S02E36 – Patrick Milando

About our Interview

Patrick is currently the First Horn chair for THE LION KING on Broadway. When he’s not playing for the pride, Patrick can heard in various gigs not only throughout the country, but throughout the world. A graduate of Manhattan School of Music, he has been playing on Broadway for a few decades, and has also managed to rack up a few participation Grammy’s for his involvement in works produced by the New York Philharmonic, and the Metropolitan Opera. In addition to being a wonderful french horn player, Patrick finds continued creativity through his exploration of conducting as well as composing. We were fortunate enough to have him provide an expert of his haunting composition, Meditations on Manhattan. A longer cut off his music is generously supplied at the the very end of the podcast. Listen in to hear some great stories from this fantastic individual.

Links to learn more

S02E12 – Windscape

About our Interview with

Woodwind Quintet – “Windscape” members, Tara Helen O’Connor, Randall Ellis, Alan R. Kay, David Jolley and Frank Morelli joined us for a lively conversations about their collaboration for over two decades of performing. We talked about their start, their first program and how they became associated with the Manhattan School of Music. Known for their thematic programing, they discuss how they; create arrangements, the process in road testing their new arrangements, finding new music, create programs and how to talk to an audience. We also spent time on the mundane logistics of getting five busy people together for rehearsals and how they have learned to rehearse efficiently. Throughout our conversation they focused on the importance of offering great music to audiences and focusing on the audience’s experience. From our conversation you can hear how much “joy” they have working together and their mutual esteem as colleagues allow them to work together so effectively.

Links to learn more

Windscape’s Web Page
Windscape’s Facebook Page
Windscape’s Management Page


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S02E11 – Tony Cecere

About our Interview with

French Hornist, Tony Cecere, is a freelancer in the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania areas. He has played with the New Jersey Symphony, New Orleans Symphony, American Chamber Players, Bach Choir in Bethlehem, PA., is a current member of the Philadelphia Brass, plays on Broadway and is a substitute with the MET Opera Orchestra. We talked about; his career and vast experience, how his playing has changed along with his career, what the challenges are within different ensembles and how to learn to play in varying acoustics. For students we discussed; the importance of learning ensemble skills, importance of learning how to produce a vocal musical line, and gaining listening skills by listening to recordings and just not one recording but learning how to discriminate the difference between interpretations and style. Our discussion lead to the recording industry past and present and later the workings of being a member of the Philadelphia Brass from arranging music, talking to the audience and choosing a new member.

Links to learn more

Tony’s Philadelphia Brass Page
Tony Cecere (photo credit; Mr. Hub Willson)

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S02E03 – Michelle Baker

About our Interview with Michelle Baker

Michelle Baker, second horn at the Metropolitan Opera for the past 25 years, detailed her job description and her role in the horn section. We talked about the brands of horns the members of the section play, the daily challenges of keeping up the “chops,” her warm up method and daily maintenance plan, how she maintains playing when taking time off and returning to playing, her learning plan for the new seasons repertoire, how to figure out what works best for your own playing, the level of preparation needed for auditions and concerts, what she looks for in choosing students, how to build trust/confidence for concerts or auditions and how she spends her downtime.

Links to learn more


Met Orchestra Bio Page

MSM Faculty Page



S01E41 – Howard Wiseman

About our interview with Howard Wiseman

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.

Links to learn more about Howard Wiseman

Wiseman Cases Website

Howard Wiseman Headshot
Howard Wiseman Headshot

S01E04 – Richard Adams

What’s in this Episode

Richard Adams shares his career path that lead him from being a creative writer, a French Horn orchestral player, music management, theater management, to a 31 year tenure at the Manhattan School of Music starting in the career planning office, later as Director of Admission, various Dean positions and finally Vice President. As the founder of conservatory career training he speaks frankly about the skills that musicians need to cultivate to be successful in selling themselves and creating a music career. Sharing how he instigated changes to the conservatory curriculum, how he managed the resistance along with these changes, and how this lead the way to innovations in conservatory education. He talks about what it was like being an administrator, the skills he used, experience in hiring of new faculty, and how to negotiate the politics and culture.



Richard Adams Headshot
Richard Adams sits at the piano