During our conversation with Jack Schatz, Trombonist, we learn just how networking was done in the 80s which still holds true today, playing your best and saying yes. Jack started as a piano student and tells the store of how he became a monster of the the low brass world of jingles, studio work, broadway and orchestra gigs. In his “spare” time Jack managed to beat cancer, teach at the college level and have a family in the big apple. In the Fall, Jack is taking on new adventures on the faculty at SUNY Purchase.
Denson Paul Pollard, Bass Trombonist of the MET Opera Orchestra, talked with us about his most recent sabbatical leave to play with the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Helsinki Finland. He took the audition after spending a few weeks playing with the orchestra, taking the risk along with 50 other bass trombonists he won the audition. The year was a superb experience, he talked about how the culture in Finland values and supports the arts, and how his experience of auditioning again gave him the opportunity to validate what he tells his students at Juilliard, Bard and Mannes. We talked about; the difference between European and American Conservatory student’s learning focus, what did he learn about himself going through the process of auditioning, the struggle of maintaining the excellent of performance in the MET orchestra given the demands of the schedule, demands of playing the trombone, the learning curve in learning the repertoire, how he relaxes away from his job, the rationale of his youtube channel examples, his exploration of new repertoire, how he learned the bass trombone and what lays ahead in the future.
George Curran, Bass Trombonist for the New York Philharmonic shares his journey to being one of the newest members of the orchestra. Coming from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra he talks about settling into his new position in New York and becoming part of the Philharmonic family. We talked about so many topics with George; the logistics of being a one year-orchestral substitute, the importance of self assessment for fitting into a section, the stress of living in the city and making the transition from Atlanta, sound proofing within a New York City apartment, choosing to play the Bass Trombone, his educational path and the importance of having a clear career strategy and goal, his process for preparing for auditions and how to handle the large amount of repertoire needed, mental preparation for auditions, the importance of understanding style and context of excerpts, playing to the space in auditions and the necessity of recording in different acoustical settings.