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The Brass Junkies Podcast - Pedal Note Media

The Brass Junkies, hosted by former Boston Brass members Andrew Hitz and Lance LaDuke, features interviews with the best and brightest brass players in the world. Subject matter includes everything from the serious to the ridiculous, just like the music business.
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The Brass Junkies Podcast - Pedal Note Media
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Now displaying: December, 2018
Dec 25, 2018

TBJ101: Intern Listener's Choice. Our first batch of interns for this year fire off some amazing questions for us to tackle. 

We have always relied on interns to help us carry the ball forward in Pedal Note Media and have ramped up our efforts this year. We are incredibly fortunate to have such talented and intelligent folks helping us out and one of the ways we're trying to return the favor for them is to help them with their own careers and projects. This first batch is about to end their time with us and we thought it'd be a great time to let you hear their voices and thank them publically. They asked great questions. They did great work. They are great folks. Thank you, interns!

Andrew & Lance

DRAKE DOMININGUE

Hey guys!

My name is Drake Domingue and I’m a tuba player currently based out of Las Cruces, NM where I work freelancing and building custom french horns for Patterson Hornworks.

I’ve heard a lot of differing opinions on doubling and am interested in what you all have to say on the matter.

I’ve learned quickly over my short career as a tuba player that the best way to make a living playing tuba is by playing bass guitar and trombone

I do a lot of sub work with orchestras in the area, but most of the playing I do is Latin/Funk/Pop in nature. Not to mention, making people dance can be way more satisfying than watching a stuffy crowd be confused about when to clap.

I can begin to understand the logic behind not wanting to half-ass anything, especially playing an instrument, but the people I play with don’t seem to mind at all that I’m not an artist level bass or trombone player, and I sure don’t mind bringing in a few extra hundred bucks a month.

What are your thoughts? Should low brass players (especially tuba and euphonium players) learn a secondary instrument? Should it be a requirement?

CODY MESSERSMITH

Hi, Andrew and Lance! I’m Cody Messersmith, Intermediate Music Specialist in the Dallastown Area School District in York, Pennsylvania. I freelance as a tubist and have done work on the side for instrument repair companies as well as Parker Mouthpieces. My short-term goals include going back to school to pursue a degree or degrees in tuba performance. I feel that I’ve worn a lot of hats in my short career and the one that seems to bring me the most joy is when the horn is on my face, either playing or teaching. I’d also love to speak to groups of students about the opportunities that they have in school and immediately after college. Being a young person in this field can be and at times is intimidating and I want to help lessen that intimidation for my peers. I’ve written a presentation that talks about just that, it’s geared towards college students and young professionals. I’d love to present it, but I’m not sure how to go about it. Overall I feel like I’m constantly building but I don’t know where my destination is or should be. How do I find it? I just want to play tuba and as Lance would say “live indoors and eat food.”

ARMANDO ALICANDU

Hey, Junkies, my name is Armando Alicandu and I live in South Florida where I play the trombone and euphonium. As I finish my final year at Palm Beach Atlantic University I look towards the future and wonder what I'll do with all this extra time on my hands.

During gigging season I find myself playing with a brass quintet for one rehearsal and the gig and then we disperse- like... "See ya next year!". I would like to form a chamber group that consistently rehearses and performs for community outreach events, also taking gigs to make some cash.

some of the challenges I've faced with establishing and maintaining a chamber group in general are

1 finding the right people to work with as far as being available for consistent scheduling and being motivated to edify the group In general.

2 finding venues to perform, both for free and for profit.

I have a brass quintet in mind because of the available rep. but maybe there are other combinations that would be easier to coordinate.

How would you recommended I tackle these 2 issues in the process of forming a chamber group.

DOMINICK VIVIANO

Hey everyone! My name is Dominick Viviano and I am a second-year masters student at the University of Central Arkansas where I study trombone performance. I serve as a studio graduate assistant which allows me to teach undergraduate applied lessons for non-majors as well as assist with our two trombone choirs.

My primary career goal is to be a college trombone professor. My question for the Brass Junkies is this, could you outline the process from writing and updating your CV through the interview and audition process for securing a college teaching job. I know that there are unique elements for every position, but a general overview of your experiences would be great. Details about the actual day, from showing up to what you ate to how you dressed would be helpful as well.

Also, what advice would you give this next generation of applied professors coming into the field?

SIMON LENOE

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you in regards to teaching effectively? 

ABBY LANNAN

Hello everyone, my name is Abby Lannan and I am a euphonium player who is currently studying to get her masters degree in euphonium performance at Carnegie Mellon with Lance LaDuke. I also run the Instagram and youtube page for GoofyEuph. My short-term goal includes getting a second masters degree in Arts Management and my question has something related to that.

How hard is it to find a playing or performing outlet for someone whose goal isn’t to end up with a top playing position? I personally have no interest in pursuing military band positions or similar jobs where my day to day job is only performing on my instrument. However, I want to keep playing and keep getting better. What are some suggestions that you guys might have for a musician like me?

LINKS:

Mockingbird Foundation for Music Education

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

  • Help others find the show by leaving a rating and review on iTunes.
  • Show us some love on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Help us pay the bills (and get regular bonus episodes!) by becoming a Patreon patron.
  • Show some love to our sponsors: The brass program at The Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University and Parker Mouthpieces (including the Andrew Hitz and Lance LaDuke models.)
  • Tell your friends!

Expertly produced by Will Houchin with love, care, and enthusiasm.










Dec 11, 2018

The legendary Sam Pilafian on Empire Brass, Leonard Bernstein, and life-threatening pedagogy. We talk about his life as a tubist, arranger, composer, educator, performer, producer, and mentor (and countless other descriptors) on our 100th episode.

Sam Pilafian is perhaps best known as a founding member of the internationally renowned Empire Brass Quintet (1971-1993). He has also recorded and performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Lionel Hampton, and Pink Floyd among others.

His long career has earned him an Emmy for Excellence in Instructional Video Production, the Walt Disney Award for Imagination and Innovation in Design, the Walter Naumberg Chamber Music Award, the Harvard Music Association Prize, the University of Miami’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the Brevard Music Center Distinguished Alumni Award, the Robert Trotter Visiting Professorship at the University of Oregon and the annual Outstanding Teacher Award from Arizona State University.

Sam is the co-author, with Patrick Sheridan, of the best selling pedagogy texts and DVD’s “Breathing Gym” and “Brass Gym”. Professor Pilafian previously served for 44 years on the faculties of Boston University, the Tanglewood Institute, Berklee College of Music, Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and is Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University. 

In this fun and lively (and tearful) discussion, we cover:

  • The meaning of J
  • Andrew as a student of Sam "Up an octave" story
  • Life-threatening pedagogy
  • The amazing story of Sam's recent battle with cancer
  • Beating 3+ Million to 1 odds
  • How studios turn into family
  • Meeting Lance part 1, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic
  • Meeting Lance part 2, Army Band Conference
  • Brass Band of Battle Creek
  • Scott Hartman fruit salad
  • Meeting Andrew, Andrew was 12 at Tanglewood
  • Meeting Andrew, Andrew was 14 at BUTI
  • The amazing array of young players Sam heard, coached and taught at Tanglewood
  • Hearing Michael Sachs as a young player
  • Leonard Bernstein and the beginnings of Empire Brass
  • Oak trees
  • Gunther Schuller, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Bernstein inspiring the beginnings of Empire Brass
  • Gunther Schuller and Eugene Goossens playing name that tune
  • Parallels with the Emerson String Quartet and how that inspired Empire Brass
  • Finding the nucleus in the music
  • Playing bass lines
  • Working onstage with Alvin Ailey Dance Company at the opening of the Kennedy Center (in brown pajamas)
  • Being Bernstein's daughter's bodyguard at the Kennedy Center reception
  • How Empire Brass become a full-time gig
  • Rolf Smedvig's playing
  • A major Empire Brass blowup at Tanglewood witnessed by Andrew in 1993
  • How Andrew got the gig with Dallas Brass while in a lesson with Sam
  • The line between obnoxious and oblivious
  • Scrapshoot
  • Winning the 1976 Naumburg Chamber Music Prize, the first brass group to do so, leading to being picked up by Columbia Artists
  • The Empire Brass recordings
  • Bernstein "Always go towards growth"
  • Seeing America on tour
  • Learning to talk on stage
  • His teacher, Connie Weldon
  • Coming up in Miami
  • Frederick Fennell encouraging Sam to diversify his career

LINKS:

Sam's site

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

  • Help others find the show by leaving a rating and review on iTunes.
  • Show us some love on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Help us pay the bills (and get regular bonus episodes!) by becoming a Patreon patron.
  • Show some love to our sponsors: The brass program at The Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University and Parker Mouthpieces (including the Andrew Hitz and Lance LaDuke models.)
  • Tell your friends!

Expertly produced by Will Houchin with love, care, and enthusiasm.

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