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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: June, 2020
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.
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