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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Tag: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

The Brass Junkies 69: Brian Hecht, Bass Trombonist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Hitz

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My good friend Brian Hecht, bass trombonist for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, joined us on The Brass Junkies to talk about the incredible career he has had. This dude has played with the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and over a dozen other major symphony orchestras. And he's only 32 which is insane.

I especially enjoyed asking him about performing with Trey Anastasio of Phish, which he had just done a few days before the interview. Every time one of the best musicians in the world agrees with how incredible Trey is, I use it to validate my decision to spend pretty much every penny of disposable income I had over a span of two decades on seeing Phish. Whatever it takes to sleep at night I guess!

From the show notes:

TBJ69: Bass Trombonist Brian Hecht on Playing with the Atlanta Symphony, his Audition Preparation Strategy and Subbing with Almost Every Major American Orchestra by the Age of 32

Brian Hecht is the bass trombonist for the Atlanta Symphony and is a former member of the US Navy Band in Washington DC.

He grew up in Dallas and spent some time in the Navy Band in Washington, DC before hitting the orchestral audition circuit, which led to him subbing with both the NY Phil and Philly Orchestra.

He shares his audition preparation strategy, explains what he learned from legendary clarinetist Riccardo Morales and the importance of noise-canceling headphones.

We also get into the topic of nerves, visualization and the value of a shower and a sandwich.

And no Brass Junkies episode would be complete without a deep dive into Phish frontman and one of Andrew’s boyfriends, Trey Anastasio.

We also spent an inordinate amount of time saying the phrase “poop truck.” Sorry.

The Brass Junkies: Colin Williams of the New York Philharmonic

Andrew Hitz

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I had the pleasure of interviewing an old friend recently in Colin Williams. Colin is the Associate Principal Trombone of the New York Philharmonic and was my section mate many, many years ago in the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Colin's career has brought him from the San Antonio Symphony to the Atlanta Symphony and most recently to his current employer, the New York Philharmonic. His approach to trombone playing and to music in general is fantastic and he has an incredible way with words.

But the truly stunning part of his story is the playing related injury he suffered and his recovery from that. He is incredibly generous and forthcoming about this aspect of his career and it is one of the most inspirational tales you will ever hear in the music business.

It took him five years to be fully recovered and he had to completely relearn how to play the trombone. Oh and for what it's worth he won the New York Philharmonic audition during that five year recovery process!

Seriously, you have to hear this story. It will convince you that no matter you are facing, you can overcome it. Thank you Colin for being so open about your journey!

And he tells a pretty hilarious story of me being a jackass in youth orchestra that you'll have no trouble believing.


Colin's Page at NY Phil 

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Produced by Austin Boyer of FredBrass.