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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Category: Trombone

The Brass Junkies 83: Donna Parkes

Andrew Hitz

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We had a blast interviewing the phenomenal Donna Parkes, Principal Trombone of the Louisville Orchestra. She told us all about her fascinating journey from Australia to Kentucky with a few stops along the way.

It's always so great when musicians who are as accomplished as Donna is are so down to earth. It really was a treat to speak with her!

From the show notes:

TBJ83: Trombonist Donna Parkes of the Louisville Orchestra on having a “Yes!” attitude, sleeping bags and growing up in Australia

Donna Parkes, Principal Trombone with Louisville Orchestra joins Andrew & Lance to detail her amazing career, from Australia to Kentucky, with stops in Chicago, Alaska and Doha, Qatar.

In this fun and lively conversation, we cover:

  • Playing Principal Trombone with Louisville Orchestra
  • Playing with the Colorado Music Festival
  • Coming from Indiana, I mean Canberra, Australia
  • Coming to the U.S. after her undergrad to study with Charlie Vernon at DePaul
  • The differences between the Australian and U.S. markets
  • Studying with Michael Mulcahy early on in Australia
  • Playing freelance gigs in Sydney for a year before moving
  • Getting a lesson with Arnold Jacobs and Ed Kleinhammer
  • Working with 80-year-olds in Virginia
  • The size of Andrew’s tongue (don’t ask)
  • Sleeping in her sleeping bag with her trombone in a hostel on her first night in the U.S.
  • Taking pictures of snow
  • Tips for flying to Australia
  • Playing gigs in Sitka, Alaska twice a year
  • How she recently got married in Australia
  • A typical week in Louisville, which is anything but typical
  • The importance of being flexible and being a good colleague
  • Having a “Yes” attitude
  • Playing in Doha, Qatar
  • An important life lesson, “Don’t smell it first.”

You can check out the complete show notes including all of the links mentioned during this episode over at Pedal Note Media.

The Brass Junkies 76: Doug Rosenthal

Andrew Hitz

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Doug Rosenthal is a phenomenal trombone player for the Washington National Opera and one hell of an awesome human. Love this guy! What a great interview we had with him while he was in Chicago playing Bass Trumpet on the Lyric Opera's Ring Cycle.

From the show notes:

Washington National Opera/Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra trombonist Doug Rosenthal joins Andrew & Lance in a conversation ranging from the bass trumpet to dealing with the Valsalva maneuver and his experiences as an openly gay brass player.

Currently, in his 6th season with the Washington National Opera/Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, Doug was actually speaking to us from Chicago, where he was playing bass trumpet with The Lyric Opera. He explains how he manages to schedule both gigs, how he got started at Northwestern and a variety of other topics, including:

  • Starting on euphonium
  • Going to Bremen Germany to get a bass trumpet
  • Playing with The New World Symphony
  • Playing the full Ring Cycle
  • His blog, "Inside the Arts"
  • His challenges overcoming issues the Valsalva maneuver
  • Being an openly gay brass player
  • #thouhgtsandprayers for Jens

You can check out the complete show notes including all of the links mentioned during this episode over at Pedal Note Media.

The Brass Junkies 73: Weston Sprott, Trombonist for the Metropolitan Opera

Andrew Hitz

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This was one of my favorite episodes we've ever done of The Brass Junkies. Weston Sprott, Acting Principal Trombone of the Metropolitan Opera, is as thoughtful a human being as you will ever find. We talked about his incredible career and also went into the diversity issues still facing the industry today. A lot of food for thought.

And the story of him running into one of his heroes, Wynton Marsalis, on the streets of New York City and what went down is worth the whole download!

From the show notes:

TBJ73: Trombonist Weston Sprott on Performing with the Metropolitan Opera, the Diversity Issues Facing the Industry and Running Into One of His Heroes on the Streets of New York

Weston Sprott is the Acting Principal Trombone of the Metropolitan Opera and has appeared with major orchestras all over the world.

In this episode, we cover:

  • His gig
  • What the best subs have in common
  • Coming up in TX
  • Teaching
  • Best student characteristics- “They do what I tell them to do”
  • The acidic, dry and awesome John Rojak
  • His website and resources
  • Diversity issues in classical music
  • Meeting Wynton Marsalis
  • The McGurk Effect
  • The Sphinx Organization

You can check out the complete show notes including all links mentioned during this episode over at Pedal Note Media.

The Brass Junkies 72: Michael Clayville of Alarm Will Sound

Andrew Hitz

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TBJ72: Trombonist Michael Clayville from Alarm Will Sound on Playing with Medeski, Martin & Wood, How AWS Functions as an Ensemble and Teaching at Lawrence Conservatory as a Visiting Professor

Michael Clayville is one of my favorite trombonists in the world. His playing in Alarm Will Sound is just stunning. The music they perform has incredibly demanding parts, especially of a trombone player! But Michael is one of the most prepared musicians I've ever played with. He's a machine!

He's also a fascinating guy. I interviewed him early for TEM (TEM3 which was 116 episodes ago at this point!) and I was really happy to finally get him on The Brass Junkies!

From the show notes:

Michael Clayville is a musician who is passionate about drawing audiences deeply into the art of sound. His abilities as a trombone soloist, chamber musician, and improviser have taken him to prestigious venues around the world including Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Hall, the Barbican (London) and the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ (Amsterdam) and have led to him working with some of the most prominent classical and popular artists today including Pulitzer Prize-winning composers Steve Reich, John Adams, John Luther Adams, Charles Wuorinen, and David Lang, and experimental groups like Medeski Martin and Wood, and the Dirty Projectors.

Michael is a founding member of Alarm Will Sound, a group that has been awarded the ASCAP Concert Music Award for “the virtuosity, passion and commitment with which they perform and champion the repertory for the 21st century” and which has been called the “future of classical music” by the New York Times. In addition to being its trombonist, Michael is also the Director of Marketing for Alarm Will Sound.

In this episode, we cover:

  • Playing with Medeski, Martin and Wood
  • Picking repertoire in Alarm Will Sound by quasi-democratic methods
  • Marketing efforts/social media for AWS
  • Splitting Adams CD
  • The Mizzou International Composers Festival
  • Georg Friedrich Haas
  • Teaching at Lawrence, working for/with Brian Pertl