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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Valuable Lesson from Amy McCabe

Andrew Hitz

Tonight I saw a wonderful recital by the Seraph Brass here in the Washington, DC area.  The playing was fantastic and the program was enjoyable.

There was one thing that occurred during the performance that was a valuable lesson for us all.

During the great Jack Gale arrangement of Porgy and Bess (which was recorded by the Empire Brass way back when) Amy McCabe, trumpet player for one of the premier military bands, had a little bit of an issue that she said I could feel free to share here.  And it had absolutely nothing to do with her stunning playing!

During a fermata she leaned over to quickly pick up her plunger mute and her tuning slide fell out right onto the floor! She smiled as it took her about five seconds to get the thing back in.  Five seconds of dead time on stage feels like an eternity.

Amy handled this like the pro she is.  She didn't panic.  She didn't get even remotely upset.  She even turned to the audience right after the tuning slide was back in and said "Well alright!"

Everyone laughed and she actually created a real bonding moment between the performers and the audience.

It was the absolute perfect response to the situation when many of us would have become upset.  She kept the audience in mind above everything else which is the only thing that matters.