Info

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.
RSS Feed
The Brass Junkies Podcast - Pedal Note Media
2020
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: 2020
Oct 13, 2020

TBJ148: Andrew and Lance speak to Abby and Scott about the Media Makers Workshop as well as their own social media ventures.

You can find show notes, links and this episode’s Easter eggs on the Pedal Note Media website: http://www.pedalnotemedia.com/tbj/blog/tbj148-mmw

For instant access to the complete back catalog of exclusive bonus content including extra interviews with guests, additional content from Lance and Andrew like the Music Practice Coach Show and the Jacobs Quotes Podcast, become a Patreon patron of the show today: https://www.patreon.com/thebrassjunkies

Sep 29, 2020

TBJ147: Andrew and Lance revisit the bonus interview, with Sam Pilfian from December of 2018. Originally only available to Patreon patrons, we wanted to share the amazing interview with Sam to a wider audience. Enjoy!

You can find show notes, links and this episode’s Easter eggs on the Pedal Note Media website: http://www.pedalnotemedia.com/tbj/blog/tbj147

For instant access to the complete back catalog of exclusive bonus content including extra interviews with guests, additional content from Lance and Andrew like the Music Practice Coach Show and the Jacobs Quotes Podcast, become a Patreon patron of the show today: https://www.patreon.com/thebrassjunkies

Sep 15, 2020

Mike Roylance, Principal Tuba of the Boston Symphony Orchestra on gigs during Covid-19, playing for Disney, and life as an orchestral tubist in a major symphony orchestra.

You can find show notes, links and this episode’s Easter eggs on the Pedal Note Media website: http://www.pedalnotemedia.com/tbj/blog/tbj146

Check out the offerings from Hitz Academy and see if it is right for you!: www.hitzacademy.com

For instant access to the complete back catalog of exclusive bonus content including extra interviews with guests, additional content from Lance and Andrew like the Music Practice Coach Show and the Jacobs Quotes Podcast, become a Patreon patron of the show today: https://www.patreon.com/thebrassjunkies.

Sep 1, 2020

TBJ145: Tom Hooten, principal trumpet of the Los Angeles Philharmonic on transparency, air direction and coyotes. Trumpet master Tom Hooten joined Andrew & Lance to discuss how he has taken advantage of his time during quarantine to become an even better player, teacher and musician.

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

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

 

Aug 18, 2020

TBJ144: Legendary horn player and teacher Marty Hackleman on All Star Brass, poetry and fire tornadoes. Marty joins The Brass Junkies for a second time to share some amazing stories, including a very honest explanation of how he decided to end his playing career.

LINKS

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

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

Aug 4, 2020

TBJ143: Brittany Lasch, Trombone Professor at Bowling Green State University on Covid recovery, Star Wars and Goal Setting. Brittany Lasch shared her incredible story about losing an Easter gig and getting Covid, a bad tradeoff.

LINKS

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

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

Jul 21, 2020

TBJ142: Chris Martin, Principal Trumpet with the New York Philharmonic on auditions, fundamentals, and 340 mouthpieces. Really. Master trumpeter Chris Martin joins Andrew & Lance to explain how he landed two of the best gigs in the world.

LINKS

Full show notes at pedalnotemedia.com (including Lance's show notes/Easter eggs).

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

Jul 7, 2020

TBJ141: Quotes from the 2020 TBJ Academy Summer Workshop. Andrew & Lance highlight some of their favorite quotes from Donna Parkes, JD Shaw, Mary Bowden, Tage Larsen, Jen Montone Demondrae Thurman, and Richard White.

We had an amazing week at The Brass Junkies Academy Summer Workshop! 20 amazing hours with the best of the best in an extremely informative and powerful five-day run. 

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!!!

We've decided to add an additional TBJASW BONUS DAY on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, featuring trumpet soloist Rex Richardson, Chris Castellanos, french horn with Boston Brass, and an additional hang with a special surprise guest! If you have already signed up for the course, this day is TOTALLY FREE for you! If not, head to brassjunkies.academy and sign up today, using the offer code summerbonus to get the live bonus day AND access to recordings of the previous 20 hours of content for $59 through September 1.

In case you forgot, here were the artists for the original workshop:

  • Trumpet
    • Tage Larsen
    • Mary Bowden
    • Jose Sibaja
  • Horn
    • Jen Montone
    • Jeff Scott
    • JD Shaw
  • Trombone
    • Joe Alessi
    • John Lofton
    • Donna Parkes
  • Euphonium
    • Demondrae Thurman
    • Gail Robertson
    • Hiram Diaz
  • Tuba
    • Carol Jantsch
    • Patrick Sheridan
    • Richard White
  • Hangs (too many folks to list them all, here's three)
    • Jim Nova
    • Michael Parker
    • Composer Pete Meechan

Now onto this episode. 

We had a hard time picking from among a gazillion awesome quotes but found some we thought you'd enjoy. Here's the rundown:

  • Donna Parkes on:
    • Getting honest about why we do what we do
    • This current time is a chance for us to get back to that "why"
  • JD Shaw on:
    • Warming up not just because we are supposed to
    • Tailoring it to what we have to play
  • Mary Bowden on:
    • Now’s the time to get organized about your practicing
    • Making a list of the things you’re great at (and the things you’re not so great at)
  • Tage Larsen on:
    • Not waiting to get lucky when taking auditions
    • Learning that they are a process
  • Jen Montone on:
    • Consistency in auditions
    • Control over your mind - so that you have control over your body - so you can do the closest you can to your best
  • Demondrae Thurman on:
    • Nerves
    • Trusting your preparation
  • Richard A. White on:
    • Learning to pick yourself up
    • Learning to trust yourself

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

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

 

Jun 23, 2020

TBJ140: John Lofton, Bass Trombone with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on YOLO, diversity in the arts, and a crazy trip to Venezuela. John Lofton is a great guy and thoughtful musician and shared some great insights and ideas with Andrew & Lance.

In this fun and lively discussion, we cover:

  • Oh yeah, and Lance
  • Carol dissed Lance
  • John starting with the LA Phil officially in 2008 but played as a long term sub starting in 2004
  • How the long term sub thing works for or against you
  • It can be a challenge for black players if they don't know you as a person
  • McGurk Effect
  • Audition committees wield a lot of power
  • Committees can sometimes tend to look for alter egos
  • Diversity in the arts
  • The recent tragedies and the response
  • This creates an opportunity for orchestras in how they present themselves
  • LA Phil tour to Venezuela
  • Impact of El Sistema
  • YOLA
  • Resident Fellows Program at the LA Phil
  • Cultural relevance with orchestras and the cities they serve
  • Andrew at a James Brown concert
  • John seeing an orchestral concert in Jr High in Philadelphia, getting the bug but seeing the lack of diversity and how/when that changed in the Philadelphia Orchestra
  • The challenge of getting to a critical mass
  • The comparisons with women joining professional orchestras
  • Herd immunity from idiots
  • Lift Every Voice project with Wycliffe and Jim Nova
  • Safety concerns when on tour in Venezuela
  • Music teaching in Venezuela coming from a place of love
  • Alternating Mahler Symphonies with the Bolivar Orchestra
  • LA Phil plans for the fall
  • Fire-hosing content to the internet
  • Michael Parker is remarkable, let him know!
  • John's upcoming session in The Brass Junkies Academy Summer Workshop

LINKS

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

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

From his bio:

A native of Philadelphia and a graduate of the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, JOHN LOFTON began his professional career as Bass Trombonist with the State Orchestra of Mexico. After his years in Toluca, Mexico, Lofton moved to Hawaii to perform with the Honolulu Symphony and later became the Bass Trombonist of the Phoenix Symphony. In 2008 he was appointed to the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Bass Trombonist. In addition to his responsibilities with the LA Phil, he has toured and recorded with the Cleveland Orchestra and performed with the San Francisco Symphony as well as the Santa Fe Opera. Lofton’s musical interests also include chamber music; he has performed with several brass quintets and is a faculty member at the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute featuring the Summit Brass. He teaches at California State University Long Beach, and has students from several L.A. colleges. In addition to appearing on several sound stage recordings, Lofton has produced both solo and chamber recordings.

Jun 9, 2020

In today's episode, we cover:

  • Lance is leaving town for two days and everyone is happy about it
  • Welcome to Abby Lannan to the Pedal Note Media team!
  • Doc's various names
  • JustNix is yummy!
  • Rage Medley viral video hit over 120M views
  • New Pedal Note Media podcast, "Doc Nix Talks To..."
  • Air Bud and Beethoven
  • Listening and learning
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Driveway chats w/Doc Nix while Andrew's kid made minivan inventions
  • Recent Doc FB post
  • Continually Winded
  • Miscommunication
  • The pain of people missing the point
  • Can you shore me up
  • Being assaulted by a skinhead in Altenberg, Germany
  • Three Kings movie, Michael Jackson story
  • Being on the train in NYC encountering the skinhead's doppelganger
  • Realizing he wasn't powerless
  • The influence Slick Rick and Doug E Fresh
  • Trying to unlock the power of the composer
  • Don't just walk in their footsteps, seek what they sought
  • Rapping in his recital at U of M
  • Black Music Matters, Ed Sarath
  • Performing on stage with Nas and the National Symphony
  • Dave Porter's encouragement
  • Founding a fife and drum corps at George Mason University
  • Green Machine as an umbrella for a great array of music-making groups at GMU
  • Getting away from "sameness" in the university music curriculum
  • Music school recruiting event in NYC
  • Producer=Composer story
  • Drum corps story
  • GMU basketball player story
  • His time at Yale as a legacy
  • Just keep doing work
  • Lance on Tuba and Turntables
  • FB tuba-euph groups
  • Deciphering systems
  • Why his tubas smell like burgers and beer
  • Crediting Michael Parker for the turntable idea
  • Embracing the true meaning of Black Lives Matter
  • Commissioning project featuring black composers writing solo pieces for each of the brass instruments
  • Working with the Association for the Transformation of Musical Academe
  • Yale document on music in inner-city schools

LINKS:

NOTE: Weston Sprott also generously shared some resources for everyone hoping to learn more. Thank you, Weston!

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

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

Doc's bio:

Serving as Director of Campus Life Ensembles and Collaborative Arts, and as an Associate Professor of Music, Dr. Michael W. Nickens (a.k.a. Doc Nix) is most recognized as the leader of the “Green Machine”, which in 2015 was named the #1 pep band in college basketball by the NCAA and commended by the Senate and House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, Dr. Nickens launched Mason’s fife and drum corps and WGI world-champion drumline, and oversees Mason’s winterguard. This collection of performing units, known as the “Green Machine Ensembles”, are internationally known for their thrilling, high-energy performances at Mason ceremonies and basketball games, professional sports games and events (Capitals, Nationals, Wizards, and Redskins), community events (Celebrate Fairfax, and the Nike Women's’ Half Marathon), and marching competitions, as well as their popular internet videos that have over 100 million views collectively.

Dr. Nickens was named the 2016 Faculty Member of the Year by the George Mason University Alumni Association. He served as a Faculty Representative to the Board of Visitors, Chair of the Faculty of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Chair of the CVPA  Diversity Committee, and as a member of the School of Music’s Graduate Committee. Having joined the faculty of Mason’s School of Music in fall 2006, he has taught courses in sight-singing/ear training, popular music in America, improvisatory music, brass methods, applied tuba, composition, chamber music, and jazz improvisation, as well as collaborations with Mason’s School of Dance. In addition, he was a co-founder and co-conductor of the Colonial Athletic Association’s “Breakfast with the Bands” intercollegiate pep band showcase.

 
During summers, he has taught tuba and euphonium, conducting, jazz performance, composition, improvisation, chamber music, large ensemble performance, and theory at the Performing Arts Institute at Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, Pennsylvania, the Music, Art, and Theatre (MAT) Camp in Evanston, Wyoming, and the Northern Arizona University Music Camp in Flagstaff, Arizona, and at Mason’s Potomac Arts Academy.  He has also coached a professional marching ensemble, “Mix It Up”, at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia.
 
Dr. Nickens was born in Washington DC and grew up in the Fairfax County Public Schools in Alexandria, Virginia. He completed his academic degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, Yale University, and the University of Michigan.
May 26, 2020

TBJ138: Julie Landsman on being the first woman in the brass section of The Met, the teaching of Carmine Caruso and JFL. Legendary is a term that gets thrown around a lot. Sometimes, it is deserved. This is one of those times.

We're playing around with the show notes organization. Let us know your thoughts!

In this fun and lively discussion, we cover:

  • Julie being on our initial “wish list” of guests
  • Working with both Sam and Mark Gould in a quintet
  • Trio with Dave Taylor and Gould
  • Played Principal horn for the Met for 25 years
  • Andrew Balio (née Anil) and the sheep
  • Getting into The Met in 1985
  • Working with a bunch of dudes
  • First woman in the brass section at The Met
  • Only a few of them welcomed her, most did not
  • Her only defense was to outplay them
  • Leading by example
  • Challenges growing up that helped shape her abilities, drive, and approach
  • Working to be heard and developing her own voice
  • Disaster at the banjo
  • Joe Greco was her band director and led her to the horn
  • Carmine Caruso was brought in to help out her band program which continued to cement her approach and drive
  • Howard Howard from The Met as another major influence
  • Hearing Denis Brain recordings
  • Caruso method, no-nonsense approach
  • Paralysis through analysis
  • The precision timing of movement
  • A platform for your musicality
  • The importance of repetition
  • JFL
  • Warburton Mouthpiece, JFL model is on the way
  • Missing playing with The Met (she left in 2010)
  • Taking a leave of absence when she turned 50
  • The Rule of 80
  • The experience of watching students succeed and perform with them
  • Pilkington playing injured 
  • Starting to teach at the University of Houston and Rice when she played with the Houston Symphony
  • Giving and getting with and from teaching
  • Asking for help and giving help when it is needed
  • Deciding at 13 to become Principal at The Met
  • Moving to California to teach at USC
  • Teaching on both coasts for two years before moving to Southern California permanently
  • Take a chance, follow a dream
  • Meeting Jens for the first time

LINKS:

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

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

Julie's bio:

Principal horn with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for 25 years, Julie Landsman is a distinguished performing artist and educator. She received a bachelor of music degree from The Juilliard School in 1975 under the tutelage of James Chambers and Ranier De Intinis, and has served as a member of the Juilliard faculty since 1989.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Landsman achieved her dream of becoming principal of the MET in 1985 and held that position until 2010. She has also shared her talent to many other ensembles within the city as a current member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and having performed and recorded with the New York Philharmonic. Additionally, she has performed with numerous groups outside the city, including her co-principal position with the Houston Symphony, substitute principal position with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and recent performances with The Philadelphia Orchestra as Associate principal horn, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, principal horn.

She has recorded for RCA, Deutsche Gramophone, CRI, Nonesuch and Vanguard labels, and is most famous for her performance of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle as solo horn with the MET Opera under the direction of James Levine. Landsman has performed as chamber musician at many festivals and concert series, including the Marlboro Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center,  Orcas Island Chamber Music  Festival,  and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she appeared as a guest artist with the Guarneri Quartet. In the summers she performs and teaches at the Music Academy of the West , the Sarasota Music  Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival.

World renowned as a master teacher, Julie Landsman holds faculty positions at The Juilliard School and Bard College Conservatory, and teaches frequently as a guest at the Curtis Institute. She has presented master classes at such distinguished institutions as The Colburn School, Curtis Institute, Eastman School of Music, Mannes College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, USC Thornton School of Music, Cal State Long Beach, Rowan University, University of Oklahoma, and University of Southern Mississippi, to name a few. She is also a visiting master teacher at the New World Symphony in Miami. Her international presence includes master classes in Norway, Sweden, and Israel.  In 2016 Landsman was an honored jury member at the ARD horn competition in Munich, Germany.

Her students hold positions in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Opera and Ballet Orchestras, Washington National Opera Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Colorado Symphony, and the American Brass Quintet. She recently received the “Pioneer Award” from the International Women’s Brass Conference and was a featured artist at the International Horn Society Conference in 2012 and 2015.

Her recent series of Carmine Caruso lessons on YouTube have led to further fame and renown among today’s generation of horn players. Landsman currently resides in Nyack, New York.

May 12, 2020

NOTE: Registration is open for The Brass Junkies Academy Summer Workshop, a five-day workshop with 15 of the best brass players in the world hosted by Andrew Hitz & Lance LaDuke. Each day features three clinics plus a daily hang with special guests hosted by The Brass Junkies. The workshop is open to all ages but recommended for high school and above. The workshop runs from June 22-26, 2020. 

More information can be found at brassjunkies.academy including how to get $30 off the $109 price for a LIMITED TIME!!!

TBJ138: Demondrae Thurman on Sotto Voce, Indiana University AND the Brass Junkies Academy Summer Academy. Demondrae returns to share the origins of Sotto Voce and explains his unorthodox job offer from Indiana University.

From his website:

Demondrae Thurman is considered one of the stars of the formidable generation of brass soloists. His euphonium playing has been described as “awe inspiring”, and he is touted as “an amazing musician”. Demondrae has a firm international reputation as a euphonium soloist having performed in Europe, Asia and throughout North America. Many of Americas premiere colleges and universities have hosted him as a performer and teacher and he continues to be in extremely high demand. Over the last eighteen years, Demondrae has been an invited guest artist/clinician at many of the world’s prestigious low brass festivals including the International Tuba/Euphonium Conference, U.S. Army Band Tuba and Euphonium Conference and theLeonard Falcone Competition.

Demondrae’s conducting career began in 1999 when he co-founded the wind ensemble at Alabama State University. Since that time, he has appeared as a guest conductor with numerous wind bands, brass bands, and symphony orchestras. His symphony orchestra debut came in 2008 conducting Scheherazade by Rimsky Korsakov with the Huxford Symphony Orchestra of the University of Alabama where he also served as its conductor from 2011-2013. He is currently in his 7th season as Resident Assistant Conductor of the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra.

Demondrae is also an active chamber musician. He plays first euphonium and trombone in the highly regarded Sotto Voce Quartet which tours extensively. The quartet has released four recordings; all of which have received stellar reviews. Viva Voce!: The Complete Quartets of Johns Stevens won the International Tuba/Euphonium Association award for best chamber music recording in 2006. The quartet has been featured several times on American Public Media’s, Performance Today. He also plays first baritone horn in the Brass Band of Battle Creek, a British brass band comprised of many of the world’s best brass and percussion performers. In addition to his chamber music work, Demondrae is in high demand as a euphonium/bass trumpet specialist for symphony orchestras. He has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Eastern Music Festival Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

In addition to the Sotto Voce Quartet recordings, Demondrae released his first solo recording on the Summit Records label in 2005 entitled, Soliloquies. It received a 9/9 out of 10/10 from classicstoday.com and he was referred to as “having earned (his) stripes as one of the premiere euphonium players in the world”. Showing his dedication to new music, all of the music on the recording was written for him or with his playing in mind. His second album, Songs of a Wayfarer, was released in 2011. The latest recording, Snapshots: The Spirit of Collaboration, was released in March of 2014. Demondrae can also be heard on recordings with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Brass Band of Battle Creek, and the New South Jazz Orchestra.

Currently, Demondrae is Professor of Music at Samford University where he teaches low brass and conducting while serving as conductor of the wind ensemble and Director of Graduate Studies.

Demondrae Thurman is a Miraphone Performing Artist and plays exclusively the Miraphone 5050 Ambassador “Edition” euphonium which was designed specifically for him.  He also plays the custom “Demondrae” model mouthpiece manufactured by Warburton Music Products and is a Shires  Trombone Performing Artist. 

In this fun and lively discussion, we cover:

  • Colonial Tuba Quartet Competition
  • Sweet Child O Mine
  • Gary Bird
  • The beginnings of Sotto Voce
  • Consequences
  • Army Workshop gig helping move them down the road
  • Getting kicked out of a meeting room
  • Lance is(was) a bigwig
  • Personnel changes over the years
  • 25th Anniversary plans
  • Changes to the tuba quartet repertoire over the years
  • Euphonium quartets
  • Indiana University
  • Brass Junkies Academy

LINKS:

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

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

Apr 28, 2020

TBJ136: Boston Brass joins Andrew & Lance sharing stories both new and old. The five current members of Boston Brass catch us up with how the quintet is dealing with quarantine, swaps stories, and future plans. 

From their website:

For 31 years, Boston Brass has set out to establish a one-of-a-kind musical experience. Performing exciting classical arrangements to burning jazz standards, Boston Brass treats audiences to a unique brand of entertainment captivating all ages. The ensemble’s lively repartee, touched with humor and personality, attempts to bridge the ocean of classical formality to delight audiences in an evening of great music and boisterous fun. The philosophy of Boston Brass is to provide audiences with a wide selection of musical styles in unique arrangements, provided in a friendly and fun atmosphere.

Through over 100 performances each year, the members of Boston Brass play to audiences at concerts, educational venues, and jazz festivals. In addition to solo performances, Boston Brass regularly performs with orchestras, wind ensemble, brass bands, marching bands, and a variety of other ensembles. They have performed in 49 states and 30 countries and have conducted master classes around the world including sessions and residencies at the Eastman School of Music, The Julliard School, Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Peabody Conservatory of Music, University of North Texas, Royal Academy of Music in London, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory at the National University of Singapore, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and Mahidol University in Bangkok. 

Boston Brass is a Yamaha Performing Group and has been featured educators and performers at the Mid West Band and Orchestra Clinic, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, Japan Band Clinic, Music Educators National Conferences, American Bandmaster Association Conference, The American Band College, Western International Band Clinic and Texas Bandmasters Association Convention.

Boston Brass has been featured on The CBS Early Show, National Public Radio’s Performance TodayThe Great American Brass Band Festival and has recorded many diverse albums. Their latest recording “Concerto Grosso” is a collaboration with Eric Rombach-Kendall and University of New Mexico Wind Ensemble, “Reminiscing” is a tribute to Rolf Smedvig of the Empire Brass, “Rewired” features new arrangements by the members of Boston Brass, Latin Nights, features a collection of some of the greatest classical and jazz works by Latin composers and performers and features the legendary drummer Steve Gadd, the beautiful voice of Talita Real, percussion and guitar. Other albums include Ya Gotta Try, featuring music from Horace Silver, Chick Corea and Dizzy Gillespie, produced by legendary jazz recording genius Rudy van Gelder and Within Earshot, featuring classical works by Shostakovich, Ginastera, Dvorak, Liszt, and others. 

Boston Brass has two holiday recordings, Christmas Bells are Swingin’, and The Stan Kenton Christmas Carols, featuring the Boston Brass All-Stars Big Band playing the truly phenomenal charts made popular by the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Boston Brass tours a vibrant holiday show each year featuring many of the charts from these two albums, combined with a variety of solo and combo selections and some fun surprises, which has quickly established the show as a perennial audience favorite. 

2011 marked the 25th Anniversary of Boston Brass and was celebrated with the “25 Fanfares Project,” wherein 25 fanfares were premiered by composers from all over the country.  Boston Brass also premiered a new major commission by noted wind ensemble composer Brian Balmages and new arrangements by the legendary Sam Pilafian. Additionally, Boston Brass was very excited to have the opportunity to collaborate in the 2010/2011 season with the fabulous Imani Winds in a program entitled “Sketches of Spain,” featuring the music of Miles Davis and Gil Evans. In the 2012/2013 season, the quintet began touring their “Notes from the Balcony” program with the Enso String Quartet. The program features music based on “Romeo and Juliet”.

In this fun and lively discussion, we cover:

  • Taps
  • Boston Brass intros
  • How they’re staying busy
  • Planning for the future
  • Videos by Jose, Chris, and Domingo
  • Where they were when it all blew up
  • Chris on a plane
  • Will in Chicago
  • Will leads a double life
  • Jose’s teaching schedule
  • Chris at Walmart in the cereal aisle
  • Domingo taking advantage of the downtime
  • Domingo reconnecting with his roots in Latin America
  • Domingo working with Sam on a solo project just before he passed
  • “Then fire me.”
  • Sam’s impact in Boston Brass
  • William replacing Sam in the group
  • Chris Bill is sitting in Lance’s lap
  • Brass Recording Project
  • The Pickle Test
  • New projects
  • Jeff sigh
  • “Blues for Sam” for the new Boston Brass album
  • Busting Jeff’s chops for fun and profit
  • Bose Wave radio
  • Pray for Jens apron
  • The Facebook
  • Jeff ate a bug in Brazil
  • Wichita leave-behind
  • Random Christopher Bill

LINKS:

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

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

Apr 14, 2020

TBJ135: Jeff Nelsen on Fearless Performance, habit formation and how Canadian Brass is responding to the international quarantine. Horn performer, teacher, and magician Jeff Nelsen joins The Brass Junkies for the second time to catch us up on his efforts to make art and help others.

From his bio:

Having grown up on a Canadian pig-farm, Jeff Nelsen's multiple non-porcine professions show him to be living proof that if you want it enough, you can have any dream. Jeff is living his dreams out loud and fearlessly! Jeff's approach to life and life coaching is the same. When he teaches, he mentors. Every choice we make helps create what we ultimately share when we approach a job interview, audition, exam, product launch, or social gathering. It doesn't matter whether those choices are made while building or sharing our performance, choices matter...and we only ever choose fear or love. This website helps Jeff publish and provide his creative replacements to fear-based choices for you.

In this fun and lively discussion, we discuss:

  • Back wax
  • Jeff Conner is Andrew's Dad old
  • New Patreon effort, "Brass Junkies Sundays"
  • James Markey's Mom's comment
  • Andrew's wife's listening habits
  • Will we let Jeff talk?
  • Mood lighting
  • Jeff's student can fly
  • Jeff at American Band College with Lance last summer
  • Magic
  • Playing in lessons
  • Building a vegetable garden
  • Writing curriculum with a grad student
  • Training in Thirds
  • Building in Thirds
  • Briefing in Thirds
  • Shopping at Lowes
  • 1st third Build
  • 2nd third Share
  • 3rd third Be
  • Bringing the ding
  • Connection-full
  • Magic line performances
  • Shrinking the quality gap
  • Collecting opinions
  • Playing for Chalie Deval
  • The Illusion of Maturity
  • The "Enough or Not Enough" line
  • Non-emotional critique
  • Frustration and should
  • Mental scale structures
  • Mini golf
  • Protactor humor
  • The importance of sequence
  • The importance of habit/routine/ritual
  • Time takes time
  • James Clear
  • Push your butt up
  • Nacho Libre
  • Pass the Beer Nuts

Links:

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

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

Mar 31, 2020
TBJ134: Rex Martin on online lessons, Arnold Jacobs and tuba mute hatred. Master pedagogue (and Andrew's former teacher) and tuba soloist Rex Martin shares stories and insights with Andrew & Lance from his new home in Bern, Switzerland.
 
From his Wikipedia Page:
 
Rex Martin is one of the world's virtuoso tuba players, appearing on over 70 symphony orchestra recordings. He primarily studied under Edward Livingston and Arnold Jacobs, though he also took lessons with Edward Kleinhammer.
 
Martin is Professor of Tuba at the Bern University of the Arts in Bern, Switzerland, and Professor of Music Emeritus at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
 
He was raised in Stronghurst, Illinois and graduated from high school in Chillicothe, Illinois. He married Margreth Trümpi of Ennenda, Switzerland in 1989.
 
In this fun and lively discussion, we cover:
  • Andrew's fear of a future grade
  • The bursar's office
  • Phish tickets
  • Retirement from Northwestern
  • Wife/Life in Bern, Switzerland
  •  Teaching at the Bern University of the Arts
  • Joining faculty at the Royal Academy in London (Distinguished International Professor of Brass)
  • Dean Martin
  • Gold Diggers
  • Andrew late for his lesson story
  • Rex hates lateness
  • Rex and Arnold Jacobs
  • Studying with Ed Livingston at Illinois State
  • "But let's work on your tone"
  • The disconnect between Arnold Jacob's legend and Rex's experience
  • High standards and psychology
  • Developing the ability to hear low pitches
  • The influence of Bud Herseth and Ed Kleinhammer
  • "Tonight you can have as many beers as you want!"
  • Andrew playing for Mallorie Thompson
  • Ed Livingston's influence
  • Andrew hearing Rex playing the Vaughan Williams Tuba Concerto
  • Muted tuba
  • Mean Rex
  • Mike Roylance international online tuba hang
  • Teaching online (what works and what doesn't)
  • Gr8
  • In online lessons, the use of scales and deep listening assignments
  • Knuckleheads practicing on Facebook
  • Tokyo 7-11 and Tom Waits
  • Jen Snow
  • Keeping time as a tuba player

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

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

 
 
Mar 17, 2020

TBJ133: Christopher Bill on his amazing and amazingly powerful guide to remote music education. And bidets. Christopher is back for another interview with a deep dive discussion of how to learn and teach in the age of social isolation.

To save you some scrolling, here's a link to the oft-mentioned documents:

From his bio:

Christopher is best known as the most subscribed brass musician on YouTube. He’s a trombonist, singer, and multi-instrumentalist based outside of NYC.

Christopher’s YouTube Channel of all-trombone arrangements of popular songs 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 35 million views and a following of over 250,000 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. In 2018, his collaboration with the International Trombone Festival of Bohemian Rhapsody went viral.

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 (Atlantic Brass Quintet).

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, TMEA, the NAMM Show, and the International Trombone Festival.

In this fun and lively discussion, we cover:

  • Herds of Antelope
  • 5 year olds
  • Impact of the virus on our lives
  • Impact of the virus on music careers
  • Bidet
  • 2pm alarms
  • Recording an album in Arizona
  • Chris' guide to remote music education
  • How it came about
  • Sleep schedules
  • How his document could change (our corner of) the world
  • Trombone Overdub Death Match: Jim Nova vs. Christopher Bill
  • The Milli Vanilli of trombone
  • Breakdown of the concepts from the document
  • Online lessons
  • Assessment
  • Masterclasses
  • Jam of the week/etude of the week
  • Recording assignments
  • Research projects
  • Virtual recitals
  • Watch parties
  • Social media challenges
  • Virtual choir recording projects
  • Warmups
  • Pushups
  • Broken fingers
  • Work smart and take care of yourself

LINKS

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

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

Mar 3, 2020

TBJ132: Phil Snedecor on diagnosing playing issues, his new publications and the challenges of small-holed instruments. Phil returns to the show to share even more wisdom and shares takeaways from his studies with Arnold Jacobs.

From his bio:

Phil Snedecor is Associate Professor of Trumpet at the Hartt School (of the University of Hartford) in Hartford, CT, and a former faculty member at The Peabody Conservatory, George Mason University and at Towson University. He has written a series of brass etude books that are required repertoire at many colleges and conservatories. His arrangements and compositions have been performed throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Phil attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he received the prestigious Performers Certificate and was a member of the premiere brass quintet, the Canterbury Brass. While earning his degrees in trumpet performance and literature, he also studied arranging and composition with Professor Rayburn Wright, formerly arranger for Radio City Music Hall. Mr. Snedecor is a former member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and has held one-year positions with the National Symphony, the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and the Baltimore Opera. He is Principal Trumpet in the Harrisburg (PA) Symphony Orchestra and former Co-Principal Trumpet in the Concert Artists of Baltimore.  Mr. Snedecor has performed and toured throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.

In 1993 Mr. Snedecor and National Symphony Principal Trombonist Milton Stevens co-founded The Washington Symphonic Brass, a 17-piece professional brass ensemble.  They perform regularly for the Washington National Cathedral, St. Matthew’s Cathedral, the Basilica at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and with the Washington Choral Arts Society at the Kennedy Center. They were the official instrumental ensemble for the Papal visit of 2008 in Washington DC and are heard regularly in their own concert series in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Their critically acclaimed CDs are available on the Summit and Warner Classics labels. Phil’s innovative programming and arranging for the WSB has led to several guest conductor appearances, most recently with the River City Brass Band (Pittsburgh) and the Breckenridge (CO) Brass.

As a show player, he has performed in the touring productions of Guys & Dolls, Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, Evita and West Side Story. He has recorded under the RCA, CBS, Gothic, Koss, and Summit labels. Phil’s solo CDs, The Lyrical Trumpet I and II are also available on the Summit Label.

In 2012, Mr. Snedecor founded the DC Pops Orchestra, a 30-piece ensemble featuring some of the best Jazz and crossover artists in the region. This group has provided music for the elite of Washington in prestigious venues such as the National Building Museum and Mellon Auditorium.

In this fun and lively discussion, we cover:

  • #picklesforjeff
  • Phil's triumphant return
  • His gig at Hartt
  • Hearing auditions
  • Diagnosing problems with new students
  • Studying with Arnold Jacobs
  • Helping students become more efficient
  • Effortless playing
  • Translating Jacobs' ideas to trumpet playing
  • Small-holed instruments
  • Efficiency vs. effort
  • Moo-ing into the horn
  • Faux whistling
  • No exploding heads
  • Tuda
  • Sean Reusch FB post
  • Parker Mouthpieces, what kind of hole can we design for you?
  • Phil's new tuba book
  • Dave Zerkel
  • Phil's other etude books
  • The difference in how he marketed the two tuba books
  • The importance of video in promoting his materials
  • The gear he used to make his new videos and recordings
  • Multi-clam clips
  • Editing Engenuity by Anthony DiLorenzo's trumpet concerto with the Harrisburg Symphony
  • Teaching himself video editing
  • Life is figuring stuff out
  • Curiosity is key
  • Creating your own "thing"
  • The importance of asking questions
  • Ego-based fear
  • Banff
  • Wayne Gretzky

LINKS:

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

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

Feb 18, 2020

TBJ131: Listener's Choice: Andrew & Lance warm up to the idea of warming up and other brass nerd stuff. Two listeners' questions are featured, covering warmups and practice routines.

Thank you to Susan and Mark for these great questions!

In this fun and lively discussion, we cover:

  • Barking dogs
  • Andrew's dog can read
  • Fancy playgrounds
  • Lance can't remember anything
  • Recording the TBJ theme song with Clarke and Sam
  • Mike, I mean Michael Parker
  • Andrew hanging with folks at the Army Tuba-Euphonium Workshop
  • Sare from Bremerton, Washington
  • Lick flexibility
  • Lance's warmup
  • Saying nice things about JD
  • Mr. Kim and the last-minute cha-cha
  • Length of time for the warmup
  • "Can I play a couple of notes?"
  • Audition day at Shenandoah Conservatory
  • Pat Sheridan's morning class in Arizona
  • Andrew's warmup
  • Andrew's beautiful singing voice
  • Tips from Marty Hackleman and Joe Alessi
  • Smooth Air Movement = SAM!!!
  • Michael Davis' 20-Minute Warmup Book
  • Jacobs Special Studies from the Hal Leonard book
  • Arbans page 1
  • Routine vs. Warmup
  • Warmup differences between developing players and mature players
  • When to change up your routine
  • Mark from Toronto
  • Lance's practice schedule while in college
  • Jim Nova is a cracker-jack trombone player
  • Andrew's practice habits
  • The importance of practicing consistently as a beginner
  • Andrew and Lance playing in every group that would have them
  • The importance of listening
  • Mahler jams

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

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

Feb 4, 2020

TBJ130: Gretchen Renshaw James on conducting, diversity and playing tuba in Seraph Brass. She eloquently explains how she balances teaching low brass, conducting, arranging and touring.

From her bio:

Gretchen Renshaw James enjoys a multifaceted career as a conductor, tuba and euphonium performer, and arranger. She is the Director of Bands/Applied Low Brass at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas; tubist with the internationally acclaimed Seraph Brass; Music Director of the award-winning Natural State Brass Band, based in Little Rock; and a published arranger with Potenza Music and Tuba-Euphonium Press. Prior to her time in central Arkansas, Gretchen completed a D.M.A. in Tuba Performance and M.M. in Wind/Orchestral Conducting at Michigan State University, where she was a University Distinguished Fellow. Previously, she earned degrees in Euphonium Performance from the University of Arkansas and Penn State University. As a tuba and euphonium performer, Gretchen has enjoyed success in major solo competitions including being a finalist in the Artist Tuba Competition at the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Festival and being named the Low Brass Winner of the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition. As an arranger, Gretchen has contributed a number of works for tuba-euphonium ensemble, solo tuba, and solo euphonium. Gretchen looks forward to continuing her varied musical career by remaining active as a tuba and euphonium performer and conductor of both bands and orchestras.

In this fun and lively discussion, we cover:

  • Being a conductor and player
  • Velvet Brown
  • Expanding her horizons from euphonium, adding tuba and conducting to increase her chances at getting a gig
  • Penn State for undergrad in euphonium
  • University of Arkansas with Ben Pierce
  • Michigan State for a DMA in tuba and a MM in conducting
  • Phil Sinder
  • Mouthpiece buzzing
  • "Notes on a line"
  • Facebook post about her forthcoming three-year diversity project at Hendrix College
  • Rob Deemer/Composer Diversity Database
  • Fostering diversity in music
  • Conducting in comparison to teaching and coaching in the tuba studio
  • Conducting and the importance of leadership
  • Adding Arkansas Tech to her plate
  • Natural State Brass Band
  • Balancing projects
  • Stepping away from a project gracefully

LINKS

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

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

Jan 21, 2020

TBJ129: Martin McCain on travel, creating new repertoire and BBQ. Trombone player and educator Martin McCain gives us a peek at his diverse and prolific career. 

From his bio:

Global Music Award Gold Medal Winner and Grammy Award-nominated trombonist Martin McCain enjoys a career that spans an impressive scope of genres. A third-generation musician, he maintains a versatile performance schedule as a soloist, recording artist, chamber, orchestral and commercial musician. According to the International Trombone Association Journal, his playing has been described as "solid and masterful". McCain is in high demand as a performer and clinician throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia. His performances and arrangements have been broadcast on Austin, Knoxville, Tucson, Chicago, Toronto and Hong Kong's radio stations in addition to NPR's "Performance Today". Martin has appeared as a guest artist at the International Trombone Festival, Great American Brass Band Festival, Zagreb Brass Festival, Brazilian Trombone Festival and American Trombone Workshop. He is the leader of the award-winning jazz trombone ensemble, JazzBonez, a member of the highly-acclaimed Minor 4th Trombone Quartet and an Associate Artist with the Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass. Martin regularly performs in recital programs both as a soloist and as the McCain Duo with his wife, pianist Artina McCain. As an orchestral musician, Martin holds the position of Principal Bass Trombone for the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra. McCain regularly performs with the IRIS Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Austin Symphony and Memphis Symphony Orchestra in addition to several summer festival orchestras. He has performed with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Amarillo Symphony, Charleston Symphony Orchestra and many regional orchestras. As a commercial musician, he performs with the NOW Jazz Orchestra, Memphis Jazz Orchestra and several national touring ensembles in addition to performances with the Frank Sinatra Jr. Orchestra. 

McCain was a prize - winner twice in both the International Trombone Association's Donald Yaxley Solo Bass Trombone Competition and Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition and twice in both of the American Trombone Workshop's National Bass Trombone Solo Competition and Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition. He has been a featured soloist with the Croatian Army Wind Band, United States Army Concert Band "Pershing's Own" and the United States Army Brass Quintet. In addition to being heard on various recordings on the Summit Records, Naxos and Equilibrium labels, Martin has released three solo CDs Trombone Czar: Russian Treasures Recorded Live! (2012), Shades (2014) and Trombone Czar: The Extended Version(2015). Other recording credits include numerous movie and video game soundtracks in addition to commercial jingles. He is a four-time winner of the Global Music Awards and was featured as their “Emerging Artist” in an edition of Billboard magazine.

Martin is an Artist/Teacher of Trombone and the youngest faculty member to hold the rank of full professor at Texas State University. Under his leadership, the Trombone Choir and Jazz Trombone Ensembles have been invited to perform at the International Trombone Festival, American Trombone Workshop, Big 12 Trombone Conference and Texas Music Educators Association Convention on numerous occasions and have released two commercial recordings. Dr. McCain’s students have also been extremely successful in solo and ensemble competitions including the International Trombone Association competitions, the American Trombone Workshop competitions and the Big 12 Trombone Solo Competitions. In recognition of his teaching, he has received several citations including the 2019 College Achievement Award in Teaching, 2016 Presidential Distinction Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2013 Dean Nominee for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. His students have been accepted into some of the nation's most prestigious graduate programs such as the Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, Yale University, Northwestern University, Manhattan School of Music and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He is also the founder/director of the Texas State Trombone Symposium. In addition to his duties at Texas State, Martin spends the summer on the faculty for the Austin Chamber Music Festival, Interharmony International Music Festival (Italy), Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, PRIZM International Chamber Music Festival, SliderAsia Music Festival (Hong Kong) and the English Brass Academy (Croatia).

Martin McCain is a performing artist for S.E. Shires, Reunion Blues Gig Bags and plays on the "McCain" signature mouthpiece series manufactured by Pickett Brass.

In this fun and lively discussion, we cover:

  • His two homes
  • Illustrious bass trombone players
  • He and his wife both have cool gigs
  • Phish Memphis BBQ
  • Smoking meat
  • Growing up in the Midwest
  • More Smokers Than Trombone
  • The 16-hour-10-hour smoke
  • Fred Powell Dial-a-BBQ
  • Being a third-generation musician
  • Playing with the Memphis Symphony
  • Last of the Mississippi Juke Joints
  • Food
  • His Dad's advice, "If you want to eat..."
  • Starting on piano, switching to baritone
  • Mo' Better Blues
  • McCain Duo
  • Piano prenup
  • Creating new repertoire for the duo
  • Sacred music (with a twist) project
  • Mahidol University
  • Bangkok and Asian travel
  • Musical forest
  • What, why and how he records album projects
  • How projects get funded
  • Jazz Bones
  • Southern Miss Hub Bones
  • The value of concentrated rehearsal time
  • Playing with Boston Brass
  • Recording the Kenton Christmas album

LINKS:

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

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

Jan 7, 2020

TBJ128: Euphoniumist Chris Buckley of the US Army Band on growing up in Laredo, Texas, euphonium repertoire and his love of cooking. Chris Buckley is a great player and a great guy. This wide-ranging conversation included great information on the Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Workshop. That's a lot of greats.

From his bio:

SFC Christopher Buckley is one of the newest members of the United States Army Band. He grew up in a large family on the South Texas border. While in Texas he competed in several international euphonium solo competitions, including the Leonard Falcone International Solo Competition where he won 1st place in 2009. While at the University of North Texas he played in many professional ensembles including the Dallas Wind Symphony, Lone Star Wind Ensemble, and the Dallas Civic Wind Ensemble. He also performs on tuba and trombone in many jazz ensembles. He lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife Leah where they are constantly searching for Mexican food as good as the food in Texas. They live with two crazy cats named Oscar and Battle Cat.

In this fun and lively discussion, we cover:

  • Pantomime
  • Lance is muted
  • Planning a recital
  • Chris' wife's repertoire and instrument choices
  • Lance rants about euphonium repertoire (again)
  • Army workshops
  • Beirut/Zach Condon
  • The strengths/weaknesses of traditional repertoire
  • Studying at UNT with Brian Bowman
  • Dissertation bashing
  • Army Tuba-Euphonium workshop
  • Mock auditions
  • West Texas A&M for his undergrad
  • Swamp Romp
  • Rush "Tom Sawyer" featuring Tom Holtz
  • Growing up in Laredo, Texas
  • Favorite food from growing up
  • Jim "Uncomfortable Pause" Nova
  • Rico's Supermarket
  • His love of cooking
  • Hiram Diaz
  • Kevin Gebo and Victor Barranco
  • Kevin Gebo: Hobbit, Halfling or Something Else Altogether

LINKS:

Want to help the show? Here are some ways:

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

1