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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Tag: US Navy Band

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.

Frederick Fennell with the US Navy Band: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

A small portion of this video of Lincolnshire Posy made the rounds on Facebook a couple of weeks ago but the whole thing is even better.  Frederick Fennell is of course one of the greatest band conductors of all time.  The amount of information he is communicating to the US Navy Band in this clip is stunning.  His stick, his facial expressions, his shoulders, his hands, everything.

This clip is a master class for all conductors on how to convey a clear idea of how you want a piece to go to an ensemble.