Jason Tramm. Jason is a passionate conductor and promoter of music with more than a few titles attached to his name. He tells Kevin and Carol how he keeps himself busy with his passion as well as remaining a dedicated father.
Janet Rarick, Associate Professor of Music Career Development at Rice University Shepherd School of Music shared how her own career developed and how she found her way to teaching. We talk about; the importance of taking chances on opportunities, the importance of having support system of colleagues, the process in creating a career class, various ways in teaching career skills, defining a successful career and finding a creative outlet no matter what career path one takes, understanding your inner critic, the importance of performance experience in helping with performance anxiety, the importance of personal skills in getting and keeping a job and the skill of speaking to an audience.
Instrument case designer and maker, Howard Wiseman talked with Kevin Chavez during the summer 2014-Double Reed Conference in New York. Howard made his first case when he was 15 years old as a result of having difficulties carrying his heavy bassoon. The first order for a case was from his bassoon teacher, which lead to more requests for cases. While studying for a performance bassoon career, he continued making cases. Howard today continues to play and teach bassoon along side of his case and sports coaching businesses. Producing only bassoon cases for the first 13 years, he later branched out to other instruments and multiple instruments. A lifetime guarantee is offered with all his cases and he never compromising on quality. Known for his innovation, he is always looking towards new designs and projects following his passion for creating and building things.
Flutist, Martha Cargo trained as a classical flutist as well as a contemporary flutist. Her abilities also expand to the non-profit world as a consultant and administrator. She talks about; her exposure to contemporary flute music, the switch back and forth from contemporary to baroque, her current job as Assistant to the Music Director at the Americas Society, how she prepared herself in college for her current day job, how to find your brand and identity and her future performance plans.
Brandon George, a freelance Flutist shared with us how he has created a career for himself in New York City, playing chamber music groups, organizing a chamber music recital, teaching and hosting/producing a radio broadcast. Being “open” is an idea, which he held foremost in creating his path. His interest in contemporary music started as an undergraduate at the Oberlin Conservatory and this has lead to blending new and old music into programing evenly. Creating his own chamber music recital series he has championed programing new music along with the classics. Being an entrepreneur he finds ways to make projects happen and finds a balance in scheduling his workload along with teaching. Brandon offers specific skills students can focus on during their school years that may help them find their own career path.
Classical Guitarist Jordan Dodson found his way to classical guitar after hearing a cd of Andrés Segovia but has never left playing different styles, especially jazz and often includes it in his classical programing. Jordon talks about; the repertoire variety for the guitar, criteria for choosing concerts, contemporary guitar literature, playing in his new music ensembles (Ensemble Moto Perpetuo, Marcel, Ensemble sans maître), programming, importance of his knowledge of classical music and musicianship has impacted his ability to work with other musicians, self management skills and balancing teaching and performing, the choices of guitars and strings, the cost of a good guitar, instrument maintenance, guitar organizations, orchestral pieces with guitar, hall acoustics, the importance of nail maintenance and exploring new repertoire
Dr. Gail Archer shares her story on how she found her way to the organ and supported her studies throughout college with her church organ playing. Her path was forged from a very early start, teaching school music then continuing on to her two masters degree, later teaching at Barnard and Vassar Colleges. As a Concert Organist performing 50 concerts a year, she manages her own career through her own network of venues that she built over the years. She explains how she created her own path for a career when the doors shut to her as a woman. Advocating for woman organists she created ‘Musforum,’ a website and blog that links over 100 woman organists. She tells how she develops her recitals each year around various topics being able to market herself each year by exploring unknown and different repertoire. The interview also includes discussing her teaching, current projects, pipe organs vs electronic and career advice.
We were delighted to have Oboist James Austin Smith share so many facets of his active career. First he talks about his steps to choosing the oboe and a career path, which steered him from an undergraduate double degree in political science and oboe to a Fulbright Scholarship in Germany, then back to the United States for a Masters at Yale. James talks about the difference of the European style of oboe playing and auditioning and how experiencing this led him to vary his career trajectory which is always goal driven, but how the path to that goal can be diverse. He shares his ideas about programing and the importance of being thoughtful about repertoire choice. Speaking candidly about his realization that he didn’t want the orchestral oboist path and finding his relevance in the music world, following a new route to a career. As a teacher he talks about how he focuses his students on the most important skills needed for a successful career.
Bassoon teacher George Sakakeeny shares his learning path as a master teacher and how his own playing was affected. He talks about; how mentors and other woodwind colleagues shaped his own teaching and playing music, his path to a professorship at Oberlin, managing a performance career and a teaching studio, the audition and evaluation process for Oberlin’s bassoon students, preparation advice for auditionees, choosing a new instrument and his teaching agenda for undergraduate students. Commenting on his e-book “Making Reeds Start to Finish With George Sakakeeny”, he talks about how the e-book has changed how he teaches reed making and why he pursued the challenge to write the book. As an active solo performer he shares the process in finding new works to premiere and record.