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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: March, 2019
Mar 19, 2019
TBJ107: Christopher Bill, trombonist, singer, and multi-instrumentalist and internet sensation!
 
Christopher is a trombonist, singer, and multi-instrumentalist based outside of NYC, but it’s more accurate to say he’s based on the internet. He has been playing piano since he was 6 years old, trombone since he was 10, and he has been composing/arranging since he was 12.
 
Christopher has a Bachelor of Music for classical trombone performance from the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music in New York. While at the conservatory he studied with critically acclaimed trombonists Weston Sprott (Metropolitan Opera), Denson Paul-Pollard (Metropolitan Opera), John Fedchock (Grammy Nominated Jazz Trombonist), and the absolutely incomparable Timothy Albright.
Christopher is best known for his all-trombone arrangements of popular songs. His YouTube Channel has been gaining popularity since the spring of 2014 when a cover of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” where Christopher uses a looping station to compose the song on the spot went viral. His videos have amassed over 30 million views and a following of over 175,000 subscribers. In April of 2014, Christopher independently released his first cover album, Breakthrough, which was followed by his Christmas album, Smiling’s My Favorite. More recently, Christopher released an original pop album called Half Man, Half Machine which mixes acoustic sounds with electronic instruments. He is the Youth Workshop Coordinator of the International Trombone Festival and a marketing consultant for the International Trombone Association.
 
Christopher enjoys a busy schedule of performances, clinics, and masterclasses. In addition to producing a new video every Saturday for his YouTube Channel, he often performs at festivals such as the American Trombone Workshop, Midwest Clinic, Texas Bandmasters Association, Con Brio Festivals, Conn-Selmer Institute, Western International Band Clinic, and the International Trombone Festival.
 
In this fun and lively discussion, we cover:
  • Household name status (in Andrew's house)
  • Recording in Andrew's basement
  • Starting out exactly eight years ago as a freshman in college
  • When it stopped being so cringy
  • How his arranging chops have changed over time
  • Using homework for fun and profit
  • Using the arrangements to further develop as a musician
  • The impact of shirt color in his arrangements
  • How far he plans in advance
  • Taking yourself seriously
  • The importance of consistent uploads
  • He hasn't missed a week in four years
  • The Jerry Seinfeld of Trombone
  • Leave Christopher's Grandmother out of this
  • Two kinds of people: those who think they're cool and those who know they're not
  • The "Take on Me" pic, (worth it)
  • Cease and Desist
  • Living off Patreon and YouTube ad revenue
  • Exploring new platforms
  • Focusing on select existing programs
  • Figuring out what content works for your audience on the various platforms
  • Sticking with it for three years before gaining traction
  • The impact of the "Happy" video on his career
  • What to do for the next project after a viral hit
  • How much is too much for an audience
  • How to do a cover without getting sued
  • Meeting some of the folks who did the originals of the covers he's made
  • Dennis Deyoung busting his hump
  • Andrew's embouchure looks like he's eating a ham sandwich

LINKS:

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.

Mar 5, 2019

Legendary trumpeter Jim Pandolfi has one of the most amazing stories in music. Or most places.

In this fun and lively discussion, we cover:

  • How Andrew and Jim first met in NYC many moons ago
  • Applesauce
  • Life out on Cape Cod (in the Dagobah System)
  • "The older I get, the better I was"
  • 15 years playing with The Met (wearing telescoping glasses due to an eye condition, macular degeneration)
  • Having to leave before his vision loss got too bad
  • How determination became the byword of his career
  • The impact his attitude had on the other folks around him
  • Playing loud (like really loud) in Japan on Samson and Delilah
  • Overcoming the involuntary response with excellence
  • Be a musician who happens to play the trumpet
  • Practicing golf in his apartment (between the aquarium, the big-screen TV, the piano and his horns)
  • Mark Gould locking in musically and personally
  • Surviving in a symphony orchestra (the 3 most important rules)
  • Only needed 4 or five notes to make an assessment of someone's playing
  • The development of his teaching style and philosophy
  • Everybody wants to play loud but most play too heavy (bear down too much)
  • Listening to Bryn Terfel, connecting the power coming from the reserve (feel the reserve, don't push)
  • How they get the fork to their mouth in the morning
  • Pick up your chest
  • Have the sound come from behind your sternum
  • Take pause
  • Single tonguing
  • Set and forget tonguing
  • The difference between thinking and concentration
  • How well can you concentrate?
  • Puttin' on the Ritz (during Flying Dutchman)
  • More Gould stories (with Rich Kelley cameos)
  • Peter Weller playing Clifford Brown tunes on Pandolfi's horn while driving golf balls between opera acts
  • Mel Broiles influence on Jim
  • Fantastic Mel stories (both music- and aviation-related)
  • "Mel Broiles, Starring in His Own Movie"

LINKS:

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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