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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Tag: Bass Trombone

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: John Rojak

Andrew Hitz

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Confession: As a general rule I can't stand brass quintets with a bass trombone on the bottom instead of a tuba. I am obviously biased.


When John Rojak is the one playing the bass trombone book, like he has with the American Brass Quintet for many years, I can't imagine it possibly being any better with a tuba in anyone's hands. And I mean that!

John is one of the best bass trombone players in the world. He is also as fine a human as you could ever hope to encounter.

He's one of my chamber music heroes, teaches at Juilliard, NYU and Hartt, has been playing in ABQ for a very long time, and is an active freelancer around New York City. Fascinating guy and it was a lot of fun to chat with him!


John Rojak


American Brass Quintet
The Hartt School


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Produced by Austin Boyer and Buddy Deshler of FredBrass.