           

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

The Brass Junkies 61: Mark Houghton of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Hitz

Listen via

iTunes
Soundcloud
Stitcher 

We got to sit down with Mark Houghton, one of the more recent additions to the brass section of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. We touched on a bunch of different topics including his family's horn business and meditation.

From the show notes:

Mark Houghton, 3rd Horn with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Adjunct Professor of Horn at Duquesne University joins Andrew & Lance in a thoughtful conversation covering both the mental and practical sides of a career playing horn. Since joining the PSO in 2014, Mark explains how well the section clicks and the commonality of approach which helps them do what they do. He discusses the value of positive affirmations and meditation and we touch on the possible connection between long tones and meditation. Additionally, Mark talks about his family’s horn business and what goes into choosing an instrument. 

Arnold Jacobs on Playing Drills

Andrew Hitz

I find "being musical" is a very difficult thing to just turn on and off like a light switch. And I have yet to meet a single student in 25 years of teaching who was very good at that either.

So even "just" the drills and basics need to be done as musically as possible 100% of the time.

I sometimes like to visualize one of two things to help me with this:

  1. I am broadcasting the drills to Facebook Live and soliciting honest feedback
  2. I am recording the drills for a recording to accompany a method book

Do you think Sam Pilafian and Pat Sheridan had to be reminded to focus when they were recording the accompaniment to The Brass Gym? First of all, they are always concentrating to a high level. But even still, the threat of shipping to the world a recording of you playing your own exercises poorly is a good way to get you to focus.

How do you focus when you are "just" playing drills and other basics? It's what separates the truly great players from the good ones.

Simple Exercise to Gain Perspective

Andrew Hitz

As musicians, we can really use a good dose of perspective from time to time. I know I sure can, especially after a particularly frustrating practice session of failing to get a gig I was hoping to score.

Here is a 60-second read from Seth Godin (who my wife calls my spirit animal) with a simple exercise to help gain some perspective.

Good stuff.

The Brass Junkies 60: Joanna Hersey

Andrew Hitz

Listen via

iTunes
Soundcloud
Stitcher 

Joanna rocks! She is one of my favorite tuba players, can teach her tail off and is just one of the most energetic, positive people you'll ever meet. She is just an A+ human. I could interview her every week and never get bored.

From the show notes:

Joanna Hersey, President of the International Women’s Brass Conference and one half of the JAM Duo, joins Andrew & Lance in a fantastic and high energy conversation about taking risks and following your dreams.

Joanna is a very busy musician. In addition to the above, Joanna is Associate Professor of Tuba/Euphonium at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Visiting Instructor of Tuba/Euphonium at East Carolina University and is a Yamaha and Parker Mouthpiece Performing Artist.

Formerly of the US Coast Guard Band, Joanna spoke with us from the Music For All Conference in Indianapolis. She talked about the importance of being quick and dealing with your “external shoulds,” and we had a frank discussion of sexism in the career field. 

We also had time to talk about the new JAM Duo CD which features Andrew and Lance! How could we not?

The Brass Junkies 59: Steve Reid

Andrew Hitz

Listen via

iTunes
Soundcloud
Stitcher 

All joking aside, is there anyone crazier than lead trumpet players? We got to speak to one of the best in the world in Steve Reid and talked to us about among other things about lead trumpet players shaving their teeth! No, for real. They are all nuts.

Great, fun interview with Steve who has played with just about everybody!

From the show notes:

Maynard Ferguson and Duke Ellington band lead trumpet player Steve Reid, joins Andrew & Lance about life as a lead player and diagnosing chop issues. Andrew & Lance were shocked to find a lead trumpet player who defies all the usual stereotypes. Until we heard about his Corvette. Anyway, Steve is a great player, funny guy and has played with an amazing array of  some of the best bands in the world. He shares stories about learning from Rich Matteson, playing chess with Mercer Ellington, and hanging with Brian Setzer. Additionally, he talks about his thoughts on chop issues and how dental structure plays into things. 

The Brass Junkies 58: David Silverman of The Simpsons

Andrew Hitz

Listen via

iTunes
Soundcloud
Stitcher 

David Silverman plays a sousaphone with flames shooting out the bell and was one of the original animators on The Simpsons! I feel like this possibly makes him the perfect human.

In all seriousness, he is a Hollywood legend and a fixture at Burning Man. What a life this guy has led! It was a blast talking to him about all of it. (Especially asking him about the Simpsons episode that featured Phish!)

From the show notes:

Simpsons animator and Flaming Tuba artist David Silverman joins Andrew & Lance in a fascinating and hilarious exploration of The Simpsons, the tuba and animation. David has had an incredible career. He was one of the original animators on The Simpsons, directed countless episodes of the show, as well as the The Simpsons Movie. More importantly, he plays tuba! He started relatively late in school, at the age of 17. “Dr. Fonz” set him on his way and David went on to play tuba and sousaphone in college, first at the University of Maryland and later at UCLA, where he joined the marching band on a trip to Japan for the Mirage Bowl. We hear about the time he created a caricature of the National Symphony, his love for 1930's jazz, including artists like Sidney Bechet and the number of animators who are also musicians. 

As if that weren’t enough, David regularly plays with Vaud and the Villains, a "19 Piece 1930’s New Orleans Dance Orchestra and Cabaret Show" and is known to many as the guy with the flaming tuba from Burning man. Suffice to say, Andrew & Lance are fanboys. 

The Brass Junkies 57: Ryan Anthony, Principal Trumpet of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Hitz

Listen via

iTunes
Soundcloud
Stitcher 

Words fail me when trying to describe this man. Ryan Anthony is without question one of the most inspirational people I have ever had the privilege of interacting with in my lifetime. And no that is not hyperbole.

You must listen to this episode. It will change you as a human being. His bravery and positivity in the face of incomprehensible adversity is nothing short of inspirational. Thank you, Ryan, for making the world a better place.

The Brass Junkies 56: Zach Smith, Assistant Principal Horn of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Hitz

Listen via

iTunes
Soundcloud
Stitcher 

We were joined by Zach Smith, Assistant Principal Horn of the Pittsburgh Symphony for episode 56. The poor guy teaches at Duquesne with Lance but seems to somehow be in good spirits.

This interview ranged from talking about Zach's warmup to the very contentious Pittsburgh Symphony strike that recently ended. He didn't hold back and it was great.

The Brass Junkies 55: Rich Kelley

Andrew Hitz

Listen via

iTunes
Soundcloud
Stitcher 

Rich Kelley is possibly the best musician I've ever played with in my life and that is not hyperbole. He is also one of my best friends. I got to travel the world with Rich for my first five years with Boston Brass and have played with him on countless occasions after that as well.

He talked to us about playing in Boston Brass, his time with the Meridian Arts Ensemble and what it was like to play on Broadway all the time when he lived in New York City.

I love this man and you will too. He's the nicest trumpet player I've ever met...

Produced by Joey Santillo